When Did I Sign This ‘Social Contract’?

If you don’t like being taxed, etc., then leave! That’s what the totalitarians tell you. You’ve implicitly agreed to abide by the rules by your mere presence here, they say, along with other bad arguments. Here’s my answer.

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  • Gil

    No lines were drawn with colonisation and/or force, period. It’s not arbitrary because there’s a credible threat of force with jurisdictions. Then again if you want to play that game – private property must be arbitrary by anyone who doesn’t respect them.

  • Anonymous

    Take a look at it from the perspective of the most basic form of contract: voluntary exchange. Obviously, exchange in this context would be impossible without the NAP, because why voluntarily exchange when you can just forcefully exchange (i.e. steal)?

    Remember, all contracts deal in property, and are the agreement of the specificities thereof. How can such a thing as a contract hold water if the aggression upon the property under such contract is accepted? Even further, the contract itself can also be seen as a form of property, so how can it exist in any meaningful context without barring aggression upon such property (the contract)?

  • http://plenarchist.wordpress.com/ plenarchist

    Of course lines were drawn with colonization. How would you have known if you were a Virginian vs North Carolinian? There were surveyed boundaries… What was the Proclamation Line of 1763? And if you were a member of the indigenous peoples, you’d disagree that force wasn’t used.

    “… because there’s a credible threat of force with jurisdictions.” Again, “might makes right” according to you. Whoever has the bigger gun gets the prize! You would condemn humanity to conflict and suffering forever…

    And yes, private property boundaries are arbitrary also but private property is owned via homesteading then negotiation thereafter. Nation-states claim territory via conquest… Private property through non-aggression and nation-state territory through aggression. Big difference.

  • Gil

    Private owners need might against those who won’t respect their boundaries too. However you don’t suppose private property through aggression or nation-state building via homesteading uninhabited land.

  • http://plenarchist.wordpress.com/ plenarchist


    Private owners need might…”

    Yes. In order to rightfully defend their property… not to steal someone else’s.

    “… nation-state building via homesteading uninhabited land.”

    Only individuals can homestead (mix labor and land) thus nation-states cannot. Governments (i.e. the political class) just *claim* the lands their human chattel homestead…

    Government is by definition “might makes right”… “rule or be ruled.” A political paradigm that will be humanity’s undoing sooner or later.

  • Gil

    Government = evil. QED. Therefore there’s nothing to discuss. Uh huh.

  • http://plenarchist.wordpress.com/ plenarchist

    If you can make a moral case for government, then make one. Of course, you can’t… Just because government “is” doesn’t mean government has to “be.” There is such a thing as social evolution… And the future of humanity is one without government and without borders.

    Governments in the 20th century murdered over 100 million people plus harmed millions more through war and other overt government acts… Then government policies (like War on Drugs, Poverty, Terror…) have harmed millions more. And government is good? I’ll take a Gordon Gekko over an Obama or Bush any day. Gekko might have been greedy but he wasn’t a mass murderer.

    You should consider recalibrating your moral compass. If after owning up to the atrocities committed by governments against humanity you still find government good, then I suppose there is nothing to discuss.

    “It is a mistake to assume that government must necessarily last forever.” – Herbert Spencer

  • Frank Koza

    Tom, when you received what may be considered stolen goods in obtaining your property which was most likely unjustly expropriated from a number of others who held claim to it before you, you entered into the contract to protect your rights to that property.

    NAP is simply a principle, not a contract. It may be a basis behind certain contracts, but no more or less so than a contract based on a principle of mutually assured destruction. It’s merely mutually assured non-destruction. MAD vs MAN. :)

    Libertarianism seems to fail to consider that rights are nothing more than a conceptual fiction. Nothing is inalienable, except through contract that all sides endeavor to uphold. Rights do not exist in nature, only constant struggle.

    http://uncertainoutcomes.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-hell-are-rights-anyway.html

  • cantbuyanarchy

    democracy? democracy has absolutely nothing to do with individual liberty. democracy is a code word for socialism. a democracy is all about mob rule. sure there’s freedom in a democracy, the freedom to do what the mob says, or else and let’s don’t forget how bright the mob can be. Read the books of your favorite socialist dickhead like stalin or gorbachev and they will tell you that democracy is indespensible to socialism. Our country is suffering from a disease called socialism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jere.moore Jere F. Moore

    “The NAP” ?

  • Crazy Eddie

    There’s a real, major problem with this line of reasoning. If you did and could just sit by yourself and be unmolested then your argument would hold water. But you don’t. You come to society’s house and say, “I’m not going to wear the hat,” when you say you’re under no obligation to abide by the social contract.

    If you think you can do that, all the more power to you. I’d even support giving you a free pass on expecting us all to pay attention to the boundary lines you claim on your property. But this means no roads, no power, no cops, etc…NO social services. Good luck with that.

    It’s when you come out of that shell and say, “Hey, I like that stuff and think I deserve it too!” Well, now you are obligated to negotiate and abide by an agreement with society to provide you such access in trade for certain things. Taxes being one, and when you refuse that then I don’t see how you can possibly find any moral, ethical, or ANY game theoretic argument that says it’s not society’s right to come in and take what’s owed it or stick you in a hole where you can pay back your debt to society.

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    This begs every relevant question. Who says “society” (an evasive and imprecise term) must provide these things, through violence?