No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority. December 9, Lysander Spooner. The greatest case for anarchist political philosophy ever written. Narrated by. No Treason has ratings and 56 reviews. Marcus said: Long before the the Civil War started, Lysander Spooner was a strong abolitionist and was extreme. 31 quotes from No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority: ‘But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that i.

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In fact, they do not propose to pay their debts otherwise than from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders. It was never signed by anybody, and apparently has no obligation, and never had any obligation, as a contract. Open despotism is better than this. The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: Men honestly engaged in attempting to establish justice in the world, have no occasion thus to act in secret; or to appoint agents to do acts for which they the principals are not willing to be responsible.

Additionally, he points out that even if voting counts as voluntarily taking ownership, only about one sixth of Americans at that time, when slavery had just ended and women could not vote had historically been allowed to vote.

That being said, it is well worth your time engaging with this book. Section 3 questions how a nation comes to existence, and what is the justification of why the United States remains a nation.

No man can be my servant, agent, attorney, or representative, and be, at the same time, uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me for his acts. If I gave him absolute, irresponsible Edition: Want to Read saving…. If I go upon Boston Common, and in the presence of a hundred thousand people, men, women and children, with whom I have no contract on the subject, take an oath that I will enforce upon them the laws of Moses, of Lycurgus, of Solon, of Justinian, or of Alfred, that oath is, on general principles of law and reason, of no obligation.

His writing style is clear and very modern. Neither is it any answer to this view of the case to say that the men holding this absolute, irresponsible power, must be men chosen by the people or portions of them to hold it.

No Treason – Wikipedia

Dec 03, Daniel rated it really ho it Shelves: There is no privity, as the lawyers say ,—that is, no mutual recognition, consent and agreement—between those who take these oaths, and any other persons. The most lsander can say, in answer to this question, is, that some half, two-thirds, or three-fourths of the male adults of the country have a tacit understanding that they will maintain a government under the Constitution; that they will select, by ballot, the persons to administer it; and that those persons who may receive a majority, or a plurality, of their ballots, shall act as their representatives, and administer the Constitution in their name, and by their authority.

They are understood to be received and counted by certain men, who are themselves appointed for that purpose by the same secret process by which all other officers and agents of the band are selected. The lusander that they had designated me secretly, and in a manner to prevent my knowing them individually, prevents all privity between them and me; and consequently makes it impossible that there can spoonwr any contract, or pledge of faith, on my part towards them; for it is impossible that I can pledge my constittion, in any legal sense, to a man whom I neither know, nor have any means of knowing, individually.


The right lgsander absolute and irresponsible dominion is the right of property, and the right of property is the right of absolute, irresponsible dominion. They lend money to be expended in robbing, enslaving, and murdering their fellow men, solely because, on the whole, such loans pay better than any others.

A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. But although these men are individually unknown, both to each other and to other persons, it is generally understood in the country that none but male lysanver, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, can be members. I have to disagree, however. If any considerable number of the people believe the Constitution to be good, why do they not sign it themselves, and make laws for, and administer them upon, each other; leaving all Edition: It may be shocking for some to read such a blunt account.

The principle, on which the war was waged by the Authorigy, was simply this: It utterly fails to prove that the government rests upon the voluntary support of any body.

Shortly after the American Civil War concluded Spooner penned this scathing repudiation of the social contract and the contractarian view of the state in general.

Even then, only those who voted for an American politician could be said to have consented to the Constitution, not those who voted against, and only for the span of time he voted for every two years, for example. He poses it as a group of men at this time only men could vote that gather, and by secret ballot vote to rob and plunder through taxation and the threat of violence for resisting taxation their fellow man for their own benefit.

But it appears that usually not more than one-half, two-thirds, or, in some cases, three-fourths, of all who are thus permitted to become members of the band, ever exercise, or consequently prove, their actual membership, in the only mode in which they ordinarily can exercise or prove it, viz.

But, on general principles of law and reason, they might as well pretend to own the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans themselves; or the atmosphere and the sunlight; and to hold them, and dispose of them, for the payment of these debts. The first and second numbers of this series were published in It never bound anybody, because it was never agreed to by anybody in such a manner as to make it, on general principles of law and reason, binding upon him.

They are given to nobody; but only to the winds. The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side, and, holding a pistol Edition: So far, therefore, as voting is concerned, the Constitution, legally speaking, has no supporters at all. Instead, he goes about providing evidence that no single person consented to the Constitution.

And one certain proof that a government is not free, is that it coerces more or less persons to support it, against their will. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own ben Spooner makes a tightly reasoned case as to why the Constitution is no legal binding contract.


The result of this bloodshed was that while the slaves were freed, the surviving Southerners were no longer free to withdraw from the bonds of a government that no longer acted as their agent. Third, Spooner’s style is severely lacking, as demonstrated by his obsessive use of the phrase “secret band of murderers and thieves” in about every third sentence of this pamphlet.

No Treason Quotes

And Congress and the president are to-day the merest tools for these purposes. If I have any duty in the matter, it is to give back the money to those from whom I took it; not to pay it over to such villains as you.

It is merely given to the winds. Whether or not he is right is a decision that the reader will have to make, but either way, his arguments should not be ignored. And the only reason why they have never been asked to sign it, has been that it has been known that they never would sign it; that they were neither such fools nor knaves as they must needs have been to be willing to sign it; that at least as it has been practically interpreted it is not what any sensible and honest man wants for himself; nor such as he has any right to impose upon others.

The Constitution also enables them to secure the execution of all their laws, by giving them power to withhold the salaries of, and to impeach and remove, all judicial and executive officers, who refuse to execute lhsander.

This, and only this: On general principles of law and reason, every corporation, association, or organized body of men, having a legitimate corporate existence, and legitimate corporate rights, must consist of certain known individuals, who can prove, by legitimate and reasonable evidence, their membership. This custom was established ages ago, when few men could write their names; when a clerk—that is, a man who could write—was so rare and valuable a person, that even if he were guilty of high crimes, he was entitled to pardon, on the ground that the public could not afford to lose his services.

I highly recommend this if you want to learn about the real roots consitution statist lysanrer control.

Online Library of Liberty

He is none the less a robber, tyrant, and murderer, because he claims to lysandee as their agent, than he would be if he avowedly acted on his own responsibility alone.

How many will ever dare openly proclaim Edition: He makes commentary on the funding of the Civil War by the North, and questions the idea of consent directly stated under the United States Constitution. It cannot be said that, by voting, a man pledges himself to support the Constitution, unless the act of voting be a perfectly voluntary one on his part.