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The social contract.

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twistedbydsign99 Posted: Fri, May 23 2008 2:54 PM

So I'm wondering what the best argument you guys feel, against the social contract theory, is? I suppose its just that entering into a contract without having to sign anything sorta negates it. Or perhaps that the united states can never enforce a territorial contract on us because it slaughtered the original owners of this land and therefore are by default invalid. Anyone have some clever refutations?

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There are no good refutations of pure contractarianism.

Now, if you're referring to the Constitution and whatnot, that's an entirely different story. The Constitution isn't even a social contract. Who here agrees with it, yet we're forced to live under it?

 

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The authority of the state derives from the consent of the governed.  I whole heartedly believe in that.  The problem is, the state isn't holding up their end.  I don't consent, and yet they still act as if they have authority over me.

 


faber est suae quisque fortunae

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The real reason is because it's begging the question. It does not really justify the imposition of a group of individuals over a territory, and even less their imposition on non-consenting third parties. It tries to justify rule over an area by way of agreement, without generating a sufficient explanation for why this leads to rights over that territory. Moreover, it does not take the notion of reciprocity or contract seriously. Consider the situation where I mowed your lawn regardless of your own volition, then demanded you pay for it. Why should you? You never even requested it. So, if I provide a service without your wanting it in the expectation to force you to pay for it, it is unclear why this should be taken as just.

-Jon

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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I think that was a very good decomposition jon thanks. It probably also brings into question the legitimacy of control over a territory and natural land monopoly. How much land can the usa really claim to control. I really don't think drawing lines in the dirt makes you a controller/owner and certainly not legitimate.

 

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twistedbydsign99:

So I'm wondering what the best argument you guys feel, against the social contract theory, is? I suppose its just that entering into a contract without having to sign anything sorta negates it. Or perhaps that the united states can never enforce a territorial contract on us because it slaughtered the original owners of this land and therefore are by default invalid. Anyone have some clever refutations?

 

1. It basically is the idea of a perpetual contract, which leads to intergenerational slavery.

2. It puts forth the idea of an "implicit" contract that you didn't even sign being binding on you for merely being born.

3. It's the idea of a contract that you can enforce onto innocent bystanders or 3rd parties.

4. Empirically, they are crafted and only directly consented to by tiny aristocracies.

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Here is one of my videos argueing against the statist-social-contract notion from youtube:

Implicit Consent and Intergenerational Slavery

Here is another one that gets more into the practical and empirical argument that the government has reniged on its own alleged contractual obligations (hence, the contract is breached and invalid), that if the Lockean social contract theory is taken to its logical conclusion, no state in the history of mankind can be legitimate, and the general failure of the constitution according to its own terms and alleged purpose:

The Myth of the Social Contract

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BP, you are a very nice shade of blue.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Stranger replied on Mon, May 26 2008 12:40 PM

The social contract - how do I sign out?

 

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Thank you for the video replies BP. I hate arguing about this topic actually because they use the word "contact." That contradiction in terms kinda makes my brain turn to mush.

 

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Len Budney replied on Tue, May 27 2008 10:28 AM

Notice that "social," when prefixed to anything, causes it to mean its opposite. "Social justice" is unjust; "social security" is insecure; "social contracts" are the opposite of contracts--i.e., slavery.

--Len

 

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Torsten replied on Tue, May 27 2008 12:18 PM

Perhaps one should first make sure we have consensus on what is used by social contract theory.

twistedbydsign99:
So I'm wondering what the best argument you guys feel, against the social contract theory, is? I suppose its just that entering into a contract without having to sign anything sorta negates it.
You do not have to sign something to be in a contract. Even if many people think that one "signs a contract". One doesn't, one only affirms the existence of a contract via signature and the signed document is henceforth documentary proof of the existence of a contract as declared within the document.

A contract is an agreement between more then one parties. Such an agreement can come into existence if A states an intention to B. There maybe conditions that apply. With other words if you tell someone you sell item Y for X amount this already would be a contract, if it is accepted and the conditions are to be met. Then there are implicit contracts as well...

twistedbydsign99:
Or perhaps that the united states can never enforce a territorial contract on us because it slaughtered the original owners of this land and therefore are by default invalid. Anyone have some clever refutations?
 It slaughthered the original owners? Is that a true statement?

Anyway don't forget that warfare is one of the means to gain dominion over a territory just as homesteading, purchasing/exchanging, receiving are donation etc. are. Besides that, I think this would be making a category mistake. Because this only would render the claim invalid, but not the principle. The principle in question would be assuming a legitimate claim to territory and that this claim would result into a legitimate (social) contract over the inhabitants.

 

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Solredime replied on Tue, May 27 2008 12:41 PM

Len Budney:

Notice that "social," when prefixed to anything, causes it to mean its opposite. "Social justice" is unjust; "social security" is insecure; "social contracts" are the opposite of contracts--i.e., slavery.

--Len

Good point Len, more Newspeak!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNj0VhK19QU

This video shows how the social contract, as implemented by the government, is self -contradictory, and eventually shown to be a moral evil. I've used this a few times and its worked quite well ;)

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Len Budney replied on Tue, May 27 2008 12:52 PM

Torsten:
A contract is an agreement between more then one parties. Such an agreement can come into existence if A states an intention to B. There maybe conditions that apply. With other words if you tell someone you sell item Y for X amount this already would be a contract, if it is accepted and the conditions are to be met. Then there are implicit contracts as well...

