Competition Entry | A Modern Social Contract.

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By Bradley Bowman

When a government abases the social contract that protects natural rights and prosperity without the consent of the governed, a new contract must be made.

For the first time in history, the communication of information flows indiscriminate of class or culture. The modern age has witnessed the impact in the Middle East where individuals and societies continue to rewrite their social contracts against their former governments. It is within the social media groups, the hacktivists, and the protestors of impoverished nations that power shifts from the privileged few back to the protection of the people.

In a recent interview with two Anonymous operators, the administrators stated that the group was not represented accurately by the mainstream media. “ 99% of Anonymous aren’t hackers at all. They are just normal users,” said one operator, “People that care and are sick of the system.”

People go on the irc client,, for mostly social reasons and network with each other for active protests. If interested in “joining” Anonymous, go to the IRC address and join the channel #opnewblood to learn more about becoming active as a protester, supporter, or to become more informed on current issues pertaining to government abuses. Most people can contribute to the cause just by spreading the word. From Anonymous’ perspective, the power of an idea can change the world.

One member sent a link to a video of a protest at Scientology Church in
Edmonton. See Anonymous members stood outside the building in Guy Fawkes masks and held up signs of protest denouncing it as a cult.

It is also almost inaccurate to call it an organization. It is a collective of people from many different backgrounds. One operator quoted a well known saying on the boards that sums up their position of protest. “The establishment is invincible. Protesting is useless. You'll never change anything. If everyone in the world believed that, then every single country in the world would still be kept in poverty by a ruling monarchy. That's a fact."

Although it is specifically for Anonymous, the IRC client is a form of social media. People exchanging ideas and information and ultimately connecting. Connectivity allows a user from Texas in the U.S. to communicate and follow a citizen or journalist in Daraa, Syria on Twitter. Violence captured on a citizen’s mobile phone camera could be leaked out despite the governments denial of killing its citizens. This happened several times to news outlets like Al Jazeera’s The Stream program where audience members were able to send the videos in and raise awareness on the issue. Since then, Syria has been punished by sanctions and the people there know the world is watching –that they are not alone.

The greatest protection an individual or society can have against the abuse of power by a government is the free flowing communication of information in this modern age. Citizens of the world can interact across borders, oceans, and ideologies. Governments, financial institutions , abuse of power by law enforcement departments can’t hide their injustice when the whole world watches.

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