The "Social Contract"
The idea of a social contract is one theory sometime referred to in justifying the state (as the enforcer). However, since the "social contract" is not written in our minds from birth, it must be determined rather arbitrarily. Collectivists always define the social contract such that collective parameters are justified. Doubtless all social-political advocates operate with some kind of a social contract as the basis for deciding which goals they pursue. We may derive from this the idea that much human misery is caused by conflict between different interpretations of just what the social contract is and how it is to be implemented.
Leftist theories of the social contract require some sort of economic collectivism and conservative theories require some sort of cultural collectivism. As the two are generally in competition with each other, each adopts the more popular aspects of the other and what we end up with is a government that enforces both economic and cultural collectivism. So we have seen in the U.S. the Republican party embracing collectivist economic policies and the Democratic party embracing enforcement of cultural mores (e.g., drug prohibition).
It is interesting how collectivists divorce the ends from the means. They all want to attain some better form of society and thus are able to hold themselves as sincere, well intentioned people. But the many millions of people exterminated by attempts to enforce various social contracts should alert us to the dangers of pretending that any means will attain any particular ends as long as good intentions are the motivating force. Communists are particularly apt to fall into this mental configuration. Stalin may have brought about the deaths of several tens of millions of individuals, but he meant well.
From my libertarian perspective, collectivist social contracts all require some degree of enslavement of individuals to the forms deemed desirable by the perpetrators of the various "social contracts".
The libertarian interpretation of the social contract is most often described as "live and let live" or to put it another way, let's not be pointing guns at each other. The libertarian social contract is not devoid of obligation however, rules endorsed by libertarians include:
1. Do what you promise (contract)
2. Do not infringe upon the rights of your fellow humans.
3. Such rights are held equally by all people.