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By LYSANDER SPOONER. In the Clerk's 01llce of the District Court of the United States. for the DIstrict of Yauachueelta. TUE:drst and second numbers ot this. Lysander Spooner, The Collected Works of Lysander Spooner ():Vol. Facsimile PDF, MB, This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from. Facsimile PDF, MB, This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans Know all men by these presents, that I, Lysander Spooner, of Boston, in the.

Lysander Spooner Pdf

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Lysander Spooner, No Treason. Author: Lysander Spooner Facsimile PDF, MB, This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original . The Unconstitutionality of Slavery (, ). CONTENTS OF PART FIRST. [ PDF] CHAPTER I.: WHAT IS LAW? [SEARCHABLE TEXT] [PDF] CHAPTER II. August 12, Lysander Spooner. Narrated by Matt Pritchard. Read more. No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner. Tags Legal.

If their object had really been to abolish slavery, or maintain liberty or justice gen- erally, they had only to say: All, whether white or black, who want the protection of this government, shall have it; and all who do not want it, will be left in peace, so long as they leave us in peace.

Had they said this, slavery would necessarily 91 After the ratification of the last Amendment in , the AASS officially dissolved. In: Journal of Legal Analysis 3, , pp.

Spooner, No Treason I, op. However, the text of the constitutional agreement did not state that the parties involved — be that individuals as claimed by Spooner or states as maintained by the constitutionalists from the South — were bound by its provisions for a certain, specified, period of time.

What is more, for that agreement to be considered voluntary, it should be possible to terminate it at any time.

This is why the author of No Treason maintained that the citizens of the South had every right to withdraw from the agreement making them a part of the Union and a subject to the shared government.

Therefore, by disobeying the federal government they did not commit treason. When fighting against it, they were doing so not as frauds, betrayers or false friends — synonyms of traitors that Spooner presented in accordance with his rule of interpreting constitutional terms as in the common language and daily use — but as enemies.

In fact, their authority was based only on the consent of those whose support was necessary to keep all others dependent on their mercy.

The Collected Works of Lysander Spooner

But nothing of that kind can be said now, if the principle on which the war was carried on by the 95 Idem, No Treason VI No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Spooner believed that the lack of coercion was the sine qua non condition for the legitimacy of the government based on the rule of law and both the North and the South violated this principle.

Ibidem, p. North [that men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a govern- ment that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals], is irrevocably established. If that principle be not the principle of the Constitution, the fact should be known.

If it be the principle of the Constitution, the Constitution itself should be at once overthrown. The consent of the parties must be stated explicitly and approved in a man- ner that would be verifiable in the future, e. If individuals constituting it wished to extend it to include third parties — constitutional the people — that do not wish to become a part of this endeavor, their actions should be considered violence and they should be regarded as thugs. Indeed, no individual has the right to force others to take on commitments that they do not give their consent to.

In the same way that one cannot force others to enter a mar- riage, a business agreement or a church, one cannot force other to become a part of a constitutional agreement. Prima facie this declaration indicates that the normative legitimacy of the agreement constituting the Union is founded upon the consent of Americans.

Ac- cording to Spooner however, the doctrine of popular sovereignty which was the basis for the American republic is a very dangerous myth since it suggests the existence of the common consent in the time when it could not have been reached, and the possibility of including the future generations that at the time of concluding the agreement were not even born yet.

Morgan, Inventing the People. Spooner, No Treason II…, op. Women, juveniles, black slaves and debt slaves were not asked for their consent. Even among white males, who consti- tuted the majority at the ratification conventions, not all had the right to vote since many states established highly restrictive property qualifications.

As a consequence, the majority of Americans were bound by an agreement on whose provisions they did not have any influence whatsoever, their acceptance thereof was of no interest to anyone, nor did it matter to anybody if they wished to reject it. Therefore, the popular consent of We the people on establishing the United States as designed in the Constitution was a fiction even in the times of the Founding Fathers.

Even if, contrary to sources, we were to assume that the federal Constitution was ratified and accepted by the people and not only a small minority, it would still lose its legitimacy with the death of those who ratified it, as Spooner claimed. Their declara- tion that the Constitution was established to ensure the blessings of liberty for them- selves and their offspring is as binding as the hopes of parents building a house that one day at least one of their adult children would wish to live in it.

They can make the house attractive in order to influence the decision of their children to voluntarily stay there, but they do not have the right to force them to do so. However, none of these could be considered a proof of volun- tarily supporting the Union. Washington, DC , p. Spooner, No Treason VI…, op. Spooner does not take into consideration other popular forms of presumed consent, such as long-termed inhabiting the territory of a given state or using the public services offered by the state.

