Essays By Lysander Spooner

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Suppose an agreement were entered into, in this form: We, the people of Boston, agree to maintain a fort on Governor’s Island, to protect ourselves and our posterity against invasion.

This agreement, as an agreement, would clearly bind nobody but the people then existing.

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.

Secondly, it would assert no right, power, or disposition, on their part, to compel their “posterity” to maintain such a fort.

It would only indicate that the supposed welfare of their posterity was one of the motives that induced the original parties to enter into the agreement.It does not speak of “the people” as a corporation, but as individuals.A corporation does not describe itself as “we,” nor as “people,” nor as “ourselves.” Nor does a corporation, in legal language, have any “posterity.” It supposes itself to have, and speaks of itself as having, perpetual existence, as a single individuality.But for this voluntary accession of new members, the corporation necessarily dies with the death of those who originally composed it.Legally speaking, therefore, there is, in the Constitution, nothing that professes or attempts to bind the “posterity” of those who established it.If they had intended to bind their posterity to live under it, they should have said that their objective was, not “to secure to them the blessings of liberty,” but to make slaves of them; for if their “posterity” are bound to live under it, they are nothing less than the slaves of their foolish, tyrannical, and dead grandfathers.It cannot be said that the Constitution formed “the people of the United States,” for all time, into a corporation.Let us consider these two matters, voting and tax paying, separately. All the voting that has ever taken place under the Constitution, has been of such a kind that it not only did not pledge the whole people to support the Constitution, but it did not even pledge any one of them to do so, as the following considerations show. In the very nature of things, the act of voting could bind nobody but the actual voters.But owing to the property qualifications required, it is probable that, during the first twenty or thirty years under the Constitution, not more than one-tenth, fifteenth, or perhaps twentieth of the whole population (black and white, men, women, and minors) were permitted to vote.When a man says he is building a house for himself and his posterity, he does not mean to be understood as saying that he has any thought of binding them, nor is it to be inferred that he is so foolish as to imagine that he has any right or power to bind them, to live in it.So far as they are concerned, he only means to be understood as saying that his hopes and motives, in building it, are that they, or at least some of them, may find it for their happiness to live in it.

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Comments Essays By Lysander Spooner

  • The Constitution of No Authority
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    The Constitution of No Authority. by Lysander Spooner. Spooner argues in this radical essay that the Constitution, which he frames as a legal contract, is not.…

  • Lysander Spooner, An Essay on the Trial by Jury 18521
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    Lysander Spooner was raised on a small farm in Massachusetts and was trained as a lawyer. His legal practice was not particularly successful, and he spent.…

  • Essay on the Trial By Jury eBook Lysander Spooner Kindle.
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    Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Lysander Spooner was a 19th century entrepreneur, scholar, radical abolitionist, and principled believer in natural law and.…

  • Lysander Spooner - Wikipedia
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    Lysander Spooner January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887 was an American political philosopher. Anarchist George Woodcock describes Spooner's essays as an "eloquent elaboration" of American anarchist Josiah Warren and the early.…

  • Works — Lysander Spooner
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    The Deist's Immortality, and An Essay on Man's Accountability For His belief 1834. The Deist's Reply to the Alleged Supernatural Evidences of Christianity.…

  • An Essay on the Trial By Jury by Lysander Spooner - Goodreads
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    An Essay on the Trial By Jury book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. Satisfactory evidence, though not all the evidence, of what.…

  • No Treason - Wikipedia
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    No Treason is a composition of three essays, all written in 1867 No. 1, No. 2 "The Constitution", and No. 6 "The Constitution of no Authority". No essays between No. 2 and No. 6 were ever published under the authorship of Lysander Spooner.…

  • Lysander Spooner - Online Library of Liberty
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    Lysander Spooner 1808-1887 was a legal theorist, abolitionist, and radical. Author An Essay on the Trial by Jury 1852; Author The Law of Intellectual.…

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