Friday, June 5, 2009

Does Obedience Imply Consent?

US Loyalists will argue that I “consent” to governance by their state due to the fact I :

1) obey laws I disagree with (and therefore give consent by default) and

2) I remain living within the state’s claimed jurisdiction (instead of finding some other place to live).

“Consent” is surely a meaningless formality when a gun is put to your head with the instructions, “Obey” or be locked in a cage or be forced to surreptitiously make your way “across zee border.” When a robber sticks a firearm in your face and demands your wallet, does your obedience to this demand imply that you have agreed to be governed by him? If you don't agree, should you not resist but instead move yourself to a location where he can no longer find you and rob you again?

I always marvel at the “you have the freedom to leave” argument. Why should I leave just because some organization (whose creation precedes my birth) claims a monopoly of power over my life and property?

Why should I be forced to leave my place of birth just because some sef-appointed tyrant claims to rule within an arbitrary territorial boundary? Given this predicament, how can I possibly be described as “free?”

The same folks who use the “leave” argument would also claim to support the sentiments of the Declaration of Independence. How can I have the rights of “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” if, immediately upon exiting the womb, I am under the authority of an institution that I had no part in creating or choosing? These rights are endowed by my “Creator?” Just who is the Creator- God/Nature or the state?

The Declaration also mentions the right to abolish this government if it threatens these inalienable rights. How can I abolish this government if I agree and consent (by obeying) to it’s destructive edicts? “Leaving” is not a choice (in the context of making a choice equals freedom). “Leaving” is surrender.

The Declaration claims governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” I don’t recall consenting to any government. Does there exist any contractual agreement proving this consent? What if I choose to be governed by no one? Or have I consented by merely being born within the declared jurisdiction of the government in question? Since no one consents to being born (let alone where), I can come to no other conclusion but that the state considers me their property. A study of recent history will show the state certainly claimed to own my parents and therefore, apparently, lay claim to any of their offspring- the same way a farmer lays claim over the offspring of any of his livestock.

Since its been proven I’ve given no consent, where does the state get the authority to rule my life in this fashion? Because some people had a meeting a couple hundred years ago and declared, “all those who now live or will live within the confines of these territorial boundaries will forever more be under the authority and governance of this state?” Can any declaration made by man be any more arrogant, more audacious, more despicable than deciding the governance of individuals yet to be born?

You say I have the “freedom to change” this form of governance? Why should I be forced to change something that I never created in the first place? [I won’t even go into the argument of whether I even have the power to make such a change.]

No other institution created by man (even the church) has made such a claim over the lives of individuals. No corporation, no business, no civic institution could ever get away with making such a claim. Why do we tolerate it from any state?

1 comment:

Noah said...

I believe it would be helpful for readers of your post to see the context of this blog at

I will attempt to respond to both Dan and Roger there.