The Contract of Trust

Confidence in or Dependence on a Person or Quality.

creator: x14km2d | build: 2021-02-02 | update: 2022-01-06

Essay

Trust is the best currency mankind has ever developed. The people trust a state, the employees of a company trust their boss or the people trust their partners. We all need trust, because otherwise we cannot exist in our society. If we cannot trust the executive to protect our lives, no trust can be built. If we cannot trust the legislature to defend democracy in the will of the people, democracy cannot exist. If we cannot trust the judiciary to decide neutrally and objectively according to its best knowledge and certain disputes, a just society cannot exist. If people in the executive branch take advantage of the common good, it is a shameful offence against the trust of other people in society. If one of the two sides cancels the constitutional treaty, there will be no more trust between the two parties. When people no longer call on the executive authorities because they no longer trust them or are afraid, this only opens the door to criminal individuals. The people will inevitably move away from the ruling state and move to self-government. Such a thing cannot work in a democracy, because it contradicts any theory of state that has been developed so far.

This disintegration and the brutalization of trust in the state is causing a climate of instability. People from the base begin to turn to self-governing people because they trust them more (for a very simple reason). They have not yet been able to prove this trust, but people in need and worry tend to reach for every straw blindly. This is generally called the leap of faith. If you don’t know a person, most people are willing to take a leap of faith in that unknown person. You invest in an uncertainty that you cannot calculate. People know this intuitively and still give this trust. But when people start not to include the help of the state authority in the personal processes of the citizen, both sides live only in self-contained social bubbles that do not listen to the other side and even worse, no longer trust. When this point is reached in a state, it already looks like an inevitable collapse of democracy. Nevertheless, I have to ask the question how to rebuild this trust.

For this purpose, newly developed structures must be broken through. A state within a state must not be allowed to form, because that is not the way democracy can exist. All the powers of state authority must use all democratic and humanist means to counteract the brutalisation and mistrust that is taking place. This starts with the smallest civil servant and goes right through to the political administrator of a state. Everyone must pull together. If this does not work, the state inevitably loses the trust of its people and people start to question its right to exist. What if people start to have more confidence in a corporation? A large corporation is used to managing people. This is not always democratic, but if people see no other choice, employment, medical security and free self-development within a corporation does not look so bad. Nobody wants to form a union if they are well paid. What if people turn to a technocracy? If people in a society are judged by their performance. That’s not a democracy either, but corporations would have a strong competitive advantage in a technocracy. Right now I see a massive dismantling of democratic structures and I find that to be distrusting.

A head of state with a lot of power but little trust will inevitably be lynched by the mob at some point. This has been seen hundreds of times in human history. Tyrants, dictators, self-governors and fake or anti-democrats had to realize at some point that the concept of a state can only be based on trust. When I want to make a deal, I ask myself if I can trust these people. If I want to study, live and maybe even have children in another country, I ask myself if I can trust these people. If the head of state keeps to the treaties with his people. Does the head of state take care of the welfare of the people of all social groups equally and justly. Can the state administration, the executive organs and the remaining democratic institutions be trusted. This is the question I ask myself before I travel to another country, work there or just go on holiday. A state that abuses this trust will inevitably suffer economic, social and societal damage. Not only in its own country, but also in the world community.

My country’s democracy index is acceptable. For now. Does a country really think I’m applying to become a citizen if that country is below the index. No. Why would I want to move to a less civilized country where I have to live with the fear of being shot every day. In some countries you can have billions of monetary units in your account and still get killed crossing the street. Why should I move to a country I can’t trust? It is illogical and unrealistic. When people can no longer trust a country, they look for alternatives. Unfortunately, these are never the poor and weak sections of the population of a state. First the intellectuals, the scientists and the democratically educated people go. After that the people who can afford to change or who are better paid for their work in a foreign country. I am not talking about a country where there is no functioning state apparatus or where a war is being fought. From a war zone everybody flees at the same time, but from a democratic state this is only the brain drain. But a country cannot function without intellectuals and scientists. How does a state want to be economically successful when all managers have looked for better (and more trustworthy) alternatives?

I have never been interested in philosophy and political theory and I find it incredibly tiring to think about these topics. But you can also see from the fact that ordinary people like me have lost confidence to the extent that I have already thought about moving to a more democratic and friendly country. That would be connected with massive efforts. I would have to learn a new language, find my way in a new society and prove my cultural openness. But where is the border between my home country and me? How much longer can I trust my state to protect me and care for the common good? When will alternatives become more interesting? My roommates and I changed our electricity provider for the second time this year. Not because of a cheaper alternative, but because we were simply lied to. We made a leap of faith, and it was abused. That’s how trust works. It makes no difference whether it is a big company or a state. The contracts are the same. The Contract of Trust.


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