[ExI] The Circle of Coercion

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Tue May 12 05:18:34 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 08, 2009 at 02:51:20PM -0700, dan_ust at yahoo.com wrote:

> This is a key feature of social contract theory.  The typical social
> contract theory is an attempt to justify some socio-political order
> via an analogy with a real contract -- as if all members of society
> agree to some (you guessed it!) social contract.  Since real world
> societies of any appreciable size don't arise contractually -- viz.,
> people don't get together, formulate a contract, and then actually
> expressly consent to it -- the problem is how to complete the analogy.
> This is where tacit consent comes in.

> This brings up another problem with social contracts: even were an
> explicit contract signed, it wouldn't bind others or future
> generations.  But in the case of your country of birth, the government

But these problems are true of property rights as well.  I didn't
consent to be born into a world where I inherit no wealth and Paris
Hilton inherits $100s of millions.  Why should I respect her claim to
more than a fair share of the Earth's resources?  Or the claim of the
Sultan of Brunei?  And why, in turn, should someone without even access
to clean water, respect my modest life, let alone that of the
egregiously wealthy?

-xx- Damien X-) 

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