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No Treason by Lysander Spooner.

In a three-part essay that has been called "the greatest case for anarchist political philosophy ever written", Spooner argues that the United States Constitution is an invalid contract, and therefore void, because individuals did not explicitly consent to be ruled by it.


Notwithstanding all the proclamations we have made to mankind, within the last ninety years, that our government rested on consent, and that that was the only rightful basis on which any government could rest, the late war has practically demonstrated that our government rests upon force—as much so as any government that ever existed.

The North has thus virtually said to the world: It was all very well to prate of consent, so long as the objects to be accomplished were to liberate ourselves from our connexion with England, and also to coax a scattered and jealous people into a great national union; but now that those purposes have been accomplished, and the power of the North has become consolidated, it is sufficient for us—as for all governments—simply to say: Our power is our right.

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Featured January 2011