TW for rape. (I don’t even know why it got into this discussion)



While I see how it can be considered offensive and inappropriate to compare being born in a political system one disagrees with to being raped, which is a completely different and much more traumatic matter, I’m not sure how that actually invalidates the idea that accepting tacit consent is a double-standard in that it would be inappropriate in virtually any other circumstance. It is insensitive to compare it to rape, of all things, but that’s not the main point and it doesn’t mean the OP necessarily eats babies every meal.

Tacit consent is a really good theory not because it legitimises the state of power but because that’s how reality works.

Reality doesn’t come bundled with any theory of social contract. Political systems do, and when it comes down to it, they legitimize themselves according to them. What you seem to be saying is that merely not expressing agreement does not physically prevent anything from happening, which is completely obvious and doesn’t necessarily have any ethical implications. The question is, is it justified to enforce the power of a political system over people who do not explicitly agree (or explicitly disagree, for that matter) with it? Of course power will very likely be enforced in practice over people who don’t express agreement, especially if the political system in question considers tacit consent to, well, exist, because that’s what political systems do. The mention of fascism isn’t particularly relevant: Would a pacifistic population unwilling to fight fascism with force justify the rule of fascism? It would enable it, but that’s not the subject at hand, especially considering that fascism isn’t concerned with the consent of the governed for the most part.

Politics is the study of the power relationships.  It can be prescriptive of how they should work, or descriptive of how they do work.  If you want to have an argument about legitimacy, have an argument about legitimacy.  If you want to have an argument about the reality of power and consent theory as an analysis of that, then do so.  My complaints about the post as you reblogged it were two fold (discounting the rape analogy): 1 – the picture is asinine and means nothing because it fundamentally doesn’t understand social contract theory.  2 – the attempt to then go and refute consent theory by ftm-communist completely misunderstood the value taken from using consent theory.

The value of consent theory is not in it’s capacity for legitimisation, I never claimed it was.  The value is in the way it is descriptive of power relations.  You cannot separate political discourse into an a priori fantasy land where those power relations suddenly no longer exist.  Is it right that people take non-explicit concurrence or disagreement with a political system to mean that people grant it tacit consent?  Who cares.  It happens.  It will always happen as long as there’s a ruling class with a monopoly on violence.  Complaining about that being the way it happens isn’t going to change that.

Reality doesn’t come bundled with any theory of social contract. Political systems do, and when it comes down to it, they legitimize themselves according to them.

Yeah but reality does come bundled with political systems which come bundled with social contracts.  So what’s your point?  Unless you were born before the enlightenment, in which case reality came bundled with a feudal lord and a spear.  So have fun with that.

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