Post # 648    THE “SOCIAL CONTRACT,” ANOTHER REPRISE

It would appear that the celebrated Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovik, while, reportedly excellent at the sport of tennis, may be somewhat, less proficient in his understanding of mature social and community responsibility. The tennis star, asserts, with ardent eloquence, that he, as an individual, has the right to refuse vaccination (for Covid), since he, alone, has the ultimate right to determine what substances go into his body; he is willing, therefore, to forego his right to participate in the leading world tennis matches, like Wimbledon and the French Open. It is our view that his ardor and willing sacrifice are only comparable to his intransigent naiveté and lack of sense of community responsibility.

At some point in time in the history of the Homo sapiens, it was empirically determined that living in society, was far preferable to the precarious attempts at surviving alone. Mutual protection, joint food gathering and social interaction were among the salient benefits reaped by living with others in community. Living together in society, however, necessarily meant the evolution of the pragmatic need for mutually agreed rules of conduct and social responsibility.  

It was Rousseau, who famously created the term, “The Social Contract,” pursuant to which, members of society willingly agree to surrender certain personal rights, deemed for the society’s public good, in exchange for the many benefits of living in that society. By practical necessity, the designated leadership of the community retains the ultimate determination as to the designation of the subject matter properly included in the category of “the public good.”

The outbreak of the worldwide epidemic of a virulent, highly contagious virus (the “Covid Pandemic”), mandated the societal enactment and promulgation of relevant, health-oriented, prevention and treatment measures. Among the preventative measures, were, vaccination [timely developed and approved], plus the public prophylactic behaviors of masking and distancing. It was determined that these protocols were responsibly necessary not only for personal protection but as well, for the prevention of spread to others (i.e. “the public good”).

Mr. Djokovik should realize that his ardent declaration of personal rights are valid and recognizable only to the extent that they relate, exclusively, to matters of his own personal interest, but no further. In the sport of tennis, he may reside in his own, private bubble, but as an individual, necessarily partaking of the many services and benefits of society, he is bound by societal obligation, as responsibly analogized in the concept of the “Social Contract.” No one, living in society, is an absolute sovereign over himself; not even naive sports celebrities.

We were especially surprised, by the media reports of the large conglomeration of truckers blocking the highway between Detroit and Windsor Canada, in angry protest against an applicable mandate requiring the wearing of masks. In addition to compliance with the self-same “Social Contract,” these protesters, are members of a profession, so highly regulated, that their claims of outrage, demanding liberty from restrictive authority, seem bizarre and thoughtless. The same is empirically inconsistent with the protesters’ constant, daily experience. Truckers, of all people, live with and by, rules regulations and ordinances, respecting licensure of themselves and their vehicles, labor and commercial rules, traffic laws, driving and highway restrictions, inter-state laws, employment agreements, labor regulations, hourly strictures, and conceivably, the provisions of applicable trade union agreements.

Alas, in today’s world, mature perception, a close concomitant of human enlightenment, appears to be a rarified and esoteric commodity.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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