No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority. December 9, Lysander Spooner. The greatest case for anarchist political philosophy ever written. Narrated by. No Treason has ratings and 56 reviews. Marcus said: Long before the the Civil War started, Lysander Spooner was a strong abolitionist and was extreme. No Treason, Vol. VI.: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner. No cover available. Download; Bibrec.

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But for this voluntary accession of new members, the corporation necessarily dies with the death of those who originally composed it. He spends little lyswnder on it, but it is none the less thought provoking. He has no open, written, or other authentic evidence, such as is required in all other cases, that he was ever appointed the agent or representative of anybody. It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other; that that each man makes a free and purely voluntary contract with all others who are parties to the Constitution, to pay so much money for so much protection, the same as he does with any other insurance company; and that he is just as free not to be protected, and not to pay tax, as he is to pay a tax, and be protected.

And tne both savages and barbarians, mere want may sometimes compel one man to sell himself as a slave to another. And why did these men abolish slavery? If I gave athority absolute, irresponsible power over myself, I made him my master, and gave myself to him as a slave.

Spooner was an outspoken abolitionist writing The Unconstitutionality of Slavery in and advocate of universal freedom and natural rights, but had been horrified by the brutality of the war, and the lack of legitimate constitution basis for violently conquering people who wanted to leave a federation that had been consensually joined only by their ancestors.

No Treason – Wikisource, the free online library

That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals. Long before the the Civil War started, Lysander Spooner was a strong abolitionist and was extremely active in supporting efforts to free the slaves. On this principle, and from this motive, and not from any love of liberty, or justice, the money was lent in enormous amounts, and at enormous rates of interest.

In the very nature of things, the act of voting could bind nobody but the actual voters. Instead, he goes about providing evidence that no single person consented to the Constitution. This little book is an essay broken up into 3 parts which are legitimacy of the constitution, voting and whether that offers consent to living under the constitution and the final part is taxation and expounds upon the idea of “taxation is theft”.

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The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Barnett, “The Significance of Lysander Spooner” While most libertarians know Spooner largely from No Treasonin his own time he was better known for his antislavery constitutionalism. Thus the whole power of the government is in their hands, and they are made utterly irresponsible for the use they make of it.

That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.

It is of no obligation, not merely because it is intrinsically a criminal one, but also because it is given to nobodyand consequently pledges my faith to nobody. It pledges his faith to nobody. The fact that they had designated me secretlyand in a manner to prevent my knowing them individuallyprevents all privity between them and me; and consequently makes it impossible that there can be any contract, or pledge of faith, on my part towards them; for it is impossible that I can pledge my faith, in any legal sense, to a man whom I neither know, nor have any means of knowing, individually.

No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner

If any one should assert that there is such an association, let him prove, if he can, who compose it. Legally speaking, therefore, the act of voting utterly fails to pledge any ajthority to support the government. Consequently, so far as voting is concerned, the other five-sixths can have given no pledge that they will support the Constitution.

On general principles of law and reason, all the oaths which, since the war, have been given by Southern men, that they will obey the laws of Congress, support the Union, and the consritution, are of no validity. Neither am I bound to recognize him as their agent, nor can he legitimately claim to be their agent, when he brings no written authority from them accrediting him as such.

They are no respecters of persons, no superstitious fools, that reverence monarchs. And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts.

No Treason

No one, by voting, can be said to pledge himself for any longer period than that for which he votes. If he resists the seizure of his property, call upon slooner bystanders to help you doubtless some of them will prove to be members of our band. How can we know which are their houses, that we may burn or demolish them?

The payment of taxes, being compulsory, of course furnishes no evidence that any one voluntarily supports the Constitution.

If you expected me to pay it over to you, you relied only upon that honor that is said to prevail among thieves. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man takes the lives of his constitutioj, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing.


But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. Spooner’s appeal is floating on unproved premises, which some people might find appealing while others might find completely inconsequential, empty blabber.

Spooner’s tractate really only makes one point: Such are some lysqnder the precautions which the laws require, and which individuals — from motives of common spoonner, even in cases not required by law — take, to put their contracts in writing, and have them signed, and, to guard against all uncertainties and controversies in regard to their meaning and validity.

No Treason, Vol. VI.: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. And it was only by means of these loans that the objects of the war were accomplished. In fact, they do not propose to pay their debts otherwise than from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders. Would we accept a slave owner who said that a majority of his slaves consent lysandet work for him, so he does not need the consent of all of them?

His greatest example is that of the American Revolution against Britain. In that sense the “social contract” is a living reality. Even voting, Spooner argues, is not consensual itself, because each potential voter is faced with the choice of either voting, which makes him a master of others, or abstaining, which makes him constotution slave of those who do vote. But that is certainly not enough to prove that the oaths are of any obligation. Spooner is outraged at the fact that the state claims to act in the name of liberty and a free government and questions the idea of consent to it himself.

His arguments are very compelling and, I think, must be reckoned with for anyone seeking to justify the claims of the “social contract. As an outspoken abolitionist, Spooner did not believe that any American should be treated differently under the natural law. This custom was established ages ago, when few men could write their names; when a clerk — that is, a man who could write — was so rare and valuable a person, that even if he were guilty of high crimes, he was entitled to pardon, on the ground that the public could not afford to lose his services.

Definitely Spooner was ahead of his time.

On general principles of law and reason, it cannot be said that the government has any voluntary supporters at all, until it can be distinctly shown who its voluntary supporters are. But a secret government is little less than a government of assassins. But he really knows nothing.