the consent of the governed home If people do not consent to the laws which the government requires people to obey, then the laws have been imposed on people against their wishes. The people are not free. The people are slaves. The government is a tyranny. Governments and laws are not legitimate unless they are based on the consent of the governed. It is not practical for every person to consent to every law. Governments and law may be based on indirect or implied consent. For example, if a person travels to another nation, then the choice to go to another nation implies that the person has consented to the laws of the destination nation. However, this might not apply to a person who was forced to leave his home; because although he chose the destination, he did not choose to leave. This also might not apply to a situation where all the tyrannical governments conspire together to make sure that people are equally oppressed in every nation. For another example, if people elect representatives, and if the representatives enact laws, the people have indirectly consented to the laws by consenting to the representatives. A person who chooses not to vote is consenting to allow other people to make the decision, so the person who chooses not to vote is indirectly consenting to the laws. But what about the people who lose the election? Suppose there is an election with two candidates. The war candidate wants to raise taxes and use the money to invade some other nation. The peace candidate opposes both the war and the tax increase. Should the people who voted for the peace candidate be forced to pay the war tax? If the people who lost the election are forced to pay the war tax, then majorities have the right to oppress minorities. But if the people who lost the election are exempt from the war tax, then there will be different laws for different people. Justice will be more complicated because the government will have to determine which people are supposed to obey which laws. Which laws a person has to obey will depend on who that person voted for, so which candidate each person voted for needs to be a public record. There could be no secret ballots. Vote fraud would be more difficult, because anyone could check if their recorded vote matched the vote they had intended to make, anyone could count the votes to determine if the official totals were correct, and anyone could check the list of voters to determine how many dead or nonexistant people had voted and whom the dead and nonexistant people had voted for. But the public vote records could easily be abused. The government could use the public vote records to reward its supporters and harass opposition supporters. A candidate could scare people into voting for him by announcing that after the election, his supporters would beat up everybody who voted against him. A candidate could buy votes by announcing that after the election he would give money to everybody who voted for him. The solution is autonomy. home