Tag: laws are coercion

Who Would Sign the Social Contract?

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The libertarian argues that the state is based completely on violence. From its starting point, it is a violent institution and has violated the rights of individuals in a coercive manner. When the state taxes, it is stealing, and there are no exceptions to this.

One must merely think about what taxes are and the consequences of not paying them to reach this simple conclusion. Regardless of the type of tax, when one does not pay, they face consequences. These penalties ultimately involve the threat and initiation of force. If one does not pay the tax, regardless of if it is property, income, or any other, the state will forcibly place the individual in a government prison.

If you have any doubts as to if this is actually the case, I urge you to not pay taxes. You are welcome to conduct the experiment on your own, but you will not win in the end.

Most do not contest the logic up until this point. They recognize that the state takes taxes coercively (by the threat of force). They also acknowledge that if any non-governmental individual were to do this, they would be a thief and should face punishment accordingly. If I were to steal money from another individual, I should have to give it back. It does not matter if I stole the money and then decided to fix their driveway or buy their healthcare. I took the money by the threat of force in the first place, and thus, it is unjust.

When the state decides to engage in the plunder of the masses, though, there is a societal acceptance. People give it all kinds of justifications. They dress it up religiously, saying that priests or God ordain the throne. Or, the court intellectuals disseminate information that indicates we are better off when the state steals from us. It is quite a clever ploy from their perspective. They give special privileges to the churches, which then say that the state has “God’s blessing.” For essentially this reason, we have the First Amendment separating the church and state.

Many believe that Jesus’s statement that we must “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” as a Christian endorsement of taxation (Matthew 22:21). But when one reads the Bible, they must read it in the context of the other Biblical commandments. One must realize that the Bible says “thou shalt not steal.” Jesus did not respond “yes” to the question “should we pay taxes.” Seeing as that all that belongs to Caesar (the state) has at once been stolen, it can clearly be understood that nothing is justly Caesar’s (the state’s).

However, the government does not stop at religion when seeking further ways to attempt to justify its own plunder. The state has insulated itself with court intellectuals. The government has gotten in bed with academia. Numerous subsidies and a system of tenure have allowed academia to have free range. In return, the intellectuals repeatedly endorse the state and its actions. With them, it is never a matter of whether or not we should have a specific state program, but rather, it is a matter of which version of a state program should we have.

The favorite intellectual pet of advocates of the state is the idea of the “social contract.” This idea that we have implicitly agreed to be governed falsely exists throughout our governmental system and goes back to Plato’s Crito. The U.S. Constitution even discusses the “consent of the governed.” Many political philosophers (notoriously Rousseau) have advocated such an idea. Ultimately, though, it is a bankrupt concept.

Engage in a brief intellectual exercise for a moment and entertain the idea of what such a contract would actually look like. If the social contract were a legitimate “sign here” contract, it would be laughable. No individual would sign such a contract, because what it would entail would be absurd. It would say that the institution providing services (the state) could change the price of its services at any time. The costs of the signing consumer would fluctuate and they would have no say in the matter.  As Hans Hermann Hoppe said,

Yet, who in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s protector to determine unilaterally—and irrevocably—the sum that the protected must pay for his protection; and the fact is, no one ever has!

People who signed such a contract would be ultimately subject to the grim reaper of social Darwinism. It would be a fool’s contract.

It is such a terrible contract that nobody would ever sign it if someone was not forcing them to. There is no consent from anyone for such a terrible agreement, but yet, we are all subject to it.

I never consented to such a deal, and I still refuse. Yet they take my earnings by the threat of violence and waste it on things that have nothing to do with me. The theory of the social contract is foolish, and the masses should not hold it as a legitimately binding agreement.

Get awesome merchandise and help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy by donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source


Advocacy For Any Law is Advocacy For Violence

By Andrew Lepore | United States

You may have heard the term you don’t talk about politics at dinner. But why has political discourse become so hateful and volatile? Well, the answer lies in the system we have inherited.

Our system of constitutional republicanism is one of involuntary participation and involuntary funding. The debate will always consist of who is being coerced, who is in power, and who is required to fund it all.

Participation in our system is not like a voluntary organization or corporation, which has to convince you to voluntarily give up your money in exchange for a good or service that is provided by the corporation. If you don’t value the benefits as much as the cost, you aren’t required to give them your money or use their services. If they began providing shitty services at higher costs, you can no longer give them your business if you so choose.

Under our system, Politicians do not have to convince the populace that their programs are worthwhile; if you don’t like it well too bad. You don’t choose how much money you give, you don’t choose where your money goes, and you definitely don’t have the option to opt out.

People will say, “but wait, you have the right to vote and you have the right to have your voice heard!” People are so conditioned that they believe that is sufficient to expropriate you and your property. Using that as justification for the state taking your money is comparable to somebody saying “oh well it’s not theft if the burglar allowed you to argue your case why it is immoral for him to be taking your money.”

This idea of coercion and involuntarism applies to every person, every law, and every tax. When somebody is calling for the rich to be taxed, they are calling for the state involuntarily rob those who are more successful of the fruits of their labor because that’s what they want. If the “rich” refuse men with guns will come to punish them.

When somebody is calling for drugs to be banned, they are not only calling for sovereign individuals to be locked in a cage for consuming a substance which the state does not approve of, but they are calling for everyone else to be required to fund this prohibition.

When somebody is calling for assault weapons to be banned, they are calling for the state to forcefully prevent sovereign individuals from acquiring whatever means they wish to achieve the end goal of self-preservation. If they refuse to cooperate and are found to be in possession of an inanimate object which the state disapproves of, they will be punished by men with guns.

Now you can probably see why the talk of politics at dinner can get someone’s blood boiling. When you talk about politics, unless you are a libertarian, you are arguing who should be coerced, who should be robbed, and who should be thrown in jail. If this was debated in any other scope besides through the force of politics and government, it would be conspiracy to commit a crime. In what other sectors of our lives are we allowed to Decide who gets robbed and who gets coerced without it being seen as an egregious moral enormity?

As long as the mechanism of politics is thinking you know what’s best for the lives of others, and seeking to enforce your ideal with violence, the discussion will be rife with hatred and partisanship. The argument is who will be coerced and who will receive the benefits. It is who will be controlled and who will have the power.

In conclusion, this moral dilemma and injustice can only be resolved with a libertarian ideal of free, voluntary, and noncoercive society. When we talk about the betterment of society, it does not have to be through the immoral paradigm of force through government. When we talk about the betterment of society, it should be through the paradigm of peace, cooperation, and voluntarism.

Featured image source.