My own social contract

I finally had the time to read Pieter Omtzigt’s book. Of course, I too read this book from my own background, experiences and views on society. But I am very impressed by the clear exposition, the solutions offered and what we have to do.

Some conclusions that are important to me:

  • We need to provide transparency and accessibility of information, legislation, choices and decision-making in a way that everyone can understand;
  • Providing the right to exist for every citizen is a foundation of our constitution and therefore the duty of politics. And this is not guaranteed now;
  • We need to create more depth and engagement through think tanks, citizen participation, substance in our papers, think things through, create a powerful civil society bodies for better engagement and follow-through;
  • There is too much of a culture of fear of admitting mistakes and a lack of genuine desire to improve and learn
    Points that affect me and where I would like to add and contribute something myself in addition to Pieter Omtzigt’s solutions:
  1. Technology can help make information accessible, insightful and understandable. Don’t use technology to make choices but rather to make everything accessible to all; It offers transparency but also engagement because it is insightful for all.
  2. Set up a think tank that ensures we think about the generations to come. A body that continuously tests whether the choices we make are also positive for future generations. By doing so, we also secure our duty to leave the world to the generations after us and short-term thinking will be challenged.
  3. Adapt the right to exist to our times, so consider a basic income for every Dutch citizen, and not on a minimum subsistence basis. This will change our view of work and reduce much of the fear in the culture of work environments; After all, we no longer need to be afraid of losing our jobs;
  4. Teach us to make mistakes. Let’s stop being omniscient, or colouring everything in such a way that it is always must know and cover up mistakes because in doing so we lose our own value or we disappoint others. By making mistakes AND admitting them, we will move forward and improvement and renewal will be a lifestyle.
    That last point in particular is also a note to self, because how hard I find it. Especially when wisdom, love and curiosity are my core values. My new motto: I learn by not knowing and asking a lot.

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