All true. But there's no way that a third party can be sucked into a contract against his will. Even an implicit contract involves intentionality from both parties. For example, if I invite you into my home, I'm implicitly agreeing that I won't kill and eat you once you're inside. But this implicit contract was created when I invited and you accepted--it didn't fall on my head from the sky.

--Len

 

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I think you made good and true points torsten thanks for clarifying my attempts. I found it important to invalidate the actual claim because I think that if it can be said that you are the legitimate owner of a land, that you can decide who lives there. So basically I was trying to invalidate their property rights over my current residence. I don't want the argument turned around on me in the form of "well if you dont agree to the implicit contract then you can leave." Something a legitimate owner could say.

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Torsten replied on Wed, May 28 2008 10:14 AM

Len Budney:
All true. But there's no way that a third party can be sucked into a contract against his will. Even an implicit contract involves intentionality from both parties.
Personally I think "social contract" maybe a bit misleading wording.

To me the term contract means a conscious agreement between at least two parties. Social consensus may be a better term.

Len Budney:
 For example, if I invite you into my home, I'm implicitly agreeing that I won't kill and eat you once you're inside.
Unless you'd be a cannibalStick out tongue.

Len Budney:
But this implicit contract was created when I invited and you accepted--it didn't fall on my head from the sky.
 Besides that, even, if one didn't explicitly agree on it, their are customs that imply certain norms and behaviour.


Well, staying in a country - Being of some nation etc. may imply certain duties, rights and norms as well.

 

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Well, staying in a country - Being of some nation etc. may imply certain duties, rights and norms as well.

No it does not. It only does if we assume a false premise, I.E. legitimacy. But "the country" as a whole and in the abstract has no rightful owner. That's the problem with the whole "you implicitly consent to these laws, norms, privileges, etc., by living within the country" thing. It assumes what it's trying to prove.

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This thread reinforces how most of us have accepted Cart-Before-The-Horse type thinking? I agree with what Lysander Spooner pointed out in his No Treason paper. Social Contract?!? Sounds like an impossible thing in that society isn't an 'enitity' that CAN sign a contract. And its not even a decent corporation built up from voluntary participants. So how does something (society) that doesn't EXIST other than as a collective 'hunch' or assumption get credited with OWNING every thing in a stated area?!? Pretty neat trick when you think about it! Well at least neat for those that get into the 'driver's seats'.

And if you, I or anyone else chooses not to believe (aka sucked in) and be included in this mass self-deception, like WHY would one need to opt/sign 'out/off' on something you NEVER SIGNED up for in the first place?!? I can't help but feel like if I give this any credence, other than recognizing that others choose to do so, then I too am acknowledging that it exists and has validity? No thanks, I wish others well in their choices, but respectfully expect them to honor my decision to NOT be counted in their masses if I choose to do that.

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Well I was never under the assumption that the social contract would subjugate me to some airy concept like "society." I think it would subjugate me to individual politicians. I think my question was answered though in that the idea that I would be subjugated is reliant on politicians having a legitimate claim to the territory of the united states. I guess the key question is, does conquest lead to a legitimate owner? I don't think it does just based on my gut feeling I think it leads to an illegitimate owner that must only be obeyed when a gun is trained on you.

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krazy kaju:
There are no good refutations of pure contractarianism.

What is pure contractarianism? Does it necessarily entail the belief that there is no such thing as an objective ethics?

 

Yours in liberty,
Geoffrey Allan Plauché, Ph.D.
Adjunct Instructor, Buena Vista University
Webmaster, LibertarianStandard.com
Founder / Executive Editor, Prometheusreview.com

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twistedbydsign99:

So I'm wondering what the best argument you guys feel, against the social contract theory, is? I suppose its just that entering into a contract without having to sign anything sorta negates it. Or perhaps that the united states can never enforce a territorial contract on us because it slaughtered the original owners of this land and therefore are by default invalid. Anyone have some clever refutations?

I pose a number of arguments in my working paper "On the Social Contract and the Persistence of Anarchy."

 

Yours in liberty,
Geoffrey Allan Plauché, Ph.D.
Adjunct Instructor, Buena Vista University
Webmaster, LibertarianStandard.com
Founder / Executive Editor, Prometheusreview.com

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Torsten replied on Sat, May 31 2008 4:37 AM

Brainpolice:
No it does not.
 

No it does, or rather as I have written it  may: "...Being of some nation etc. may imply certain duties, rights and norms as well..."

Brainpolice:
It only does if we assume a false premise, I.E. legitimacy. But "the country" as a whole and in the abstract has no rightful owner. That's the problem with the whole "you implicitly consent to these laws, norms, privileges, etc., by living within the country" thing.
... You just dispute the something as a premise and try to disprove via this method. Becaus if the premise is true, the conclusion would stick also within your logic. Or did I understand you wrong?

I'd draw a difference between private ownership through individuals and the dominion that institutions of a nation or other corporate bodies would hold over a certain country.

Brainpolice:
It assumes what it's trying to prove.
Actually this would work both ways. Since you assume that the premises are false. But then I'm not just assuming, I draw conclusions from what is and has been. This is for example also the basis on which customary or common law courts would work.

Geoffrey Allan Plauche:
I pose a number of arguments in my working paper "On the Social Contract and the Persistence of Anarchy."
 

 Thanks for posting that, it seems to be very interesting.

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