Sunday, February 3, 2013

Women have no right to vote

I love Lysander Spooner (1808–1887). A great champion for equal rights of all humans, he once wrote an essay in which he claimed that women have no right to vote.

Then he explained: nobody has a right to vote. By "voting in" a particular government, we support the concept that one elite group of people (albeit of our choosing) may rule over the rest of the populace and create so-called "laws" to compel the populace to its will (or, perhaps, compel the minority to the will of the majority).

Instead, argued Spooner, legal laws (rules for peaceful coexistence between human beings) must be naturally discovered. I might add: just like laws of proper spelling are "discovered" to facilitate exchange of linguistic information.

As one of my favorite modern libertarian philosophers, Roderick Long, writes:
In the provocatively titled “Against Woman Suffrage” (New Age, 24 February 1877), the feminist Spooner argued that as human beings, women have “all the natural rights that any human beings can have,” and so have “just as good a right to make laws as men have, and no better; AND THAT IS JUST NO RIGHT AT ALL,” since “[n]o human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right to make laws, and compel other human beings to obey them,” and to claim such a right is “to say that they are the masters and owners of those of whom they require such obedience.”
While not wishing to cast “any special odium … on the woman suffragists,” whom he regards as “undoubtedly among the best and most honest of all those foolish people who believe that laws should be made,” Spooner declared that “[i]f the women, instead of petitioning to be admitted to a participation in the power of making more laws, will but give notice to the present lawmakers that they (the women) are going up to the State House, and are going to throw all the existing statute books in the fire, they will do a very sensible thing.”
I echoed the same sentiment in one of my former posts: I Believe It's the Law.

See also: Democracy and the Illusion of Public Ownership.

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