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. No Treason, Vol. VI.: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner. No cover available. Download; Bibrec.

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How can we know which are their houses, that we may burn or demolish them? Aufhority these villains, who call themselves governments, well understand that their power rests primarily upon money. S government come from “the People”. For he logically proves that our government is a secret combination of murderers and thieves. But this tacit understanding admitting it to exist cannot at all justify the conclusion drawn from it.

No Treason – Wikisource, the free online library

The Constitution of No Authority “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. You may, or you may not, be members of that secret band, who appoint agents to rob and murder other people; but who are cautious not to make themselves individually known, either to such agents, or to those whom their agents are commissioned to rob.

It is like lending money to slave traders, or to common robbers and pirates, to be repaid out of their plunder. No one can come forward and say to him: But while his book rests on a single premise which certainly could be attacked from a number of different perspectivesthe importance of Spooner’s contribution lies in its rational commitment to the single premise of the order of liberty promised by Enlightenment theorists.

The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded.

And it has no other obligation than a similar oath given to any other unknown body of pirates, robbers, and murderers. For this reason I would not suggest it for light reading, but instead suggest you read it with pen in hand so you can conetitution notes. And all oaths that purport to be given to such an association are necessarily given only to the winds.

Barnett, “The Significance of Lysander Spooner” While most libertarians know Spooner largely from No Treasonin his own time he was better known for his antislavery constitutionalism.

No Treason (1867-1870)

Once the Civil War took hold he defended lysaner South as being victim of Northern aggression and for being forced to comply to a government they wished to split with. The most that these members of Congress can say, in favor of their appointment, is simply this: Instead, he goes about providing evidence that no single person consented to the Constitution.

And he has no other alternative than these two. And since no such corporation can be proved to exist, it cannot of course be proved that the oaths of Southern men were given to any such corporation. He brings the foundations of a free society based on voluntary interactions, and also advocating for the right to resist paying taxes.


It is mere idle wind. Only one spopner Spooner’s major arguments holds true in my opinion: 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. All the voting that has ever taken place under the Constitution, has been of such a kind mo it not only did not pledge the whole people to support the Constitution, but it did not even pledge any one of them to do so, as the following considerations show.

None of the voters in this country appoint their political agents in any open, authentic manner, or in any manner to make themselves responsible for their acts.

Neither are a people any the less slaves because permitted periodically to choose new masters.

What makes them slaves is the fact that they now are, and are always hereafter to be, in the hands of men whose power over them is, and always is to be, absolute and irresponsible.

While we would hope spoomer that our government would try to live within the restrictions of the constitution, the government of his day had used that document as a justification for slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people. The enslaved people are, of course, forced to support and pay all these murderers, as constitugion as to submit to authoriyt the other extortions which these murderers are employed to enforce.

And yet these imposters now cry out that they have abolished the chattel slavery of the black man — although that was not the motive of the war — as if they thought they could thereby conceal, atone for, or justify that other slavery which they were fighting to perpetuate, and to render more rigorous and inexorable than it ever was before.

No Treason

If I gave my oath to anybody, I gave it to other persons than you. The only excuse they had for taking these so-called corporate promises of, for individual loans by, the same parties, was that they might have some apparent excuse for the future robberies of the band that is, to pay the debts of the corporationand that they might also know what shares they were to be respectively entitled to out of the proceeds of their future robberies.

He brings the fou This book was subversive in its time and at some point it keeps being subversive nowadays. Spooner, of course, was also an anarchist. It therefore furnishes no legal evidence that anybody supports it voluntarily. The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.: In short, the industrial and commercial slavery of the great body of the people, North and South, black and white, is the price which these lenders of blood money demand, and insist upon, and are determined to secure, in return for the money lent for the war.


Contracts can only bind the parties that sign them. Want to Read saving…. Spooner argued that merely living in a certain geographic area under control of a government, or voting in government elections, in no way implied one’s consent to the government of that territory.

That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals. And Congress and the president are today the merest tools for these purposes. Certainly, neither the whole people of the United States, nor any number of them, ever separately or individually contracted to pay a cent of these debts. Consequently such an oath or contract can be of no obligation.

Perhaps the facts were never made more evident, in any country on the globe, than in our own, that these soulless blood-money loan-mongers are the real rulers; that they rule from the most sordid and mercenary motives; that the ostensible government, the presidents, senators, and representatives, so called, are merely their tools; and that no ideas of, or regard for, justice or liberty had anything to do in inducing them to lend their money for the war.

In fact, they do not propose to pay their debts otherwise than from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders.

I found the first part to be the most interesting and most compelling. And among both savages and barbarians, mere want may sometimes compel one man to sell himself as a conztitution to another.

And they say the same in regard to the emperor of Russia, the king of Prussia, the emperor of France, or any other ruler, so called, who, in their judgment, will be able, by cobstitution a reasonable portion of his people, to keep the rest in subjection, and extort money from them, for a long time to come, to pay the interest and the principal of the money lent him.

Books about anarchism essays United States constitutional commentary.

Furthermore, the law everywhere probably in our country, as well as in England, requires that a large class of contracts, such as wills, deeds, etc. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man takes the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing.

He sees ov, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, spkoner subjecting them to his own.

And those whose supported candidate loses can’t really donstitution considered to have bindingly supported the Constitution, as they lost, and anyway some may vote specifically with the intent of undermining the Constitution.

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