Comment: Irreconcilable differences: "governing" and "consent"

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Irreconcilable differences: "governing" and "consent"

"There are two basic ways in which people can interact: by mutual agreement, or by one person using threats or violence to force his will upon another. The first can be labeled "consent" -- both sides willingly and voluntarily agreeing to what is to be done. The second can be labeled "governing" -- one person controlling another. Since these two -- consent and governing -- are opposites, the concept of "consent of the governed" is a contradiction. If there is mutual consent, it is not "government"; if there is governing, there is no consent. Some will claim that a majority, or the people as a whole, have given their consent to be ruled, even if many individuals have not. But such an argument turns the concept of consent on its head. No one, individually or as a group, can give consent for something to be done to someone else. That is simply not what "consent" means. It defies logic to say, "I give my consent for you to be robbed." Yet that is the basis of the cult of "democracy": the notion that a majority can give consent on behalf of a minority. That is not "consent of the governed"; it is forcible control of the governed, with the "consent" of a third party.

Even if someone were silly enough to actually tell someone else, "I agree to let you forcibly control me," the moment the controller must force the "controllee" to do something, there is obviously no longer "consent." Prior to that moment, there is no "governing" -- only voluntary cooperation. Expressing the concept more precisely exposes its inherent schizophrenia: "I agree to let you force things upon me, whether I agree to them or not."
- Larken Rose, in TMDS pp. 15-16 (Note, you can read more of that chapter, "The Myth of Consent," here.

The bottom line: No, there can be no moral right to govern, in a moral code which values individual freedom.

Yes, a property owner can decide what use others may make of his property and how they must conduct themselves while on his property. Those others may consent to his rules, or avoid his property. That is not governing; that's voluntary association.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition,