“consent of the governed” by Larken Rose

There are two basic ways in which people can interact: by mutual agreement, or by one
person using threats or violence to force his will upon another.

The first can be labeled “consent”– both sides willingly and voluntarily agreeing to what is to be done. The second can be labeled “governing” – one person controlling another. Since these two – consent and governing – are opposites, the concept of “consent of the governed” is a contradiction. If there is mutual consent, it is not “government”; if there is governing, there is no consent.

Some will claim that a majority, or the people as a whole, have given their consent to be ruled, even if many individuals have not. But such an argument turns the concept of consent on its head. No one, individually or as a group, can give consent for something to be done to someone else. That is simply not what “consent” means. It defies logic to say, “I give my consent for you to be robbed.”

Yet that is the basis of the cult of “democracy”: the notion that a majority can give consent on behalf of a minority. That is not “consent of the governed”; it is forcible control of the governed, with the “consent” of a third party.

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