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New Social Contract

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The introduction to the idea of creating a new social contract has generated a global shift in the incorporation of both human rights and ethical traditions within business practices. What I will be discussing is how the social contract is being re-examined to hold more responsibility towards Corporations and the government in terms of incorporating ethical practices in their operations, rather than focussing exclusively on maximizing their profits. This outlook has created a turn in how the rights of employees are now taken into consideration, forcing corporations to change the ways they do business. Not only that, but how businesses are now beginning to introduce ethical habits into the ways they operate.


Following the Second World War, the ‘social contract’ was introduced in order to hold responsibilities towards the government and businesses. As this has operated for many years, the author Wesley Cragg has argued that there is a need for a new social contract to be in place. After the introduction of the social contract, many Corporations prioritized profit maximization as their main worry in terms of operations. During this time, many did not acknowledge the need to incorporate ethical practices and human rights into their daily functions. Corporations believed that profit maximization is what drove all companies to become successful, as was the view from Milton Friedman. Friedman had stated that all corporations’ main priorities should be based on wealth rather than having a social responsibility for others.

Wesley has under covered that it is no longer beneficial for Corporations to cut out ethical practices, rather, it is important to include them daily. It has become recognized that in order for companies to be profitable, they must include proper rights for their employees, customers, suppliers, and clients. Not only that, companies must apply ethical practices towards everything that they do. Businesses are finding ways to change their operations to better the economy. Wesley states that a new social contract is in need to re introduce the idea that everyone should be help responsible for their actions and how they impact the economy. He states that the new contract should praise the idea of equally distributed rights among every individual, having everyone equal to one another.

As Human Rights and ethical practices were well known, not everyone accepted these within the workplace. In fact, many corporations felt as if there was no need for them to acknowledge the well being of other people. This was a result of the social contract stating that corporations had no obligation to worry about others, rather to worry about their daily operations instead. As profitability is an important aspect in every business, they did not see the benefits of incorporating any other practices other than focussing on money.

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As Wesley expresses a need for a new social contract, is it possible for all governments and corporations to adopt these new rules? Realizing many people may be on board with the introduction of a new contract, many may perhaps also feel as if their profiting from the way they are doing business today. The social contract was introduced in 1948, from there on it was an accepted contract across the world. Many people today realize that both Human Rights and ethical practices are an important part of life, however they may not agree that they apply to everyone. For more than 50 years corporations have gotten away with prioritizing their profits over prioritizing anything else, which in a lot of cases, many may not want to change the way they do business.

I do, however, agree with Wesley Cragg, seeing a change that needs to be made within how corporations and governments deal with daily operations. Even though many opinions may differ from one another, it has started to become acknowledged that there is a need to be met in order for businesses to thrive and move forward. As Milton Friedman stated that corporations should only prioritize the profit maximization aspect, I believe there is more to business today than when the social contract was originally introduced.

Wesley Cragg had under covered that maximizing a corporation’s profits isn’t the sole driver towards success as many people think this is to be true. It has been said that the role of ethics has been widely accepted as an important part of doing business, in which it helps companies become successful. Not only that, but many corporations are implementing rules for human rights and labour laws that must be respected by every individual involved in the business. This is now becoming recognized around the world, in which corporations and governments are prioritizing aspects other than becoming financially successful.


In conclusion, it would be beneficial to create a new social contract that applies to all corporations and governments globally.

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New Social Contract. (2021, September 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“New Social Contract.” Edubirdie, 24 Sept. 2021,
New Social Contract. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
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