Covenant is about Responsibilities

“Covenant does not, in and of itself, suggest a larger or smaller state. It is not on the Right or Left of politics. It is, rather, a way of thinking about what politics actually represents. Social contract theories see politics in terms of individual or collective self-interest. Covenant – the classic language of Milton and Locke, the early American settlers and the American Declaration of Independence – is not about interests but about responsibilities. It is about free individuals governing themselves for the sake of the common good, and about the free society as a moral project in which we all play our part, recognising that our destinies are interwoven. That vision, which made Britain and America the great defenders of liberty in the twentieth century, has been out of fashion for a long time – for as long, indeed, as the ‘We’ has given way to the ‘I’. Politics has regressed from covenant to contract: we pay our taxes, the government delivers services, and we search for the deal that is most advantageous to us. That is a diminished view of politics, which can work for a while, but which cannot hold together divided societies. We need to recover the covenant dimension of politics, to ensure that those who guide our destinies do so for the benefit of all.”

Morality, Chapter 23, p. 334