1 For what Rousseau wrote about explicit social contracts, see The Social Contract pp. 9-11.
2 The most enjoyable, thorough, and devastating analysis of the explicit social-contract theory as it applies to the "Constitution of the United States" is No Treason No. VI: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner.
3 Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysical Elements of Justice p. 84.
4 Ibid. p. 88.
5 John Locke, Two Treatises on Government p. 392.
6 "The sovereign is purely and simply a collective being." Jean Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract p. 34.
7 Ibid. p. 20.
8 Ibid. p. 25.
9 Some of Immanuel Kant's statements about justice, in The Metaphysical Elements of Justice, were quite libertarian.
Every action is just [right] that in itself or in its maxim is such that the freedom of everyone can coexist together with the freedom of everyone in accordance with a universal law. (p. 35)
Hence the universal law of justice is: act externally in such a way that the free use of your will is compatible with the freedom of everyone according to a universal law. (p. 35)
Strict justice can also be represented as the possibility of a general reciprocal use of coercion that is consistent with the freedom of everyone in accordance with universal laws. (p. 36)
Freedom (independence from the constraint of another's will), insofar as it is compatible with the freedom of everyone else in accordance with a universal law, is the one sole and original right that belongs to every human being by virtue of his humanity. (p. 44)
10 Robert Paul Wolfe in his book In Defense of Anarchism takes some of Kant's best ideas to their logical, libertarian conclusions.
11 Immanuel Kant, op. cit. p. 71:
No one is bound to refrain from encroaching on the possessions of another man if the latter does not in equal measure guarantee that the same kind of restraint will be exercised with regard to him. Therefore, he need not wait until he finds out through bitter experience about the hostile attitude of the other man.
12 Ibid. p. 72.
13 Ibid. p. 78.
14 Ibid. p. 111.
It would, however, be a crime to conduct such an inquiry with the intention of [finding a pretext] for changing the present existing constitution by force.
15 Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia.
16 In a later book, The Examined Life, Robert Nozick offers a different argument in which he gives more weight to the psychological need for political solidarity than to justice and in which he argues for democracy.
17 Aristotle, Politics in The Basic Works of Aristotle p. 1133. In the same vein,
For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule. (p. 1132)
...the slave has no deliberative faculty at all; the woman has, but it is without authority, and the child has, but it is immature. (p. 1144)
18 Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1 p. 90:
Plato calls class privilege "just," while we usually mean by justice rather the absence of such privilege. But the difference goes further than that. We mean by justice some kind of equality in the treatment of individuals, while Plato considers justice not as a relationship between individuals, but as a property of the whole state, based upon a relationship between its classes. The state is just if it is healthy, strong, united—stable.
19 Ibid. p. 51:
"The race of the guardians must be kept pure," says Plato (in defense of infanticide), when developing the racialist argument that we breed animals with great care while neglecting our own race, an argument which has been repeated ever since.
20 Ibid. p. 280:
It is of course true that Plato assumes a Form or Idea of Man; but it is a mistake to think that it represents what all men have in common; rather, it is an aristocratic ideal of a proud super-Greek; and on this is based a belief, not in the brotherhood of men, but in a hierarchy of "natures," aristocratic or slavish, in accordance with their greater or lesser likeness to the original, the ancient primogenitor of the human race.
21 Leo Strauss in, Natural Right and History p. 147 put the case this way:
Just as only the physician truly knows what is in each case good for the body, only the wise man truly knows what is good in each case for the soul. This being the case, there cannot be justice, i.e., giving to everyone what is by nature good for him, except in a society in which wise men are in absolute control.
22 Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis.
23 David Ritchie, Natural Rights p. 96:
If the end of life were simply the attainment of the greatest sum of pleasure on the whole (intensity being reckoned as much as extension), irrespective of the "rights" of the individuals who enjoy them, then so long as the merry ruling caste are sufficiently callow, and the depressed subject caste are sufficiently callous, I do not see how the aristocratic argument can be refuted.
24 Aristotle, Politics p. 1137:
...war is a natural art of acquisition, for the art of acquisition includes hunting, an art which we ought to practice against wild beasts, and against men who, though intended by nature to be governed, will not submit; for war of such kind is naturally just.
