36 votes

I never signed up for the KKK

Imagine that your grandparents signed a membership contract to be members of the Ku Klux Klan. According to the contract, they were under the obligation to pay monthly membership fees, and if they did not pay, the contract provided penalties that would be incurred. Now suppose, this contract had the audacity to attempt to obligate your grandparents' descendents - you and everyone in your family. How would you react if the KKK started levying penalties against YOU because you hadn't paid the required dues that your grandparents said you would? Under contract law, would that contract bind you?

The fact of the matter is that contracts can only serve to bind the people that sign them. Descendents cannot be obligated to fulfill the contracts of their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on.

Did you ever sign a contact to be part of the club "We the People of the united States of America"? Then under law, why are you obligated to pay membership fees? Does being born in a certain location negate the need for your signature to be contractually obligated to some entity calling itself the "government of the united States"?

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You describe natural law...

In my mind, natural law should be the only law that binds people, and that law requires no organized band of thugs to enforce it. People will naturally defend themselves and their property - as you suggest. This requires no contract and is imbedded in nature.

Well, sure, no one will

Well, sure, no one will arrest you for not speaking English, but you will be living in a very burdensome situation if you don't communicate in the customary language of the land. The point being, of course, is that certain conventions evolve within societies, conventions that don't necessarily involve explicit acceptance of them, but yet would bear upon those who don't.

But it is certain that given the nature of certain arrangements, like, say, private property, someone would be arrested if they broke into someone's home, despite that person's never agreeing to said owner's owning such property.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke

Property rights preceded government

That was the founders' basis for arguing the case of unalienable rights. Governments were instituted to protect those rights, and when those boundaries are overstepped, the people are within their rights to overthrow such a government.

See the Declaration of Independence.

I don't want to verge off subject...

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. But this says nothing about your original argument. You are trying to say since one didn't agree to such and such it is not binding. I'm saying this does nothing. Someone, say a Marxist, could say he never signed up for the capitalistic system; that he never agreed with the fact that you own your property; that he was born in a system he finds repugnant. He is essentially using your argument against you.

Coming back with your reply above presupposes what in fact needs to be argued for. Saying one didn't sign up won't matter.

Let me break this down.

1. I never agreed to the capitalist rules governing this area. I find them offensive and repugnant. My theories run straight up against these notions. Sure my ancestors may have signed something, but I never did.

2. I never agreed to the communist rules governing this area. I find them offensive and repugnant. My theories run straight up against these notions. Sure my ancestors may have signed something, but I never did.

How are these two any different?

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke

Both of the arguments are correct

And, by making those arguments, the person must conclude that they have no right to enforce their ideologies upon the following generations.

As Spooner may have said in such a case, "I planted the tree, but that doesn't obligate my descendents to eat its fruit."

dwalters

I was looking for a perfect 1 or 2 sentence that spelled it out simply and nicely. With your permission I will use your verbiage for our community event next week.

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

Happily

Use whatever you wish.

i wonder how narrow we can

i wonder how narrow we can make this subthread telescope if we all keep replying. go!

We hold these truths to be self evident ...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..."

Deriving their "just powers" from the "consent of the governed."

"... nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." --5th Amendment

"The point is that using this line of argument gets you nowhere because it is based on faulty history and anthropology."

I agree with you, but not for the reasons you state

The Constitution is not a valid contract. Not because you and I didn't sign it, however. It's not a contract because there is no transfer of property. A contract is a conditional transfer of property title, and the Constitution does no such thing.

There is another technicality in your argument. You state that only signatories to a contract are bound by the contract. This is incorrect. A contract is a transfer of property title, and that transfer binds everyone. If I allow you to use my car and I sell the car to a new owner that does not allow you to use the car, you are bound by the sale contract, even though you did not sign it. You can no longer use the car. Only the signatories are bound to the conditions of the contract, but everyone is bound to respect the transfer of property that results from the contract.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Reminds me of Lysander

Reminds me of Lysander Spooner's No Treason Constitution of No Authority. And I agree.

Well, I guess you could sue

Well, I guess you could sue your parents.

Ultimately, in the case of being a US citizen, you are freely able to renounce your citizenship and leave the country.

Now of course, you can argue that you cannot do so until you are 18, but what are the alternatives?

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

$450 filing fee to renounce citizenship

Under new consular fees published Thursday in the Federal Register, the cost of processing a formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship skyrocketed from $0 to $450.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/state-department-bo...

