No consent required

No consent required

Postby holy vehm » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:20 am

ibertarianism: The radical notion that other people are not your property.”

We don’t know who first said those words. But we’ve seen the bitty meme circulating the social media sites recently. Could people finally be catching on? Probably only the “radicals”…

But it sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? A kind of “do unto others…but not without their permission.” Of course, there are other ways to express this basic idea too: live and let live…to each his own and his own to each…and our personal favorite, mind your own [insert expletive of choice here] business…

Alas, some people can’t just leave well enough alone. They feel the need, the compulsion, the “hand of history,” as Tony Blair once called it, to “do something.” Whether or not that something is the right thing is, to their mind, beside the point. Just so long as it’s not nothing…

That’s the real problem with statism, Fellow Reckoner. All its various machinations are, in one way or another, inherently prescriptive. You try to mind your own business. You try to live a quiet and decent life…but there’s always someone telling you there’s a better way: their way. Oh, and they’ll be needing your money and/or person to make it happen.

But how can anyone possibly claim the right to tell you how to live your life… and to force you to do it?! Seems a tough point to win, no? What about self-ownership? What about the non-aggression principle? What about “live and let live” and all that?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought he found a workaround: The “Social Contract” he called it in his waffling 18th century treatise of the same name. In a nutshell, the social contract holds that, because we are considered part of “society,” we must therefore accept the terms — whatever they may be — of that “society.” In other words, it posits an implicit consent on the part of the individual to be governed by the state…simply because the state exists, and because the majority have so willed it.

Call it “tyranny of the mob-jority.”

But what kind of contract is this, Fellow Reckoner? A “contract” that makes up for lack of consent by simply presupposing it, is no contract at all. What kind of court would uphold such a flimsy non-agreement…besides one owned and operated by the beneficiaries of such an absurd ruling?

Not that the enthusiastic Genevan is solely to blame. He was simply building on the misguided works of previous meddlers. Hobbes gave mens’ rights to the government. Locke gifted them to God (But which God? Interpreted by whom? And what for the agnostics?) Few left them in the hands of free men themselves.

But what about man vs. nature, some may be wondering? What about…gulp!…anarchy! Hobbes argued that, without the state, men would descend into a tyranny all of their own making and that they need the state to “maintain order.” But is this really true? Are we simply to take Hobbes’ word for it, to give away our most precious freedoms because of an arrogant supposition?
"A ruler who violates the law is illegitimate. He has no right to be obeyed. His commands are mere force and coercion. Rulers who act lawlessly, whose laws are unlawful, are mere criminals".
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Re: No consent required

Postby huntingross » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:47 pm

I got this from somewhere so long ago I have no record of the link...

Tacit consent

The theory of an implicit social contract holds that by remaining in the territory controlled by some society, which usually has a government, people give consent to join that society and be governed by its government, if any. This consent is what gives legitimacy to such government. Philosopher Roderick Long argues that this is a case of question begging, because the argument has to presuppose its conclusion:

I think that the person who makes this argument is already assuming that the government has some legitimate jurisdiction over this territory. And then they say, well, now, anyone who is in the territory is therefore agreeing to the prevailing rules. But they’re assuming the very thing they're trying to prove – namely that this jurisdiction over the territory is legitimate. If it's not, then the government is just one more group of people living in this broad general geographical territory. But I've got my property, and exactly what their arrangements are I don't know, but here I am in my property and they don't own it – at least they haven't given me any argument that they do – and so, the fact that I am living in "this country" means I am living in a certain geographical region that they have certain pretensions over – but the question is whether those pretensions are legitimate. You can’t assume it as a means to proving it.
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