Friday, March 16, 2007

Zany name Zany Guy

And thanks to the person who left a comment directing me to the life and works of individualist anarchist Lysander Spooner in the context of a discussion about the limitations of democracy - particularly when that democracy involves giving knob heads a vote

"A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years"

I've enjoyed reading up on Lysander immensely and was particularly taken with a paragraph in his Wikipedia entry...

Though denouncing its embrace of slavery, Spooner sided with the Confederate States of America's right to secede on the basis that they were choosing to exercise government by consent — a fundamental constitutional and legal principle to Spooner's philosophy. The North, by contrast, was trying to deny the Southerners their inherent right to be governed by their consent. He believed they were attempting to coerce the obedience of the southern states to a union they did not wish to enter. ... He argued that the right for states to secede derives from the same right of the slaves to be free. This argument was not popular in the North or South once the war started, as it was contrary to the government positions held on both sides.

Fantastic! None of that 'you're either with us or against us', Left Wing vs Right Wing, false dichotomy crap for Lysander.

= instant personal hero

Another bee in Lysander's bonnet was the the concept of jury nullification - that is, allowing juries to refuse to convict someone if they think the law that has been broken is nonsense.

Given all the arse-wipe legislation that has been recently introduced in the UK by a Government that holds absolute power with less than 23% of the vote, jury nullifcation is starting to look like an awfully attractive concept. And possibly one of the reasons why that government has been pushing to do away with jury trials in certain 'special' circumstances.

and the great thing is, because Lysander is dead, he can't ever disappoint me by selling out and doing voice-overs for toilet roll adverts later on


1 comment:

Richard said...

Spooner wraps it all up in his 1870 'No Treason' pamphlet series. My idea of a hero.