See: esp.

Lysander Spooner

For a broader analysis of the issue of legitimacy of political power in the context of different views on the social compact see: M. Huemer, The Problem of Political Authority. With regards to taxation, Spooner points out the obvious fact that the public trib- utes are compulsory. People who are obliged to pay them have no possibility of refusing to do so. Those subjected to taxation are in a similar situation to that of a victim of the robbery.

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. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that ac- count; and it is far more dastardly and shameful. Voting cannot be considered manifestation of such support either.

Spooner presents several arguments for this thesis. Firstly, not all citizens of the US had the right to vote, hence the fact that the elections are held regularly does not mean that the government chosen through them has the support of all individuals that are subjects to their power. Secondly, a large part of those who have the right to vote, do not participate in the pro- cess, which does not mean that they give consent to become subjects to the choice made by other people. Their absence could be a purposeful manifestation against power itself.

Those, who vote only occasionally, could do so in order to support a particular person or to minimize the chances of the victory of a candidate whose postulates they consider particularly harmful.

Even regular participation in the process cannot be considered a proof of support for the people in power, because due to the use of the secret ballot, it is not certain for whom or what or against whom what they voted and what was their reason.

According to Spooner, this last remark is particularly important since some voters can treat voting as the only form of self-defense available in a democratic state. The author of No Treason presents an analogy with a battlefield. Just because a person thrown into the middle of a battle shoots aiming at the other side of the conflict it does not mean they support the country whose troops they find themselves in — it only means they are trying to survive.

Similarly, some voters may find themselves in a situation where they are living under the government that they did not give their consent to and that they cannot confront effectively. But it would not, therefore, be a legitimate inference that the government itself, that crushes them, was one which they had voluntarily set up, or even consented to.

Spooner, No Treason VI Therefore, Spooner believes the presumed consent, which is the foundation for the popular sovereignty doctrine, to be the instrument of enslavement — a fraud by means of which people in power and those who owe their privileged positions to the support they get from the government, like bankers who benefit from the mon- ey monopoly established in their interest, subjugate individuals unable to oppose their power effectively.

He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit.

He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these.

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Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

Taking into consideration that only a minor part of Americans supported its ratification, it was not binding even at the moment of its ratification and it is obvious that it could not be binding after the American Civil War, when the Southerners were forcibly refused the possibility of leaving the Un- ion. During the quarter of a century between the publication of the first volume of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery and No Treason VI: The Constitution of No Authority, one can clearly see a radical change in views of the author.

The Constitution that be- fore the Civil War he thought to be the tool of the widespread emancipation loses all its utility. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

The author of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery abandoned the belief in the statute law and in the possibility that it can be used to achieve goals other than promoting the interests of plutocrats.

The Abolitionist Secessionist?

However, after the War, while observing the ongoing Reconstruction, during which the US went through a radical political transformation, he came to the conclusion that when lawmakers refer to the constitu- tional values, it is only to hide the fact that the laws they ratify are designed to protect the interests of those in power and their clients. Postbellum, Spooner begins to see the norms and institutions that he attacked before the conflict as incompatible with rights and freedoms provided by the Consti- Ibidem, p.

Violence cannot however pro- vide a normative legitimacy for the state that is supposedly based on the rule of law. Such a contract of government has no moral sanction.

It confers no rightful authority upon those appointed to administer it. It confers no legal or moral rights, and imposes no legal or moral obligation upon the people who are parties to it.

The only duties, which anyone can owe to it, or to the government established under color of its authority, are disobedience, resistance, destruction. Entered according to Act of Congreu. In the year TUE :drst and second numbers ot this series were published In For reasons not necessary to be explained, the sixth is now published In advance ot the third, tourth and Mh. Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract be- tween man and man.

For reasons not necessary to be explained, the sixth is now published In advance ot the third, tourth and Mh.

Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract be- tween man and man.

And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. And it can be supposed to have been a' contract then only between persona who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obli- gatory contracts.It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man.

As the Constitution professes to rest wholly on consent, no one can owe allegiance, service, obedience, or any other duty to it, or to the government created by it, except with his own consent.

The whole affair, on the part of those who furnished the money, has been, and now is, a deliberate scheme of robbery and murder; not merely to monopolize the markets of the South, but also to monopolize the currency, and thus control the industry and trade, and thus plunder and enslave the laborers, of both North and South.

Andrews, Boston, MA, , p.

Neither is it any answer to this view of the case to say that the men holding this absolute, irresponsible power, must be men chosen by the people or portions of them to hold it. In the year