25 Aristotle's view that honor is more important than basic rights is also reflected in his comments on making money (Ibid. p. 1141):
There are two sorts of wealth-getting, as I have said; one is a part of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured; for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another. The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest.Note that "household management," which Aristotle regarded as the only honorable method of wealth-getting, included management of slaves. Aristotle was too scrupulous to be a money-lender or a retail trader, although these activities are voluntary, yet he believed that managing slaves was an honorable profession.
26 Peter Kropotkin, Ethics p. 36:
If we compare insects with mammals we must never forget that the lines of their development have diverged at a very early period of animal evolution. The consequence was that a deep physiological differentiation between separate divisions of the species (workers, drones, queens) took place with the ants, the bees, the wasps, etc., corresponding to a permanent physiological division of labor in their societies, (or more accurately, division of labor and a physiological division of structure). There is no such division among mammals.
27 See Loren E. Lomasky, Persons, Rights, and the Moral Community, for a theory of justice based on man as a project pursuer.
28 Isaiah Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty p. 137:
But to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you—the social reformer—see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them.
29 David Ritchie, Natural Rights p. 7:
The Aristotilian doctrine that "man is by nature a political animal" had acquired the sanctity of a dogma, and kept the mediaeval thinker from imagining man's rights in abstraction from any political society.
30 Ibid. p. 83:
According to those theologians and moralists who hold that right and wrong are dependent upon the arbitrary will of the Deity, so that, if he had so willed it, what is now right might have been wrong, and vice versa, there can be no meaning in natural law as distinguished from the revealed will of God. This combination of "philosophic doubt," with a passive acceptance of Scriptural or ecclesiastical authority, is a type of thinking very congenial to a certain order of mind: it gratifies simultaneously the completest skepticism in the powers of the human reason and the craving for absolute certainty. To this type of thinking the theory of Hobbes presents considerable analogy, save that for the Church he substitutes the de facto government.
31 Thomas Hobbes p. 293 in British Moralists Volume 2:
Where there is no common power, there is no law: where there is no law, no injustice.
32 Ibid. p. 290:
For such is the nature of man, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves; for they see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance. But this proves rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything, than that every man is contented with his share.
33 Samuel Clarke's arguments are typical of those used against Hobbes (British Moralists Volume 2 pp. 7 and 8):
Now if the destruction of Mankind by each other's hands, be such an Evil, that, to prevent it, it was fit and reasonable that Men should enter into Compacts to preserve each other, then, before any such Compacts, it was manifestly a thing unfit and unreasonable in itself, that Mankind should destroy one another. And if so, then for the same reason it was also unfit and unreasonable, antecedent to all Compacts, that any one Man should destroy another arbitrarily and without provocation, or at any time when it was not absolutely and immediately necessary for the preservation of himself. Which is directly contradictory to Mr. Hobbes first Supposition, of there being no natural and absolute difference between Good and Evil, Just and Unjust, antecedent to positive Compact.
34 Thomas Paine Rights of Man p. 357 in The Life and Major Writings of Thomas Paine.
Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It had its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of men. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government were abolished.
35 Francis Hutcheson exemplified the democratic philosophers' opposition to aristocracy (British Moralists pp. 173-174):
... as to the fixed State which should ordinarily obtain in all Communitys, since no Assumer of Government, can so demonstrate his superior Wisdom or Goodness to the satisfaction and security of the Governed, as is necessary to their Happiness; this must follow, that except when Men, for their own Interest, or out of publick Love, have by Consent subjected their Actions, or their Goods within certain Limits to the Disposal of others; no Mortal can have a Right from his superior Wisdom, or Goodness, or any other Quality, to give Laws to others without their Consent, express or tacit; or to dispose of the Fruits of their Labours, or of any other Right whatsoever. And therefore superior Wisdom, or Goodness, gives no Right to Men to govern others.Rousseau turned Aristotle's slavery theory upside-down (The Social Contract p. 5):
Aristotle also ... held that men are by no means equal by nature—that, rather, some are born to be slaves and some to be masters.
