[p2p-research] Building Alliances

Kevin Carson free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 23:08:41 CET 2009

On 11/6/09, Paul D. Fernhout <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

>  On taxes, consider:
>   "A Non-Libertarian FAQ."
>   http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html
>  """
>  #  If you don't pay your taxes, men with guns will show up at your house,
> initiate force and put you in jail.
>   This is not initiation of force. It is enforcement of contract, in this
> case an explicit social contract.

>  # Social Contract? I never signed no steenking social contract.
>   That argument and some of the following libertarian arguments are commonly
> quoted from Lysander Spooner.
>   The constitution and the laws are our written contracts with the
> government.
>   There are several explicit means by which people make the social contract
> with government. The commonest is when your parents choose your residency
> and/or citizenship after your birth. In that case, your parents or guardians
> are contracting for you, exercising their power of custody. No further
> explicit action is required on your part to continue the agreement, and you
> may end it at any time by departing and renouncing your citizenship.

I've seen a good many libertarians demolish this social contract
explanation for the authority of the state.  The argument is based on
an analogy:  when you continue to sit in my living room after I tell
you the rules of my house, you're implicitly consenting to obey those
rules.  But the argument implicitly assumes that the state is, in
fact, the moral equivalent of the owner of the house, and that it has
some moral authority to set conditions for remaining in its territory;
 i.e., it assumes that a given territory IS indeed "its" territory.
This is what market anarchists dispute.   It's quite possible for
common property to exist, as in the Russian mir, the medieval
open-field system, etc.  But there must be some material basis for the
right of a real, concrete group of people to claim ownership of such
commons--not just the claim of some entity to "represent" all the
people within some geographical area, and thereby to have some sort of
legislative police power over the entire population within that area.

Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
Studies in Mutualist Political Economy
Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective

More information about the p2presearch mailing list