"If the right to vote were expanded to seven year olds ... its policies would most definitely reflect the ‘legitimate concerns’ of children to have ‘adequate’ and ‘equal’ access to ‘free’ french fries, lemonade and videos." ~ Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Column by Paul Hein.
Exclusive to STR
Our trash is picked up on Tuesdays. Well, I should not simply say “trash,” because only one of the containers holds officially defined trash. The others are for recyclables and yard waste. (Ah, the carefree days of my youth, when trash was trash, and not analyzed and segregated.)
Recently, while writing out the check for these services, which are provided by an out-of-state firm, I found myself questioning how I came to hire these people. I have no complaints, mind you. They do a good job of picking up our trash/recyclables/yard waste. But did I pick them for the job? Did my neighbors choose them, since everyone in the neighborhood uses the same service?
The answer, of course, is that the choice was made for us by our local Rulers, who felt no need to consult us about the matter. Did they get competing bids, and haggle for the best price? Who knows?
The arrangement made for the collection of our trash is not important enough to fret about--except that it shows a relationship with government which is typical: Our Rulers ASSUME. In the minor matter of trash, they assume that they can negotiate a deal on our behalf, and that we will accept their decision. And, needless to say, they further assume the right to punish us should we be so foolish as to disobey.
Thomas Jefferson, in his Declaration of Independence, declared that governments, which are man-made, not natural or inevitable developments, derive their “just powers” from the consent of the governed. He might have been the first to use that phrase, but the concept surely is an ancient one. To be governed is to be limited, controlled, regulated. If those subject to that limitation, control, and regulation did not give their consent, then surely they are slaves, even if their slavery is relatively comfortable and unrecognized. If slavery is the domination of some by others, then surely government regulation is slavery if not consented to by the subjects. Your consent is ASSUMED.
Did you consent? Advocates of government will claim that your consent was given when you voted. But what if you did not vote? Does that exempt you from government control? A rhetorical question!
But what if you did vote? If the candidate of your choice was elected, does that mean you have given your consent to every program he proposes or endorses? If you are opposed to U.S. invasions of Middle Eastern countries, have you consented to his vote to do otherwise? It must be ASSUMED that you have indeed consented, for the alternative is a form of relatively benign slavery (you’ll be financing the invasions, like it or not!) and it’s not likely that you, or your “representative” in government, would agree to, or admit that.
Has your “representative,” whether a local alderman, or U.S. Congressman, asked for your opinion about matters upon which he is to vote? Has the U.S. ever sought your opinion about their ASSUMPTION that their claim to your income is greater than your own? (Was I consented about who picks up my trash?)
What about “representatives” other than your own? If your own Congressman always votes in the way you’ve approved, and his vote is always in the minority, can it be ASSUMED that you’ve given your consent to the votes of other Congressmen, those not “representing” you in any way whatsoever? Their votes affect you as much as those of your own Congressmen.
If you continue to live in your town, your state, or your country, and obey its laws, does that constitute your consent? The slaves on the plantation continued to live in that place, and obeyed the laws of the master, but to say that they thereby gave their consent to the condition is absurd. Besides, if you were to move to another location, would it not be ASSUMED that you were subject to the laws of your new location?
It is ASSUMED that I am subject to the ordinances of my town, the laws of my state, and the statutes of the federal government, and that I can quite properly be punished for disobedience. I can find no logical basis for that assumption, but I fully understand its existence. People have been living in subjugation to Rulers for countless centuries--even millennia. It is the status quo, and accepted by the Rulers and the ruled. But it is based upon nothing more than an ASSUMPTION. It may be--indeed, I think it is--impossible to ever eradicate government, but if its power is to be curbed, it might be prudent to question the assumptions upon which it is based.