The “social contract” destroyed in 4 minutes

All your social contracts are belong to us!

Here is an audio clip from my guest appearance on “The No State Project” with Marc Stevens. In this clip I present my argument on the so-called “social contract”. I define and destroy this concept in a little under 4 minutes. This clip gives you the feel of the show, as well as my approach to philosophy. The audio from the entire show is here.

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Download the audio here.

12 thoughts on “The “social contract” destroyed in 4 minutes

  1. Pingback: NSP – Aug 28, 2010 – Guest: Mike Peinovich |

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  3. AGramsci

    I like the tornado picture. I don’t see why ‘empty’ is the descriptor/metaphor on which you hang your musings, though. Things can be full and at the same time be bad, no?

  4. tomsmith

    Or like the management company for a 500 apartment block which works to the communal benefit of all leaseholders who each have a 1/500th say in what the management company does next at the AGM.

    The real issue with the social contract is not that you should be able to do it too. You do not have an ownership claim over the location and people you decide to extort money from in exchange for your software skills, while the government, allegedly acting in the communal interest of all of the people, does. This is the basis of the social contract argument and again you fail to address it.

    You need to argue about the ownership claim and its legitimacy. It is a claim that all of the people of the nation should have the means (the state) to arrange things within the geographical boundary of the nation to their communal benefit, and that the collective will overrides the individual when they come into conflict.

    1. Dooglio

      “You do not have an ownership claim over the location and people you decide to extort money from in exchange for your software skills, while the government, allegedly acting in the communal interest of all of the people, does.”

      So, can the government prove that it owns my property? Can they walk me through a factual timeline where I agreed to turn my property over to their control? The answer is–no, they cannot.

      The onus is on the government to prove that it has ownership. If it cannot demonstrate control with any other means than violence, then that is what they call theft since they do not have my consent.

  5. Pingback: Responding to reader arguments: The “social contract” | The Emptiness

  6. Gil

    So the “social contract” is demolished, how? If you argue that the State and its “social contract” are the same as a criminal gang then, yes, any one can do it. If you have the power to force people into contracts and can defend yourself against any retaliations the poeple would attempt then you would lord over them in the same way you view any government as a criminal gang. The fact that organised criminal gangs do gain a large of power with societies against the governments’ will shows that it can indeed work and the governments don’t have a lasting monopoly.

    However that analogy falls down because private “social contracts” can also arise. Suppose there’s a farming village and you want in. They will lay out the rules of how they do things and what your rights and obligations and what punishments are if you overstep their preset boundaries. Suppose you’re born in a farming village? You will be born into a world where you will have rights and obligations that you didn’t agree to. Oops! It’s also the same situation with government. A migrant can hardly complain about the “social contract” of the U.S. if he or she decides to move there and become a citizen. Someone born in the U.S. didn’t ask to part of the U.S. “social contract” but then that’s life.

      1. Mike P (the emptiness pro) Post author

        Ha. Very true Al. Thanks to both Gil and Al for commenting. Check out the next post where I respond in audio format to various arguments that people have put forward in response to this argument. It’s a first attempt at a podcast, so hopefully it will go well. I’d appreciate any input!

        Al, I added your blog to my sidebar.

      2. Gil

        No I didn’t I stated how the “social contract” concept can emerge legitimately in a private scenario. It’s no different from the concept of a farmer with gun telling you to get the hell off of his property.


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