I created quite the discussion thread on Facebook, by asserting that there is no social contract, not even metaphorically. This upsets some people and they responded, in essence, that I am wrong. For example, it was asserted that we “consent” to our government by living under its protections. I responded:
Consent is an affirmative act. The concept of “implied consent” by silence is untenable. If a person comes to you and says “I’ll give you $500 for your car” and you ignore him, he cannot take your car regardless of whether or not he gives you the $500.
Words have meanings. Consent means consent.The social contract loyalists are applying the notion of consent when it does not exist. They are unilaterally applying it to me as an individual against my will. They are telling me I have consented when I have not. Black is white. War is peace. Welcome to Newspeak, the official language of statists of all stripes.
My overall point is not that government is always illegitimate. It was asked “what justifies the government if not a social contract?” It is not about “justification.” I summed up:
I am simply agreeing with George Washington: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.” The only thing keeping any government in place is force or the threat of force. That is an undeniable fact. Let’s not gloss over it. Statists come up with all kinds of nonsense to justify that use of force, but even if it is justified, it is still force.
Whenever forms of government are discussed, the discussion is actually “when is the use of state sanctioned force justified?” Right now, today, how many U.S. citizens would pay taxes in support of the federal government but for the threat of jail? Some. I submit a small percentage of those currently paying income taxes would still do so without the threat of a federal agent eventually coming to your house with a gun. Most would not. That is force.
Is it justified? That is a different conversation. I say it is not.
When is government force justified? Definitely to stop criminals, to try those of accused of crimes and to punish those convicted of crimes; definitely to enforce contract and property rights; definitely to defend the state’s sovereignty from outside attack; definitely…. well, after that, it starts to become a bit dicey.
Is government force justified to feed the poor? Absolutely not. I may have a moral obligation to feed the poor, but that is a personal obligation. I submit mankind is generous and charitable. The statist, like Thomas Hobbes, believes us mere common men are beasts that need to be controlled by our betters in government. They, of course, believe they are our betters. If the statist is right, and it the forcible taking of money from one to give to another is justified, lets be honest about it: The government act is neither generous nor charitable – it is theft. The statist then justifies the act of theft by calling it “compassion.” I’m just calling “bullcrap” on the Newspeak. Let’s call it by its proper name.