The citizens of many countries in the world, particularly of South Africa, are experiencing the collapse of the social order in their country as a result of certain circumstances. This fact of social disintegration has led educationists to again examine the nature and contents of the social contract that the South African citizenry has entered into. In secular states, the social contract should at least be rooted in two ethical principles, namely trust and humanistic versions of the Golden Rule. Analysis of the South African social contract demonstrates this point, and also shows how a positive modus vivendi [living together] can flow from the recognition and application of these two principles. The upcoming generations should therefore be educated to understand the nature and content of their social contract, the two ethical principles, and the need for a positive modus vivendi based on their particular social contract.