Not only that, but there is

Not only that, but there is the matter of an exit tax before you are allowed to leave:

"In 2008, Congress enacted the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act that imposes a penalty—an "exit tax" or expatriation tax—on certain people who give up their U.S. citizenship or long-term permanent residence.[28] Effective June 2008, U.S. citizens who renounce their citizenship are subject under certain circumstances to an expatriation tax, which is meant to extract from the expatriate taxes that would have been paid had he remained a citizen: all property of a covered expatriate is deemed sold for its fair market value on the day before the expatriation date, which usually results in a capital gain, which is taxable income.[29]Eduardo Saverin, a Brazilian-born co-founder of Facebook, renounced his U.S. citizenship just before the company's expected initial public offering; the timing prompted media speculation that the act was motivated by potential U.S. tax obligations.[23]"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renunciation_of_citizenship

another problem with this

another problem with this line of argument...

contracts are a creature of the law, they depend on a coercive body to be enforced.

absent a coercive authority, a contract would have to be enforced and collected by either party, or rejected by either, with their own or hired guns.

a contract between private parties submitted to the enforcement of courts is not analogous to government or taxes that are collected by force.

the government collects taxes by force, not by appealing to law or courts.

absent the government, some other coercive body could extract taxes. the suppression of this kind of robbery is the basis of the government monopoly on force. whether formed by one group getting rid of all the others, or some coalition of groups agreeing to certain guidelines, the only way to suppress disorganized, random force is with organized, formalized force.

the people settle for and consent to taxes by abstaining from violent revolution. they make the economic and political decision that this government is a better alternative to its absence or to the chaos and violence of a revolution.

likewise, they generally and probably correctly conclude from history and basic experience that a coercive body is necessary for the maintenance of the order and security that allows them to achieve their livelihood and private ends, the security of their families, etc.

lots of factors are involved in what level of authority this government has. how tyrannical the government is, how lax it is, how cowardly and servile the people are, etc.

but even the most libertarian society would have rules enforced by violence. if it had no rules, it would just have feudal sovereigns making their own laws on their own land, and violence would be random and not proscribed by rules. but neither case would there be an absence of violence, which is the objective of certain utopian ideologies.

yeah but

if only everyone agreed to we could build a giant pyramid in wisconsin out of orange soda cans

that would anger the Grape

that would anger the Grape god. sup!

They are analogous ...

"a contract between private parties submitted to the enforcement of courts is not analogous to government or taxes that are collected by force.

the government collects taxes by force, not by appealing to law or courts."

Personal jurisdiction involves individual consent. One appears in court and it is presumed they consent to the jurisdiction of the court.

Taxation is collected on taxable activities. One engages in a taxable activity and it is presumed they consent to being taxed.

In any event the common ground is consent.

My objection is this:

If appearance is presumed to be consent then non-appearance is presumed to be silence and silence is acquiescence. In either case consent is presumed. It is analogous to a coin with two identical sides.

In a libertarian society rules would not be enforced by violence for sake of some rule. The just use of violence in accordance with libertarian non-aggression theory derives from self defense not some arbitrary rule.

I would also speculate there would be high risk premiums for the use of force in any libertarian society which valued the non-aggression principle. I would further speculate the market phenomenon of expensive liability insurances would provide a necessary incentive to utilize minimal amounts of force so as to not place profits at risk.

In nature the majority of force exceeds resistance. As human beings we appear reside within the framework of nature and are subject to its rules. The only thing that really matters is what a critical mass of people representing a majority of force believe. If people believe socialism is the best guard for their security and happiness then socialism will work so long as people believe in it. If they believe in minimal government then minimal government will work so long as people believe in it. If they believe in no government then the free market will work as long as people believe in it.

The only thing preventing the notion of states and war being relegated to some museum where parents can explain to kids how barbaric the human race was at one point in time where members of different tribes who never met used to kill each other over bullshit is ... people. Some may characterize that as utopian but it is also true.

people believed Christianity

people believed Christianity for the better part of 2000 years. it didn't make make them behave christian. human nature is real and not endlessly malleable. not for preists, not for socialists, not for utopian anarchists.

If one professes

a belief theft is wrong and they steal ...

If one professes a belief in the prince of peace and they do not forgive trespasses ...

An often quoted passage of scripture to the effect by their fruits ye shall know them means deeds not words, actions not lips. Many people probably recognize the truth of that simple common sense point without quoting scripture.

When you say people believed Christianity for the better part of 2000 years implying large political majorities ... I don't believe it. I don't see societies or civilizations in the past 2000 years founded or structured on the precepts of love, grace, mercy, or forgiveness. They are structured on redress, retribution, or revenge via law.

exactly. despite the power

exactly. despite the power and majesty of the christian doctrine, and genuine herculean attempts to make it live in the souls of its adherents, it couldn't erase human nature in those areas where it conflicted. neither will any other doctrine... that's why people settle for some use of force to maintain law.

