Spooner - What is the Extent of Government?
What is the Extent
No Treason #1
Lysander Spooner answers...
Manifestly this one thing (to say nothing of the others) is necessarily implied in the idea of a government's resting on consent, viz: the separate, individual consent of every man who is required to contribute, either by taxation or personal service, to the support of the government. All this, or nothing, is necessarily implied, because one man's consent is just as necessary as any other man's. If, for example, A claims that his consent is necessary to the establishment or maintenance of government, he thereby necessarily admits that B's and every other man's are equally necessary; because B's and every other man's right are just as good as his own. On the other hand, if he denies that B's or any other particular man's consent is necessary, he thereby necessarily admits that neither his own, nor any other man's is necessary; and that government need to be founded on consent at all.
There is, therefore, no alternative but to say, either that the separate, individual consent of every man, who is required to aid, in any way, in supporting the government, is necessary, or that the consent of no one is necessary.
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