By what legitimate authority?

Not a “conspiracy.” A pogrom. “A massacre or persecution instigated by the government or by the ruling class against a minority group, particularly Jews.”

Only instead of “Jews,” this time it is independent thinkers, productive people who would rather not be robbed, those who can and will defend themselves and their communities. Free people of all kinds. And if we are too afraid of being seen as “conspiracy nuts,” I guess the pogrom, once again, will be a success.  But I don’t really think that challenging the “official story” of these atrocities is the central need. “Conspiracy” is too pat. There’s just so much more to it than that.

The question not being asked by most of us is: By what legitimate authority? How does anyone legitimately gain authority to control the lives and choices of other people against their will?

Did you ever ask a politician, a gun grabber, a public school teacher, a bureaucrat… “By what legitimate authority do you demand, order, enforce, do these things?”

I have. Most, of course, cite the “constitution” and/or “the rule of law.” I then ask them how those things can confer LEGITIMATE authority. Where does legitimate authority over people’s lives and property originate?

So far, NONE of them can answer that, and most become extremely angry when questioned at all. Yet I would think that is the most important question we can ask.

And it’s the most important question we can ask ourselves. Do we own our lives, or have we given our sovereign and natural authority over ourselves to the rulers and politicians?

Those who have freely consented to be controlled by the constitution and the layers of ruling class and bureaucracy it created do not need my permission or my blessing. They are free to do so. The problem is that they feel equally or even especially free to impose that on me, even though I have NOT consented to be so ruled. By their own words, they must have the “consent of the governed,” but not one of them is willing to entertain the fact that not consenting -simply opting out – is possible.

Ask the question. Ask yourself first. Act accordingly.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis
English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 – 1963)
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10 Responses to By what legitimate authority?

  1. Trevor says:

    Most people tend to accept the legitimacy of authority because they that is what they have been trained to do from an early age. Most children accept the concept of authority from adults because they are physically incapable of challenging adults and (probably greater) because that’s what they have been trained to do in order to receive food, perceived love, and approval.

    Problem is, most chronological adults want the government to be their parents, to tell them what to do so they can otherwise lose themselves in entertainment, watching team sports, following fashion, or whatever. That has come through training, from their masters. It begins at an early age. To so-called progressives, the earlier the indoctrination, the better. That’s why we see “progressives” want to rip the child away from the family structure as early as possible. The preferred future nuturing should come from the state.

    So long as the local newspeople on television tell most that they live in a democracy and that the politicians they elect behave according to the will of the people, critical thought is suspended, if not permanently deferred. In the schools, thought is actively discouraged while parroting and compliance are rewarded.

    It takes an awareness of self, courage, and conviction to think and draw conclusions while living in a world of promoted complacency. Most do not rise to the challenge, sad though that may be. They just grow up accepting statism because there is no outisde challenge to such indroctination that offers any easily recognized potential reward.


  2. jeff green says:

    Could it be envisioned in the style of a Home Owner Association? That is something that had to be agreed to when “entering” the area that makes decisions in the “best interest” of the community and requires payment for the implementation and enforcement of those regulations? To “opt out” you would be required to leave the community.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      That’s one option, of course. There is little doubt but that there would be many different possibilities. The “organization” could offer to buy them out, or just leave them alone if they were not harming others. Those who opt out would simply not receive the “benefits” they refused to participate in or pay for. No real need for them to leave, probably.

      Those communities that best left people alone would prosper. Those that did not would fail. Without force and theft, people would naturally gravitate to live with like minded people, and have every incentive to live in peace with their neighbors. Those who wanted to steal and harm others would have serious incentive to forget about it… or die.


  3. ZooT_aLLures says:


    What I “think” Anthony is saying is that you shouldn’t have to opt out of something you’ve never “opted into”.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      That’s splitting hairs, actually. 🙂 But ok. Either way, the point is that we each have the ultimate, sovereign authority over our own lives and property. How we would interact in a voluntary association society to work that out is more complicated. If my neighbors decided to work together on something, I’d have to determine whether I wanted to opt in OR out.

      As it is, the assumption of the neighbors is that I have zero choice whether or not to participate, at least to the extent of the money extorted from me, and various other impositions. The idea that someone COULD opt out of the scheme is foreign to most folks, though there seems to be a growing understanding that people certainly might wish to do so. Almost nobody can envision just how that might work out in reality, unfortunately. But even that may be changing.


  4. Anthony says:

    Your bio says individualist and voluntarist … if what I’m saying still doesn’t make great sense, try equating voluntarism, as the rule of law.

    Not necessarily as a goal to be achieved in the future, the law as it has always existed, exists now, and will always exist as.

    No government can claim rights that are impossible to claim. While the Declaration of Independence isn’t required for this to be true, it achieved the concretizaion of this fact into reality, in the most powerful legal document in our nation’s history (a document that no subsequent document can supersede).


  5. Anthony says:

    Hey Anthony here again.

    I wanted to say I really like the tone of this post. I haven’t checked in on our previous discussion in some time, but, this post is in part a major building block of “declarationism”.

    Like you mentioned, “consent of the governed” is required to govern. However, I do not think “opting out” is necessary. Not necessary because by definition, you cannot consent the unconsentable.

    Which is to say, you cannot delegate the undelegateable. You cannot alienate the unalienable. You cannot contract the incontractible (so much for the so called “social contract”).

    In fact, I would say “opting out” confirms some sort of legitimacy to those who would do you harm. You don’t need to opt out from being mugged, because the would be attacker has no right to attack – and you have every right to defend.

    Try thinking of basic contract law and then replace “legitimate” with “legal” in your post today.

    You only have the rights you start with or are delegated …


    • MamaLiberty says:

      That’s pretty convoluted, Anthony. 🙂 Any “law” that does not come from the non-aggression principle, is questionable at best. And “legal” can be anything men want it to be. All of the torture and murder perpetrated in Nazi Germany was perfectly “legal” by their standards. Obama’s drone warfare is considered perfectly “legal” by all of congress, obviously, or they’d do something about it. I will never replace legitimate with “legal.” They are absolutely not the same thing.

      Opting out merely means saying “NO” when others make demands on you, just as drawing the gun says “NO” in a lethal confrontation. If those trying to coerce you accept the verbal no and leave you alone, you don’t need to draw the gun. If they do not accept it, you have a choice to submit or fight. It would be nice to be able to simply walk away and ignore them instead. No government entity will allow that because they claim authority to make that choice for you. My question is why people accept that “authority” as legitimate, not really to be questioned.

      There is a large difference between what we both know should be… and the reality of the world and human nature around us. A great problem is that far too few people understand that.

      Utopia is not an option.


  6. Richard says:

    Where do they get the authority?? They give it to themselves, behind our back buried inside lame ass laws, that no body reads.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      How can they do that, Richard? Only if the people allow them to do so. The only legitimate authority over people’s lives rests with them alone. And they can give that authority to whom they please. If people can be fooled into forgetting that the ultimate authority is actually theirs, all the better for the politicians. But that authority must be given to them, one way or another.

      You can’t take freedom from a truly free man. The worst you can do is kill him.


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