The Social Contract

The social contract which largely originated in theory from the 17th and 18th century came about due to huge changes in how people perceived and lived. In England the influence of the Catholic church ended with the reformation of a Protestant Church.

Nearly all people worked in agriculture with their families. Revolutions in organising agriculture and the rise of machines meant people were becoming less needed on the farm. New jobs were going to be created elsewhere.

Therefore a social contract to organise people and their labour was needed especially if not designed by the Catholic Church. People could also live morally by their own choice and not because a divine being requires it.

Since the 17th century we have had the industrial revolution where the dominant economic sector was manufacturing. This helped make Britain dominate the world. Today it is dominated by the service sector as much manufacturing is done overseas.

Services include attention, advice, access, experience and affective labor. People like me who identify and/or diagnosed with the autistic experience are less able at affective labour. Modifying the emotional experience of others is a challenge.

Autistic people and those given a mental illness face many barriers to society including stigma, classism, poverty, discrimination, benefit traps, traps in the medical paradigm etc..

Today like in the 16th and 17th century we are at and near the point of huge change. Less labour is required for the necessaries of life but many have to work in order to have a right to the essentials. Work is more about meaning than it was to toil on a farm.

Many people would like to see a new social contract. Autistic people like me would argue it is necessary to be truly free. There are many ideas. One may be a basic income and reshaping capitalism itself.


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