Fallacy:

Statists assert that because you live somewhere (or have a birth certificate, or citizenship, or paid taxes at one point, have a driver’s license, have driven on state-owned roads, etc.), you have agreed to an implicit, unwritten contract to follow the state’s laws and pay whatever taxes they demand.

E.g., “[O]ur government was here before you. You may not have signed up but your parents signed you up. It’s called a birth certificate and it says you’re a citizen of this country and with that title comes all the financial and legal obligations and responsibilities.”

spooner-didnt-sign-shit

Response:

A contract requires two parties; it is not a unilateral instrument. Furthermore, it requires a meeting of the minds (effectively, both parties understand what they’re agreeing to), clear terms, actual agreement, and exchange of considerations (you don’t need a contract to give a gift).

Old papers signed by the dead are not contracts binding on the living. You can’t sign a contract for other people (without their explicit permission, e.g., power of attorney).

To the assertion that a birth certificate is such a contract (agreement), I point out that one person may not sign a contract for another. A parent may act as guardian, and act on a child’s behalf, but that still does not entitle them to make promises and enter into obligations for that person. 

A constitution is nothing more than a piece of paper that people running government “agree” to abide by. It is not an agreement with the “citizens” (or should I say “subjects”) of the government. It is a unilateral set of edicts. 

An excellent illustration of this principle of the tyrant goes like this:

A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf’s right to eat him.

He thus addressed him: “Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.”

“Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, “I was not then born.”

Then said the Wolf, “You feed in my pasture.”

“No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have not yet tasted grass.”

Again said the Wolf, “You drink of my well.”

“No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.”

Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, “Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations.”

The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.

-The Wolf and the Lamb, Aesop’s Fables 

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