Honoring the Social Contract


Armand Cabrera
I’ve noticed some interesting ideas floating around now about what I’ve always thought of as work ethic and what I was thought to believe about the social contract. I was taught growing up that I could have whatever I wanted as long as I made it myself or paid for it. I don’t need other people’s ideas or talent or stuff. When I honor others right to make a living from their work, I protect my own right to the same. The social contract is secure. It’s a philosophy that is pretty straight forward and simple.
Yes, some people had better advantages than I did but their lives didn’t affect me and I just needed to work and focus and if I was smart enough I would achieve my goals. I would rise to the level of my abilities.  I was taught my desire or perceived need does not give me a license to steal from others.
That idea seems to be broken now. Many people seem to think that the world owes them something. These people think they are special just because they exist and that everything and everyone out there is fodder to help them achieve their goals. They would never pay for something they could steal.
 In the art world these entitlements manifest as stealing other peoples work and using it without permission or compensation. Allowing the thief to pretend to have skills they don’t actually have. With digital technology there is absolutely no excuse for using another’s work that isn’t your own since everyone is carrying at least a still camera and can shoot their own reference.
Don’t have a particular reference for a thing? You can model it. Need something more complex than you have the ability for? You can pay someone to make it for you as a 3d model or physical model. Can’t afford to pay someone? Then go without.
It’s lazy and immoral to take other peoples work without asking and or paying for it, always. No one should be asked to or expected to work for free. Need is not a justification for theft, ever.