China’s Implicit Social-Contract: The glue that keeps things toegther

When J.J. Rousseau wrote about social contracts in his “On the Social Contract” (which I am sure most of you have read), contemporaries reacted as if he had discovered Pluto. Though explosively genius in his writings and thoughts, Rousseau had simply pointed out an occurrence so ancient and obvious, that most people today seem to have forgotten it.

China being the “special” thing that it is, has it’s own version of almost everything; Socialism (with Chinese characteristics), the Chinese Calender, the Chinese Zodiac, the Chinese Basketball Association, Chinese “iphones”, etc. So of course it is only fair that it also has it’s own version of the “social contract”.

The most recent parties involved in this contract were the “Chinese Communist Party” and the majority of the Chinese population (mainly comprised of farmers without a middle school diploma), they say this document was officially signed in 1949, but no evidence remain. Like all things related to the Chinese Communist Party, it is best when kept on the DL, so this contract is an “implicit” one. More so than anyone on this planet, the Chinese people fear luan or chaos, it is something we inherit from our ancestors and pass down generation after generation through “Tiger Moms”. This fear of social instability or messiness in general is the main reason that despite having a lot less freedom and more injustice than all other world powers, China still garners one of the most stable and tranquil societies in the world, even if it’s a result of fists and not hugs. Lower educational standards and less creative classes help too, but as more and more Chinese are entering American colleges, things aren’t what they use to be.

But the thing about this contract is that as long as there is no “big shit going down”, like the farmer revolts that seem to plague China every 150 yrs or so, and the economy continues to inflate, the Chinese people won’t mind that their internet is more censored than in North Korea, or the fact they can’t go on facebook or own firearms. Because in this world, freedom can be bought while stability has to be fought (in most cases). Who knows if the contract will be rewritten in the decades to come, but for now as long as there is state-televised programs to watch, food on the table, and Japan is still “public enemy #1”, people will be content or so it seems.