by David McElroy
Those on the progressive left are just flat-out lying when they claim they believe in individual rights. They certainly believe in group rights, but in their vision of the world, individuals have no rights that “society” doesn’t graciously allow them to have.
We’re told that society has the right to control us because of the “social contract” that we allegedly have with government. I don’t know about you, but I never got my copy of the contract to read and agree to before people with guns started coercing me to obey their will.
Let’s be clear. The so-called social contract is just an excuse to control you. What it means is that the people who expect you to obey them have invented a reason that you’re required to obey. Is that a contract? Or is that a one-sided demand, enforced at the barrel of a gun?
I’ve talked before about this social contract fiction, but it comes up again today because of a two-minute video clip from a U.S. Senate candidate in Massachusetts — in which she defends the progressive left version of the social contract by trying to justify higher taxes on people who make more money.
“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No! There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Do you notice what she’s doing? She’s asserting that because some other people have extorted money from others and coerced other folks into handing over their cash — and those coercers have built roads and schools and police forces with it — you are somehow under a contract to obey them and hand your money over to them.
It’s not a contract if it’s not voluntary. It’s not a contract if one side forces the other to accept it. Instead, it’s slavery. If a plantation slave said he was tired of picking the cotton and wanted to leave and live his own life instead, the slaveowner might say, “Wait. You’ve eaten my food. You’ve slept in the housing I gave you. You live on my land. Because of that, you’re obligated to me. We have a contract here.”
Nobody sane would deny the right of the slave to break his chains if he can find a way. Nobody sane would claim that the unilateral arrangement made by the master obligated the slave to obey. Yet this is the position that the progressive left takes when it comes to the so-called social contract.
I’ve talked before about why taxation is a moral issue and why we need to start treating it as one. As long as we allow people such as Warren to convince productive people that they have a responsibility to obey, we will never be free. The first thing slaves have to free is their own minds.
There is no social contract, because you and I never agreed to one. There’s only a unilateral coercive group of people who believe the collective “people” own everybody. We can’t start thinking that people such as Warren have a point. I use the roads and the schools and the police she mentions, but it’s only because I haven’t had a choice. Other people haven’t had legitimate choices.
When people such as Warren start telling you about the responsibilities they say you have, ask them when you agreed to that arrangement. They won’t be able to answer the question, because we haven’t made any such contract.
They’re lying to us — and they assume we’re stupid enough not to notice.