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CONTRACTS

Third parties

Their argument here revolves around the issue of enforcement of the Master Contract to ensure that no slavery contracts or slavery by debt exists. This enforcement raises questions as to who will do it, who would invalidate those deemed slavery and if this service is not provided, what is the value of including it in the Master Contract?

This argument can be taken literally and applied to every single Libertarian system. The argument is not dealing specifically with the explicit prohibition of slavery but the prohibition of slavery in general. Does it really matter if there is a clause prohibiting slavery or the prohibition comes from deeper philosophical roots? In practice it does not. In practice, in a real Libertarian system the enforcement of the prohibition or rejection of slavery ultimately falls on the people operating voluntarily under the system. This is valid in any other Libertarian system and we see no reason why should it not be valid in ours.

However, we can do better than this. There are plenty of precedents in today’s world whereby lawyers “chase” ambulances or industrial injuries or household support personnel or low income employees reviewing their contracts and operating on a contingency basis. In the same manner in the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system, there will be mediators and other people searching for slavery contracts. This would actually be quite a lucrative proposition since as slavery is explicitly forbidden, if mediated the penalty is a forgone conclusion. The slave owner is mechanically and instantaneously found guilty of breaching the Master Contract and this gets very expensive very fast.

Ultimately, the value of including it in the Master Contract is to safeguard our right to live. One must remember that in our system, the Master Contract contains all the rules necessary to co-exist. There are no external rules to it, other than those rules people voluntarily choose to agree to through contracts. If the anti-slavery rule would not exist, a slave owner would be able to injure or kill slaves at will. So the value of this clause is the highest.

With the clause included in the system, we know that any and all people’s lives are protected unless it is their will not to live.

Fulfillment

Another argument asks that if there is no claim of injury or damage from either part, why should the contract not be allowed to be fulfilled?

If we are talking about a servitude contract, this type of contract is not included in the anti-slavery clause. All legitimate servitude contracts are valid under the Master Contract, up to and including death. This is so because in those types of contracts both parties contracted freely as every party has an unlimited ability to contract.

However, in a slavery situation (by contract or by death), as the slaves do not own their bodies (i.e. their bodies are not their property), the slave owner may (for example) destroy these bodies without the need for a legitimate contract and this is not acceptable because this destruction may not be the desire of the slaves. Hence, the need for an anti-slavery clause.

Imposition of rules

Yet another argument states that the anti-slavery clause is an arbitrary imposition of a person or group of people on other people. If this would to be true, this would indeed be planting the seeds of tyranny.

Alas, it is not. The Master Contract is a contract. It must be entered voluntarily and as such, it cannot be imposed on anybody. Furthermore, it has no opt-out penalties of any kind. What this means in practice is that anybody may agree to be bound to the Master Contract at any time and may also breach the contract at any time without penalty.

The only exception to this scenario is when a person is paying off debts through work, which is the only property this person has left. In this case the Master Contract states that this person has lost all rights regarding this person’s creditor (but not other people). In practice this means that the debtor may leave the Master Contract rules for all people except for the creditor. This is done for two reasons. The first one is to ensure the debtor remains responsible for the debt and the second is to ensure that the debtor’s body (i.e. its property) is protected by injury or death by the creditor.

An example of an opt-out scenario is as follows. There could be an entire city where all its inhabitants adhere voluntarily to the Master Contract but one person. What would be the effect of this difference on the city? Exactly nothing. Would the city be able to enforce or impose the Master Contract on this person? Absolutely not. It is this person that will not be protected by the Master Contract if this person chooses not to agree to it. In ultimate analysis, it is a personal choice and nobody else’s.

As there is no way to enforce anything on anybody there is no way to impose any rule on anybody and therefore tyranny is simply not possible.

FINAL ARGUMENT

Their final argument states that it is only necessary to recognize all people and and justly try any complaints of injury or claim raised by them. As all other safeguards are already build-in, this is all that it is required.

We respectfully disagree. From a philosophical perspective, this may be true, but in real life people needs real, down-to-earth rules to operate. The core of the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system is the notion that it is possible to create such a set of rules using nothing but the very basic and rudimentary notions of contracts (i.e. voluntary agreements), thus maximizing freedom for all.

As the old saying sais, good fences make for good neighbors. We are simply bringing to light one type of fence.

The Master Contract embodies only one possible solution from an infinite number of possible solutions to the problem of self-organizing people in Liberty. Our ultimate goal is simply to demonstrate that this is possible.

FINAL COMMENTARY

Their arguments exhibit a constant fear of us being mis-interpreted or mis-quoted or that our insistence in the inclusion of the anti-slavery clause may somehow open old discussions or plant the seeds of tyranny. In every day’s words, they are afraid we may be opening Pandora’s box.

To this fear we have an answer. We stated from the beginning that we will not shy away from any topic under any circumstance. We promised that we will be as honest as we can humanly be. We promised that if we were found in error, we will stand corrected. And we still believe this is the correct approach.

Only by dealing openly and candidly with any and all topics can people understand what freedom is all about and how it operates. The notion of freedom and liberty has been so polluted with half-truths and vested interests that it is no longer possible to reach any useful conclusion. We are here to correct this error. We cannot do so muzzled.

CONCLUSION

We thank the commenter for bringing up a large number of interesting considerations, but we remain unconvinced. We firmly believe that our logic and our goals are sound, and hence we won’t make any corrections to the Master Contract at this time. This is not to say it won’t happen in the future, it only means today. Tomorrow is a whole other day.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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