Why can’t the social contract theory be extended to include all living creatures as well as the environment itself? On Tuesday, Brunello Cucinelli sent a letter he wrote about the need to define a new version of the social contract, which historically has set out the moral and political obligations required for humans to form the society in which they live.
“Precisely because of the fascination of that youthful life, because of that sense of the infinite, I think of creation as a caring guardian whom we should all be grateful for the golden gifts we receive with generous abundance; I am deeply grateful to it,” wrote Cucinelli in his open letter, referring to his childhood in the Italian countryside with a profound connection with Mother Nature. “But for some time now, in this year, our life has been flanked by an unexpected and unwanted traveling companion, who in the form of a pandemic virus wanders the entire planet causing pain to the body and spirit of human beings, with an unpredictable and exhausting course, at times slow, at times accelerated, at times mild, at times cruel, with alternating hopes that are first glimpsed and then immediately disappointed.”
According to the fashion entrepreneur, the pandemic is highlighting “a sort of struggle between biology and the earth, which lasts for a long time, and here, finally, creation itself has asked us for help.” Defining humans as “prodigal children,” Cucinelli exhorted to pay attention to our consumption habits in order to deeply understand “how we have lost the harmony that balanced receiving and giving back in the relationship between us and creation.”
Through the social contract he envisioned, the designer thinks we can guarantee future generations a safer, harmonious planet in which to live; an overall state of freedom; a welcoming world where diversity is seen as an opportunity; where civil life is considered a gift; technology and humanity are “lovable sisters,” and where people will be happy because “as Hadrian the Emperor thought, they know how to consider books as the granaries of the soul,” Cucinelli wrote.