Thursday, April 14, 2011
Posted by dkuehn at 6:50 AM
Is the Constitution just any other contract that is binding on signatories and no one else? Aaron Brown agrees with Lysander Spooner that it is in this post. I have a lot of comments on there that accept that it is just such a contract for the sake of argument, but I conclude with a hesitation. Simply put, if constitutions are reducible to contracts why does nobody treat them as such? That would seem to provide good reason to question whether they are contracts in the traditional sense. I'm not sure of any reason to think they are contracts except for a vague "it's a legal sort of document that discusses rights and obligations of people" argument. Fair enough, but the question remains - if it is a contract in the traditional sense why does nobody seem to think about it or treat it as a contract in the traditional sense? Common sense and conventional wisdom are not good bases for argument, but I have trouble jettisoning common sense and conventional wisdom for deduction from abstraction alone. This argument also seems based on the assumption that there is no such entity as "society" and that there are only individuals... another assumption I'm not entirely sure about.