Aristotle was right, but he mistook effect for cause. Nothing is more certain than that every man born in slavery is born to be a slave. Men in shackles lose everything—even the desire to shake them off: They cherish their bondage as Ulysses' companions cherished being brutes. If, then, there are slaves by nature, that is because previously there were slaves against nature: force made the first slaves, and the latter's own cowardice kept them in slavery.
36 John Ladd, "Translator's Introduction" to Immanuel Kant's The Metaphysical Elements of Justice p. xxix:
Legal positivists, who are the most ardent opponents of the natural-law theory, are quick to point out that the practical effect of identifying law with a particular part of morals is either to nullify existing law in favor of an ideal law or to elevate all existing law to the status of what is moral; in other words, the natural-law theorist, they maintain, has to be either a radical revolutionary or an unregenerate reactionary.
37 In the U.S.A., the name liberal has been appropriated by social democrats who favor state intervention to promote equality through the creation of civil rights and massive wealth redistribution programs. These liberals regard the state as benevolent and the voluntary sector of society as greedy. Consequently, Americans who agree with the liberals of the 18th and 19th centuries have to refer to themselves by other names such as classical liberal or libertarian.
38 Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law:
One of the paradoxes of our era is the continual retreat of religious faith before the advance of science and technology, under the implied exigency of a cool and matter-of-fact attitude and dispassionate reasoning, accompanied by a no less continual retreat from the same attitude and reasoning in regard to legal and political questions. The mythology of our age is not religious, but political, and its chief myths seem to be "representation" of the people, on the one hand, and the charismatic pretension of political leaders to be in possession of the truth and to act accordingly, on the other. (p. 22)
Nonetheless, a way of reaching decisions that would be rejected out of hand in scientific and technological fields is coming to be adopted more and more as far as the law is concerned. (p. 7)
39 Walter Lippman, A Preface to Morals p. 278:
The naively democratic theory was that out of the mass of voters there arose a cloud of wills which ascended to heaven, condensed into a thunderbolt, and then smote the people. It was supposed that the opinions of masses of persons somehow became the opinion of a corporate person called The People, and that this corporate person then directed human affairs like a monarch.
40 Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 2 p. 188:
Marx blamed capitalism for "proletarianizing the middle class and the lower bourgeoisie," and for reducing the workers to pauperism. Engels now blames the system—it is still blamed—for making bourgeois out of workers. But the nicest touch in Engels' complaint is the indignation that makes him call the British who behave so inconsiderately as to falsify Marxist prophesies "this most bourgeois of all nations." According to Marxist doctrine, we should expect from the "most bourgeois of all nations" a development of misery and class tension to an intolerable degree; instead we hear the opposite takes place. But the good Marxist's hair rises when he hears of the incredible wickedness of a capitalist system that transforms good proletarians into bad bourgeois; quite forgetting that Marx showed that the wickedness of the system consisted solely in the fact that it was working the other way round.
41 Ibid. p. 189:
There are countries, for instance the Scandinavian democracies, Czechoslovakia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, to say nothing of the United States, in which a democratic interventionism secured to the workers a high standard of living, in spite of the fact that colonial exploitation had no influence there, or was at any rate far too unimportant to support the hypothesis. Furthermore, if we compare certain countries that "exploit" colonies, like Holland and Belgium, with Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Czechoslovakia which do not "exploit" colonies, we do not find that the industrial workers profited from the possession of colonies, for the situation of the working classes in all those countries was strikingly similar. Furthermore, although the misery imposed upon the natives through colonization is one of the darkest chapters in the history of civilization, it cannot be asserted that their misery has tended to increase since the days of Marx. The exact opposite is the case; things have greatly improved. And yet, increasing misery would have to be very noticeable there if the auxiliary hypothesis and the original theory were both correct.
42 W. D. Hudson, Reason and Right p. 123:
...a man who solved his moral problems simply by finding out the majority view could be accused of evading the issue: he would be substituting for an ethical question: what ought I to do? a factual one: what do most men think that I ought to do?
43 April Carter, The Political Theory of Anarchism, p. 47.
44 Jacques Ellul "Politicization and Political Solutions" in The Politicization of Society p. 234.
The motives, the processes, the mysteries that made man accept religion and expect God to accomplish what he was unable to do, lead him nowadays into politics and make him expect those things from the state.
