"A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands -- even for beneficial purposes -- will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished." ~ John Stuart Mill
Where's My Contract?
Column by Paul Bonneau.
Exclusive to STR
Dear Senator Enzi,
I was reading Robert Higgs' article Consent of the Governed? when I suddenly realized that I have misplaced my copy of my Social Contract. You know, the signed agreement between myself and the federal government, allowing the latter to rule me? I have looked everywhere and cannot find it.
Would you please make a copy of this agreement we made, and send it to me? I'd appreciate it, and apologize for any effort you have to expend in compensating for my absent-mindedness.
Of course, it must bear my signature. There is no such thing as a contract that was not voluntarily entered into, and the signature is the proof of that. Non-existence of a signed contract constitutes proof that the entire US Code, and all actions of Congress, are null and void.
In case you are thinking my ancestors somehow bound me to a Social Contract, I have seen no evidence of that; but if you can find it, including their signature, I would appreciate seeing it. There would still of course remain the little issue of whether people can forever bind their unborn descendants, but we can address that later.
If there is no such signed Social Contract, I would certainly consider signing one. Please send your proposed contract to me, and I will forward it on to my lawyer for consideration. If by any chance such proposal would include the US Constitution, I have to warn you that my lawyer and I will be considering its terms in the manner of current court interpretation (and not as the plain meaning of the words), since that is the way you interpret it. This interpretation will of course play into whether I decide to sign it. Also, we will have to negotiate on some points I find unacceptable, such as the existence of a Federal Reserve Bank, or the ability to war on and kill innocent men, women and children in foreign countries in my name and for my supposed benefit. And there are some other points of contention that must be addressed.
I have heard a few people claim that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution is itself the Social Contract. Since it was not properly ratified, this cannot be so, and I consider it null and void; nor will I sign a Social Contract that consists of the 14th Amendment.
Senator, if there is any other basis than a voluntary agreement, for your ability to rule over me--for example, the exercise of brute force and violent coercion--please let me know.
The above is an example of a letter I have sent to my Congresscritters. I am curious what form letter will be chosen to respond to it. But, it brings up a point. Any time the legitimacy of the federal government is brought up, we should respond by asking for a contract. Just say, “I want to see the Social Contract, and if there is none, I wish to negotiate one.” “Show me the Contract.”
I think this is a reasonable request, don’t you? I’d like to see them attempt to maintain their alleged legitimacy without it.