Just because

men are not perfect is no reason to abandon that which is deemed good.

For instance, when was the last time you were in a tribunal where sentencing proceedings commenced with posing a simple question to the victim:

Do you wish to forgive this man of any trespasses that have been proven before this tribunal?

If grace, mercy, love, or forgiveness are in fact good yet those precepts will not live in men's souls despite their power, majesty, or any herculean attempts they ought not be abandoned. The choice to pursue good ought to be preserved in any system man devises so that those who are willing to extend grace, mercy, love, or forgiveness have opportunities by their own actions to inspire others to pursue good.

so lets follow this logic and

so lets follow this logic and apply it to a voluntary community living in a contractual cooperative.

everyone has agreed to the dues and the rules. being humans, they have children. the children live in the cooperative, and as they attain majority, they are expected to abide by the rules and also pay the dues if they want to remain in the cooperative. if they don't want to live by the rules, the other members of the cooperative have a right to expel them.

if the members can't regulate the behavior of other members, they cannot have a society. if every member has to sign up, that means children can't be obligated to the rules. this would lead to chaos in short order.

if the group can expel members, it can exercise coercian.

this is law, society and taxes writ small.

see, introducing just a speck of reality (children, reproduction, family), the overstretched contract theory of law and taxes gets toppled off its wobbly feet.

error

"if the members can't regulate the behavior of other members, they cannot have a society."

There---found it for you.

u didnt find an error. in my

u didnt find an error. in my example of the voluntary cooperative, the children born into it would outnumber the signing members within a certain number of years. if they didn't agree to the rules and couldn't be expelled, the society would break down. it would still be voluntary, but the rules and dues that gave it a governing structure would be absent.

where's the error?

yes, I like following things to their logical conclusion

and I was wondering how Amish have managed to do it for centuries while preserving a voluntary structure?

i didn't realize that the

i didn't realize that the amish welcomed everyone to join their community lol. can i go live in amish country? no... if a bunch of people tried to take the amish property, invade the amish land, they'd either have to reisist or the outside govt would protect them.

if someone in their community, whos life of indoctrination into the creed fails and they rebel, the community will shun them and cease all activity with them, essentially forcing them to leave.

the amish are perhaps the best example of a society existing without the use of internal physical force, but the stability is predicated on a totally different social structure of religious indoctrination, and not necessarily even possible for the typical human community. the amish descend from a self selected community and their rights are protected from the outside. but it is definitely the best example going.

if anarchists could go against all their own principles of individualism, and replicate the social structure of the amish, they might have a shot at a forceless society. that would require a tremendous level of social and religious or moral indoctrination and sheltering of youth, stern discipline, the herd like mentality that allows shunning to have the power it does. shunning requires anyone who refuses to shun to be shunned themselves, engendering an economic boycott of all against the shunned individual. as long as an anarcho-amish model could find a patron government to protect it from outsiders, invaders, etc., that cold work. i concede.

for the rest of the world, laws will prob continue to be required.

RE: Amish

"i didn't realize that the amish welcomed everyone to join their community ... "

I am of the opinion they don't but I am also of the opinion if one wants to join an Amish community and puts forth the effort it can and has been done.

"if a bunch of people tried to take the amish property, invade the amish land, they'd either have to reisist or the outside govt would protect them ... "

I believe that has happened in history and I'm thinking the notion of government protection is bunk. Even in modern Amerika it is Amish farmers who are often the targets of raw milk raids or legal persecution.

"the amish are perhaps the best example of a society existing without the use of internal physical force"

At least we agree on something. :)

"herd like mentality that allows shunning to have the power it does"

When I read that sentence I was thinking:

[United States citizen sheeple have a] herd like mentality [baaahhh] that allows [the legal system] to have the power it does

they do, but its a weaker

they do, but its a weaker herd mentality, since it often requires force to be upheld. the power of the herd mentality in the amish community is so great that without any law, almost everyone will participate in the total social exclusion of a condemned member, simply following cues built into the social structure and inculcated into the children.

now, if you think individualistic, often irreligious and unsocial "libertarians" are going to behave this way on a nationwide scale to enforce their non aggression principle, that is your right to believe that. but everyone else has the right to laugh at you. : D

Can you say credit rating or criminal background check?

"now, if you think individualistic, often irreligious and unsocial "libertarians" are going to behave this way on a nationwide scale to enforce their non aggression principle"

Actually, I do because it has been going on with the credit system and background criminal checks for some time. Technology has enabled more reputation tools of social exclusion but they are presently used to discriminate against non-aggressive people such as persons accused of victimless crime which libertarians seek to change.