In Edifice of Trust I try to build on the concepts first laid out in Principled Policy, applying them to the thorny social issues that are at the forefront of today's political campaigns. It was written to assist readers in cutting through the political rhetoric to discover the true basis of the issues. Without this understanding no resolution is possible.
These principles are based on the Enlightenment philosophy developed by European philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Rousseau and Locke wrote of the social contract that manages how people interact with each other in society. The nature of the social contract varies according to the culture and religion of the people subject to the conventions of the social contract. The people cede certain of their natural rights to a governing authority that is charged with maintaining the structural integrity of the social contract. Thomas Hobbes envisioned a powerful sovereign authority, a Leviathan, that imposed civil order through the use of the coercive power of the state. Locke, to the contrary, felt that authority was derived from the citizens who only ceded limited power to government so that citizens can trust each other in their civil, political and economic interactions. This is the edifice of trust that makes up the social contract. A strong bond of trust will support a large, complex structure of a equitable and prosperous society. But if those bonds of trust break down the structure of society is weakened and society itself is endangered.
Edifice of Trust examines the most important social issues of today where the bonds of trust are eroded and fragile and suggest policies that will help to restore those bonds of trust.