45 Herbert Read, Anarchy and Order, p. 45.
46 Jacques Ellul, "Politicization and Political Solutions" in The Politicization of Society p. 234.
47 Ibid. p. 234.
48 April Carter, op. cit. p. 47.
49 Jacques Ellul, op. cit. p. 228:
Look how full of devotion they are, how full of the spirit of sacrifice, these passionate men who are obsessed with politics. But people never ask whether all this is worthwhile. Because these witnesses are so devoted, they invest the object of their service with their passion. In this fashion a nation becomes a cult by virtue of the millions of dead who were sacrificed for it. It must all be true, as so many agreed (did they?) to die for it.
50 Ibid. pp. 224-225:
In our society anyone who keeps himself in reserve, fails to participate in elections, regards political debates and constitutional changes as superficial and without real import on the true problems of man. ... fails to believe that declarations, motions, and votes change anything will be judged very severely by everybody. He is the true heretic of our day. And society excommunicates him as the medieval church excommunicated the sorcerer. He is regarded as a pessimist, a stupid fellow (for he fails to see the very deep and secret mores in the political game), a defeatist who bows his head to fate, a bad citizen; surely if things go badly, it is his fault, for if he were more civic minded, the vote would turn out differently (it is not enough to have eighty percent of the voters cast their vote; no, we need 100 percent!), and democracy would be more effective.
51 Ibid. pp. 235-236:
To consider oneself responsible for the tortures in Algeria while actually being a professor in Bordeaux, or for all the hunger in the world, or for racist excesses in various countries is exactly the same thing as to reject all responsibility.... To say that we are all murderers means, translated, that nobody is individually a murderer. i.e., that I am not a murderer. To admit that I am co-responsible for all the evil in the world means to assure a good conscience for myself even if I do not do the good within my own reach. To admit that I am a dirty dog because, being French, I am involved in the acts of all Frenchmen in Algeria, means to free myself of the slightest efforts to cease being a dirty dog personally and to do so, moreover, at the cheapest price, namely by joining a political party or shouting in the streets...
52 Giovanni Sartori, "Liberty and Law" in The Politicization of Society pp. 295-296:
Thus, from the premise that we all (as infinitesimal fractions) participate in the creation of the legislative body, we boldly evince that it is as if we ourselves made the laws. Likewise, and in a more elaborate way, we make the inference that when a person who allegedly represents some tens of thousands contributes (he himself acting as a very small fraction) to the lawmaking process, then he is making the thousands of people whom he is representing free, because the represented thereby obey norms that they have freely chosen (even though it might well be that even their representative was opposed to those norms). How absurd! Clearly this is nothing more than mental gymnastics in a frictionless interplanetary space. Coming back to earth, these chains of acrobatic inferences are worthless, and this for the good reason that the driving force of the causes (premises) is exhausted long before it reaches its targets.
53 Ibid. p. 280.
54 Jacques Ellul, op. cit. p. 224:
...the masses, who do not actually participate in political affairs, firmly believe that they do; and, in addition, make their illusory participation their principal criterion of dignity, personality, liberty.and describing the pervasiveness of politics on p. 222:
A person without the right (in reality magical) to place a paper ballot in a box is nothing, not even a person. To progress is to receive this power, this mythical share in a theoretical sovereignty that consists in surrendering one's decisions for the benefit of someone else who will make them in one's place.
55 Felix Morley, "State and Society" in The Politicization of Society p. 75, another nonbeliever, sees it this way:
...in worship of the state, men sacrifice their souls to a false god that can give them in return only what has already been placed by the worshipers themselves on this sacrilegious altar.
56 Psychologists have done studies that indicate if a criminal and his victim get to meet face to face in a safe situation, the criminal tends to regret his crime and the victim tends to feel less vindictive.
57 Michael W. Fox makes the point in "Man and Nature: Biological Perspectives" in On the Fifth Day p. 114-115:
It is easier for an aggressor to kill when he does not see the appeasement displays and signals for surrender. Animals fighting close together can hardly avoid seeing the signals, but once man was able to use projectile weapons, these natural mechanisms to cut off the aggressor were weakened. The greater the range of combat, the easier killing became, and the push-button war of the twentieth century was the final step in distancing and depersonalizing adversaries.
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