informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Feb 13 2014, 6:18 AM Category: Commentary Source: Robert Higgs Print

The U.S. Government Makes a Mockery of the Principal-Agent Relationship

By Robert Higgs

The philosophical and legal foundation of the U.S. government (and some other governments) is that government officials are the agents of the citizens—in the familiar phrase, those who govern have the “consent of the governed.” An agent, of course, is someone I authorize to act on my behalf. For a host of reasons, this doctrine has always been more or less absurd, but its absurdity has been placed in stark relief recently by the government’s mass spying, which violates the Constitution, various statutes, and many official declarations and promises.

Imagine that I have an agent—for example, I currently have a building contractor in Mexico to whom I have given a legal power of attorney to act in specified ways for a specified duration in carrying out various transactions related to the construction of my house there. Now suppose that my agent refuses to give me full information on his activities performed on my behalf and—outrageous as it might seem—undertakes to spy on me. Then, when I challenge his defective agency and his unauthorized actions in court, he has the impudence to defend himself on the grounds that I lack standing to sue him and that the secrets he keeps from me are legally unblemished because they are “state secrets.” Obviously no one would tolerate such an agent; nor would any court uphold such blatant highhandedness.

Unless, of course, my agent—my agent according to the alleged agent, that is, not according to me—happened to be a government, the U.S. government in particular. Indeed, this twisted, sophistical, legal mumbo jumbo has prevailed for more than half a century pretty much without objection. In the past year, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s massive spying activities have provoked for the first time substantial public protest and legal challenges to the government’s outrageous conduct in relation to the “principals” (the public) on whose behalf government officials purport to act as agents. Never before has the U.S. government’s sheer imperiousness been placed so clearly on public display.

To repeat, the claim that the rulers act as our agents has always been nonsensical, as Lysander Spooner showed almost a century and a half ago, but its incoherence is now illuminated as never before. If the government acts as my agent, it does so entirely by accident, because no agent that acts without my knowledge, approval, or accountability to me can make a plausible claim to agency. Our rulers may or may not be accurately described as dictators, but in no event may they be accurately described as my agents or as acting with my consent.





Latest Commentary
- Celebrating Death & Enacting Violence Will Do Nothing to Stop Police Brutality, It Will Get Worse
- UVA and the Faux Rape Case: Bad Journalism – or Deceitful Writing?
- The War on Drugs Was Born 100 Years Ago
- What America Wannabe?
- Judicial Deference to the Torturers
- Ross Ulbricht Should Be Freed in a Fair Trial
- Government Save Us From "Overpriced" Chinese Food
- I Love Loosies and the People Who Sell Them









Comments Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 13 2014, 4:53 PM

Link
174240 I can't recall having ever given my concent to be governed in the first place. I can recall being subjected to a compulsory education (programming) system. A system which tells you the (CON)stitution is the (ever-changing / amendable) "law," you must follow.

Imagine, if everyone in the US(S) were to wake-up to the "Absolute" truth; that they aren't bound by a piece of paper, (a CONstitution), that the government is just an idea - that people make real, that government contradicts the word "freedom".... Well, that's why the physcopaths have the spy-network. Without the mind-busted masses to do their bidding, the people on top in this pyramid scheme called "America," would quickly fall to the bottom.

For Christians: If Christ's law was perfect, would the Constituion be sac religious?


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

NY Police Union Says 'Blood On Hands' Of Police Critics - 12/21Video Taken by NYPD Killer Surfaces, Shows Him Being Shaken Down by K-9 Unit Last Year - 12/22A Peace Officer Defies the "Blue Tribe": The Exile of Officer Cariol Horne - 12/19Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17San Francisco Deputy Charged with Felonies After Surveillance Video Proves he Lied on Arrest Report - 12/22Obama's Plan for Better Policing: The Good, the Bad, and the Body Cameras - 12/091967 Poll Found Only 6% of Americans Thought Police Brutality Even Existed in Their Town - 12/22New York Police Declare Their Own Safety 'Top Priority' - 12/22

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top