Huben on Social Contract

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Most notions of social contract are based on imaginary states of nature, usually based on "rights". Mine is based on the fact of the possible creation of property by forceful threat, especially territorial property rights.

  • Libertarians permit individual ownership of property, including land.
  • Libertarians permit groups the same rights of ownership of property as individuals.
    • Else marriages, partnerships, and corporations would have to dissolve.
  • Libertarians permit group ownership of property, including land.
    • What are libertarians going to do, make a law restricting those rights
  • Governments, being groups, can own property, including land.
  • Owners, including governments, have freedom of contract about their property.
  • Thus owners, including governments, can make contractual requirements about
 the use of their property.
  • The territory of a government is property of that government.
    • The philosophical ideas of property used by libertarians.
    • The legal definition of property.
    • The fact (anthropological) of property.
  • Thus governments can make contractual requirements about the use of their territory because it is property.
  • Voluntary residency is sufficient to establish contract, both for privately owned land and government.
  • Corollary: refusal of voluntary residency based contract requires exit.
    • Assume your parents are sharecroppers, who live on the land.
    • You are born on that land, and raised with your parents.
    • The landlord can make any contractual requirement he wants for you
    • to reside there, and you have no choice but to accept or leave.
    • If private owners have these rights, why should governments have less?
  • Libertarians endorse freedom of voluntary contract up to and including waiving of individual rights for the purposes of the contract.
    • If I can enlist in the army voluntarily, then I can make myself eligable for the draft in my voluntary residency contract.
    • Seaman's articles are a good example of contracts with penalties up to and including death.