The social contract, introduced by the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, describes the idea of an individual consenting to be ruled by the authority in exchange for the state’s protection of their natural and legal rights. However, the promises of protection, welfare and prospect of life are yet to be fulfilled in many countries around the world. Discussions and doubts about the foundation of political systems come again under spotlight, especially when the novel coronavirus has been storming every corner of the world since the beginning of 2020, even though many believed the contemporary era would be one of security and progress.
Indeed, the world is in a time of unrest. The people of Hong Kong have been fighting for their basic democratic rights since last year. In Chile, intense protests against the decades of radical neoliberalism shook the country fundamentally. China fell victim to its own authoritarian policies, such as its attempt to maintain social stability by covering up bad news failed the containment of COVID-19, which later took its toll on the world. The unpreparedness of the European countries for pandemic scenarios revealed the pre-existing structural problems, such as the shrunken public healthcare systems due to the budget cuts in social sectors. There are many other hidden problems that remain unsolved in spite of political reforms. Perhaps it is time for us to review the system which was proposed in the 18th Century and the social contracts which have been operated through decades.
8 consecutive salons will be held biweekly from 16th April on Thursdays to discuss a social conflict in a specific country each time, namely Germany, France, Hong Kong, Korea, China and 3 more to be announced. During each salon, not only an introduction to the conflict will be given by the speaker(s), the audience is also welcomed to tell their thoughts in small group discussion time and public sharing time.
We invite everyone in the global community to join us online (or in the foreseeable future at a bar in Berlin Göttin der Weisheit, share with us your point of view, your insights and your personal experience that are related to the topics.
Virtual conference platform
As an activist group, we are concerned about online security. Since we are inviting your political voices (that could be sensitive sometimes) to our online public event, we look for solutions to keep your identity and personal information safe. The platform Jitsi Meet uses hop-by-hop encryption. Anything that you send travelling to the server is encrypted, then decrypted on the server, re-encrypted and sent to everyone who is meant to receive it. The only people being able to eavesdrop are the ones maintaining the server.
To enter the virtual conference room you just have to click the link, no account or sign in is needed to participate. On top of this, you are always free to turn off your audio and video during the event, the level of participation is for you to choose.