Comment: There's a lot to say

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There's a lot to say

The government in the scenario indeed does force people to sign on reaching majority or leave.

To force someone to do something means to get them to do it by threatening to violate their rights if they don't do it. If I hold a gun to your head and say "Gimme your money or I'll shoot," I am forcing you to give me your money: because I threatening to violate your rights if you don't give me your money.

This is not what's happening in the scenario. The landowners are telling the non-signer to either sign or get off their property. In other words, they are threatening to remove him from their property if he doesn't leave. But he has no right to be on their property (it's their property). It would not be a violation of his rights for them to remove him from their property. So, in saying "sign or leave" they are not threatening to violate his rights, and therefore they are not forcing him to sign. If he signs, he does so freely, and that is a legitimate agreement.

Think of it this way. Imagine I'm a customer in your restaurant. You come and say "Hey buddy, buy another bottle of expensive champagne or I'm kicking you out." Are you forcing me to buy the champagne? No. You own the restaurant, you have every right to kick me out, I have no right to be there without your permission. Hence, you're not threatening to violate my rights; you're not forcing me to buy the champagne. If I choose to buy it, I do so freely, and that's a legitimate sale, not extortion.

The kid refuses to sign, the government tells him to leave, he says no, government forces him to leave. He's gone! Unjust, yes, but all the remaining people chose to sign. You can't object "under duress," because that's the same as in the scenario. The only duress was that they would have to leave.

If the US government deports you, it's violating your rights. Therefore, if the US government tells you "sign this or we're deporting you," they are threatening to violate your rights; i.e. they are forcing you to sign. This is like a mugger with a gun. Hence, if you sign, you're doing so under duress, and that agreement is void.

But after a generation, it could have achieved the state of affairs in which everyone voluntarily signed rather than being removed.

If everyone agreed under threat of deportation, no one agreed voluntarily, and all those alleged agreements are void.

It's a vicious circle. As it stands right now, the US government neither (a) owns all the land in the country, nor (b) has an agreement with the people who do own the land, to remove non-signers. Therefore, it has no right to deport people. Therefore, it can't use the threat of deportation to get people to sign, because the agreement would be void. Okay, so how does it get the right to deport people? Well, it has to get the property owners to sign an agreement re removal of non-signers! other words, in order to get the leverage to make them sign, it has to first get them to sign off on giving it that leverage!

This is not some kind of crazy logical puzzle, it's simply a result of the fundamental difference between a nation-state and a voluntary association of landowners. In the latter, you start off with everyone agreeing to the rules needed to empower the town government to do what it needs to do. In the former, there's no such agreement, and it's very hard to ever get it. Think of it this way: the reason why this won't work for the US government is the same reason that the voluntary town you describe could never get off the ground if it tried to start with 300 million members! You'll never get that many people to agree to anything.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."