The social contract as a perceived necessity
The story of the social contract is the strongest testimony to its necessity. The memorandum of intent signed in 1994 by the people’s congress and the statement by social scientists in 2001 about “the two Estonias” took shape with the memorandum of agreement and became “official” with the signing of the first text of the agreement on October 20.
The guest list for the February 20 signing of the memorandum at Kadriorg at President Arnold Rüütel’s was impressive: all political parties to be reckoned with, unions, economic and business institutions, public universities, experts, doctors, teachers, clergy, children’s workers, and institutions representing pensioners, rural parishioners, nonprofit organizations, the press. Altogether, 39 institutions signed. Even though the presence of some of parties so close to election time smacked of coercion, most were there simply out of their conscience and with the blessing of their general ranks.
Why did they come? The signers of the memorandum and contract took their lead from the contract preamble, “… proceeding from the spirit of the Estonian constitution, desiring to develop the Estonian state for the well-being of all its inhabitants, considering the number one priority to be the preservation of Estonian culture and its people and their vitality, valuing the participation of all members of society in forming Estonian development.”
Who needs the contract and these high-minded goals? Why, the high-minded – people who desire their nation-state to evolve in a rapid and balanced manner; people who respect and consider the needs of their neighbors and countrymen.