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The Brilliance of Lysander Spooner

ShabShoral
Posts: 3,242
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5/3/2015 12:10:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters and which of them slaves: a contest, that " however bloody " can never, in the nature of things, be finally closed so long as man refuses to be a slave."

"That two men have no more natural right to exercise any kind of authority over one than one has to exercise the same authority over two. A man's natural rights are his own against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime whether committed by one man or by millions; whether committed by one man calling himself a robber (or by any other name indicating his true character) or by millions calling themselves a government."

"The question, then, returns: What is implied in a government's resting on consent?

Manifestly this one thing (to say nothing of others) is necessarily implied in the idea of a government's resting on consent, viz, the separate, individual consent of every man who is required to contribute, either by taxation or personal service, to the support of the government. All this, or nothing, is necessarily implied, because one man's consent is just as necessary as any other man's.

If, for example, A claims that his consent is necessary to the establishment or maintenance of government, he thereby necessarily admits that B's and every other man's are equally necessary, because B's and every other man's rights are just as good as his own. On the other hand, if he denies that B's or any other particular man's consent is necessary, he thereby necessarily admits that neither his own, nor any other man's, is necessary, and that government need not be founded on consent at all.

There is therefore no alternative but to say either that the separate, individual consent of every man who is required to aid, in any way, in supporting the government is necessary, or that the consent of no one is necessary.

Clearly this individual consent is indispensable to the idea of treason, for, if a man has never consented or agreed to support a government, he breaks no faith in refusing to support it. And if he makes war upon it, he does so as an open enemy, and not as a traitor " that is, as a betrayer, or treacherous friend.

All this, or nothing, was necessarily implied in the Declaration made in 1776. If the necessity for consent then announced was a sound principle in favor of three million men, it was an equally sound one in favor of three men, or of one man. If the principle was a sound one on behalf of men living on a separate continent, it was an equally sound one on behalf of a man living on a separate farm or in a separate house."

"This principle was a true one in 1776. It is a true one now. It is the only one on which any rightful government can rest. It is the one on which the Constitution itself professes to rest. If it does not really rest on that basis, it has no right to exist, and it is the duty of every man to raise his hand against it.

If the men of the Revolution designed to incorporate in the Constitution the absurd ideas of allegiance and treason, which they had once repudiated, against which they had fought, and by which the world had been enslaved, they thereby established for themselves an indisputable claim to the disgust and detestation of all mankind."

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Chang29
Posts: 732
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5/4/2015 12:23:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 12:10:58 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
"The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters and which of them slaves: a contest, that " however bloody " can never, in the nature of things, be finally closed so long as man refuses to be a slave."

"That two men have no more natural right to exercise any kind of authority over one than one has to exercise the same authority over two. A man's natural rights are his own against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime whether committed by one man or by millions; whether committed by one man calling himself a robber (or by any other name indicating his true character) or by millions calling themselves a government."

"The question, then, returns: What is implied in a government's resting on consent?

Manifestly this one thing (to say nothing of others) is necessarily implied in the idea of a government's resting on consent, viz, the separate, individual consent of every man who is required to contribute, either by taxation or personal service, to the support of the government. All this, or nothing, is necessarily implied, because one man's consent is just as necessary as any other man's.

If, for example, A claims that his consent is necessary to the establishment or maintenance of government, he thereby necessarily admits that B's and every other man's are equally necessary, because B's and every other man's rights are just as good as his own. On the other hand, if he denies that B's or any other particular man's consent is necessary, he thereby necessarily admits that neither his own, nor any other man's, is necessary, and that government need not be founded on consent at all.

There is therefore no alternative but to say either that the separate, individual consent of every man who is required to aid, in any way, in supporting the government is necessary, or that the consent of no one is necessary.

Clearly this individual consent is indispensable to the idea of treason, for, if a man has never consented or agreed to support a government, he breaks no faith in refusing to support it. And if he makes war upon it, he does so as an open enemy, and not as a traitor " that is, as a betrayer, or treacherous friend.

All this, or nothing, was necessarily implied in the Declaration made in 1776. If the necessity for consent then announced was a sound principle in favor of three million men, it was an equally sound one in favor of three men, or of one man. If the principle was a sound one on behalf of men living on a separate continent, it was an equally sound one on behalf of a man living on a separate farm or in a separate house."

"This principle was a true one in 1776. It is a true one now. It is the only one on which any rightful government can rest. It is the one on which the Constitution itself professes to rest. If it does not really rest on that basis, it has no right to exist, and it is the duty of every man to raise his hand against it.

If the men of the Revolution designed to incorporate in the Constitution the absurd ideas of allegiance and treason, which they had once repudiated, against which they had fought, and by which the world had been enslaved, they thereby established for themselves an indisputable claim to the disgust and detestation of all mankind."



https://mises.org...

Lysander Spooner does not fit either narrative of left/right American political debate, thus outside of acceptable political thought.

Great post.
A free market anti-capitalist

If it can be de-centralized, it will be de-centralized.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,325
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5/4/2015 4:42:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 12:23:08 AM, Chang29 wrote:

Lysander Spooner does not fit either narrative of left/right American political debate, thus outside of acceptable political thought.

Great post.

Perhaps laws should be passed with a 3/4 majority? How about 4/5 majority?
Chang29
Posts: 732
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5/4/2015 5:44:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/4/2015 4:42:40 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 5/4/2015 12:23:08 AM, Chang29 wrote:

Lysander Spooner does not fit either narrative of left/right American political debate, thus outside of acceptable political thought.

Great post.

Perhaps laws should be passed with a 3/4 majority? How about 4/5 majority?

It would be a start, but those that leach off of others would find a coalition to reach just about any level. It would make for some strange political sleeping arraignments, but it could be done.

Any law that takes from one to give to another is wrong regardless of the majority or reason. It is simple, don't take people's stuff.
A free market anti-capitalist

If it can be de-centralized, it will be de-centralized.