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IPFS News Link • Government

Did You Consent to be Governed?

•, By eric

Here's a grand idea that's never been tried: government by consent.

Everyone agreeing to it; no one being bound by it who has not. Whose right to walk away from it would be respected, if not.

Such a government would work very well because it would be limited in its workings. Really limited – by the always-present threat (to it) of withdrawal of consent. It would be powerless to do to people what the people did not want done to them.

To any of them.

It has been talked about, of course.

Most notably by the man who did the most to end any semblance of it: Abraham Lincoln – while he was talking about it. Here is a man who had the gall to lecture about "government of the people, by the people" after sending his legions to slaughter and subjugate "the people" who only wished to be governed by their consent.

They tried to walk away – and we all know what followed.

It was the same ideal put forward four score and seven years before – and promptly reneged upon once the cannon fodder had served their purpose. Did "the people" consent to be governed by the Constitution? They hadn't even been asked to give their assent to the secret meeting at which the Constitution was put forward by a self-selected handful of people as the skullduggery replacement for the Articles of Confederation, which were much closer to the ideal of consent of the governed as there was very little in them about governing anyone – at the federal level, at least.