Do we not continually hear them quote Blackstone’s assertion that “no subject of England can be constrained to pay any aids or taxes even for the defence of the realm or the support of government, but such as are imposed by his own consent, or that of his representative in parliament?” And what does this mean? In affirming that a man may not be taxed unless he has directly or indirectly given his consent, it affirms that he may refuse to be so taxed; and to refuse to be taxed is to cut all connection with the state. Perhaps it will be said that this consent is not a specific, but a general one, and that the citizen is understood to have assented to everything his representative may do when he voted for him. But suppose he did not vote for him, and on the contrary did all in his power to get elected someone holding opposite views – what then? The reply will probably be that, by taking part in such an election, he tacitly agreed to abide by the decision of the majority. And how if he did not vote at all? Why, then he cannot justly complain of any tax, seeing that he made no protest against its imposition. So, curiously enough, it seems that he gave his consent in whatever way he acted – whether he said yes, whether he said no, or whether he remained neuter! A rather awkward doctrine, this. —Herbert Spencer: Social Statics
When did this happen? Mary Ruwart has webbed the first edition of Healing Our World.
For the individualist, half of human decency in political thinking is just learning to keep your personal pronouns straight.
Found by some indirect chain of links from Roderick Long’s blog.
Penn Jillette: I don’t know, so I’m an atheist libertarian
Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It’s just ganging up against the weird kid, and I’m always the weird kid.
Reading some neglected mail from 2007, I happen to see a quotation from Prof Paz’s speech in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress:
“You might even consider installing the candidates who receive the least number of votes; unpopular men may be just the sort to save you from a new tyranny. Don’t reject the idea merely because it seems preposterous–think about it! In past history popularly elected governments have been no better and sometimes far worse than overt tyrannies.”
Of course, if everyone knows this is the rule, the candidate elected will not be the least popular but the least unpopular, the one who inspires the fewest voters to say “anyone else!”.
But this gives an inappropriate advantage to unknowns. There ought to be a qualifying round of positive voting before the negative vote.
Approval voting takes care of both phases at once, meseems.
I have a recurring daydream that a cop asks permission to search my car and I say: “Fine, if I get to search yours.”
Or: “Okay, provided that you do so in the nude. Nothing to hide, right?”
Or: “If you’ll sign this contract accepting personal liability for any damage to my property, and agreeing to pay me $120/hour for my inconvenience. Oh, and I’ll just check your pockets for contraband first.”
Gotta wonder what would happen.
An anarchist who uses the Internet is as hypocritical as a Protestant who uses the Latin alphabet. ( . . more . . )