Friday, December 15, 2006

Dealing with something does not imply consent.

People often attempt to cut short my explanations that government is equivalent to coercion by saying "you're still here, so you've consented to the US government."

...Right. And slaves consented to slavery because they stuck around, not wanting to risk the other forms of repression they'd encounter elsewhere, even if they technically weren't slaves? Blacks in the American South before the Civil Rights Act consented to segregation and a government machine designed to repress them? The German Jews on the MS St. Louis consented to the Holocaust because nobody would allow them into their countries?

Even if some psychobeasts would answer "yes" to all of those, their argument still makes fails: rights cannot be taken away from somebody, even if they consent to their removal. North Koreans still have the right to free speech, even if their government punishes them for exercising it. We still have the right to our property, even if the government takes it by force. Simply because you aren't constantly fighting to maintain your rights doesn't mean you've given them up.

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