Agreements, contracts and covenants are a fundamental element of human relations and a basic building block of a structured society. In reality, even an unstructured society will have various agreements and will generally exist based on some form of unwritten social contract.
It is necessary to make agreements to define the limits and roles of relationships and transactions, as a reminder of rights and duties and as a means of avoiding and settling conflicts and disputes. Functioning relations and transactions become very difficult, volatile and unsteady once agreements are removed.
There is though, something more intrinsic or socially vital to agreements and that is their connection with truth, honesty, reliability, security, tranquillity and loyalty.
A sane and healthy person desiring benefit and avoidance of harm will naturally seek truth. If we want to live in the real world and make real progress this involves dealing with reality as opposed to fantasy and fabrication (I make a mental note at this point of the anticipated crowds of readers who perhaps consider they are from those grounded in reality, when they may in fact be firmly chained to the opposite). This pursuit of truth will include associating with those who also seek it or manifest attributes which are truthful or consistent with a seeker of truth.
One of these attributes, will be speaking the truth and not lying. If you seek the truth then how are you assisted by a liar, except by way of comparing the value of truth and falsehood or the contrasting value of the truthful and liars? A liar can not be relied upon and his word can not be believed. With the liar we don't know whether yes means yes nor whether no means no. The information derived from a liar is not altogether worthless but cannot be taken at face value and cannot be an authority on its own. Rather, the word of a liar can detract from the weight of the truthful when their opinions, words or reports coincide. This can be because an individual can be so prolific in lying that almost every word they utter is anticipated as being false. This can reach the level where a usually truthful person will be scrutinised closer or his judgement will be questioned if he has a liar in his list of witnesses or adherents. i.e. "...I strongly doubt this view as so and so (the liar) says it also!..."
Certain issues may not be paid attention due to the lying nature of those who profess and espouse such opinions. A little like the tale of the boy who cried wolf.
This attribute however, is not restricted to an individual, but it can also exist in a group, a society, an organization, ideology or system. With regards to a group, then it manifests when individuals gather to collude and conspire upon promoting a lie to serve their commonly held interests, but operating under a masquerading banner. It can also be the case with a system or ideology developed by such a group of liars or when a false ideology was the springboard which initially motivated or gave birth to that group of liars. They may have adopted false ideas which then coloured their outlook and activities in all spheres, such that the ideology, system and society they built was saturated with falsehood. This would mean that such a society of lies serving ideational falsehood could not be trusted in any of its branches.
We see that opposing States and ideologies regularly accuse the adherents of the other States of lying and they have a systematic distrust of the ideology and groupings that oppose them.
The colliding spheres of broken agreements
Agreements occur in all spheres of life, economic, social, judicial, educational, political etc. And as seeing as these varied spheres are at least partially built upon agreements, then all of these spheres can be damaged or even destroyed by broken agreements.
We appear to live in a time when many do not hold their personal integrity, credibility, honesty, decency, loyalty and reliability to be valued treasures worthy of preservation. The mainstream news is full of broken agreements in all of these aspects of life. Bankers acting dishonestly against the interests of their clients, businesses manipulating agreements to force their hand upon the dependent in their complete or near monopolies, politicians breaking promises and declaring lies as truths in order to gain votes and pave the way for their personal fortunes, even at the expense of innocent lives, social relations everywhere based on deceit, false foundations, cheating and concealment.
We have a society where there is distrust in all directions due to the awareness of deliberately broken agreements that people witness, participate in, hear about and justify. Technology has increased the capability and opportunity to engage in betrayal, deception and dishonesty. The hopes of people for new technology to allow pathways to truth and scrutiny has only proved partially true as the tools of communication only reflect the principles that already exist. Technology generally doesn't change the beliefs, motives, character and activities of people, it just tends to enhance them.
Cracked foundations make the house fall down
Once a society starts to accept broken agreements and acclimatizes to them, the next generation of transactors are automatically absorbed into the destructive practise of breaking their word or tolerating those who do. The common toleration of such behaviour encourages it and allows it to flourish. This is to the extent of whole industries based on lying, deception and fraud. The accumulative demise in transactional and interrelational morality transfers to people's personal relationships, decision making and criteria for action. It is not long before reliable, truthful, honest and loyal people become very rare.
People regularly re-elect politicians who lie not only about specific issues but generally falsify or conceal their motives, allegiances and portrayal of political philosophy and ideology. This culture of dishonesty permeates the whole political system down to the local level so that local self-serving fraudsters are attracted to the political sphere with a vision of self-elevation on a grand level, such is the blatant false nature of its face and activity.
In the social sphere, people who have been cheated on numerous times become cheats themselves or become accepting of lies and regard it as the default human trait. Others, hurt by years of deception, broken promises and multiple concealed identities move into a dark world of depression that may lead to alcoholism, drug addiction, self harm, prostitution, gambling, pharmaceutical dependency or even suicide. So many of the self-destructive behaviours we find in society are directly connected to people losing all trust and hope in humanity due to continuously smashed dreams, ruined houses and endeavours made futile by insincere collaborators.
Husband and wife make an agreement for marriage which is the foundation of the family, the family the basic building block of the community. Once marriage is polluted by broken agreements, especially when deliberately, deceptively from the beginning, we have the building blocks of the community shaking and falling, landing on our houses and heads.
If the family is the building block of society, then government is it's chief architect. Where do the economic, social, political, ideological, cultural, judicial and educational spheres receive direction from? Where are the parameters and laws set? The government acts to bring these spheres together in a supposedly coherent system in society whose objectives, branches and method are consistent together and subservient to their foundational ideological aim and vision. So what if the governmental architect is a liar who regularly breaks his agreements but also makes fraudulent agreements from the beginning? Indeed we have the walls and foundations of society turned into a prison, where the fraudulent collective contract conceals a reality opposite to its claim on paper.
Lies to cover lies, liar lies to liar, everyone suffocating themselves with the cloth of falsehood, the truthful gagged to maintain the pantomime, agreements made behind agreements, words transform to the opposite meaning, no-one knows anyone, including themselves.
The enslaved are called free and the liars are called truthful and everyone meets everyone with a smile while wishing for their death behind their face, a firm handshake and promise of goodwill is swiftly followed by a knife in the back and a declaration of immunity and innocence.
We are all in this together, we built it with our consent to break agreements and fulfil those that are false. Read the small print carefully next time, especially if you wrote it.
- "And those who keep their trusts and covenants." (QURAN al Ma'aarij 70:32)
- “And make not your oaths a means of deception among yourselves...” (QURAN an Nahl 16:94)
- "And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong, by taking your oaths as a means of deception among yourselves..." (QURAN an Nahl 16:92)