I have in numerous previous posts, such as this one, stated my belief that laws created and implemented in a highly hierarchical society ultimately lead to its ruin. I could illustrate my theories in action with many current examples, ranging from the negative effects of patent laws on innovation to the disastrous results of various laws that make student debt undischargable in bankruptcy. However I will concentrate on one aspect of this issue that we are all familiar with.
I assert that written contracts are ‘legalized’ fraud.
Many of you might counter my assertion by saying that business in a society where people don’t know each other well requires contracts. My counterargument is-
Have you ever read the contracts and end-user agreements which you have to sign for everything from credit-cards, utility services, medical insurance to using iTunes?
The legalists and sophists (cocksuckers) amongst you might then say that it is up to both parties to read a contract before signing it. But is that a reasonable expectation? What is the whole point behind reading a 10,000 word plus document written in legalese just to use iTunes or accept the basic conditions for a basic health insurance plan? Furthermore, can you realistically renegotiate such an agreement if you wanted to?
OK, let me explain the concept of ‘realistically’ and ‘reasonably expected’ for sophistic cocksuckers.
We all consider our homes to be private places, where we can choose to be alone. Going into a person’s home or stepping on their land without due process is considered a crime- trespassing. However, can you ‘realistically’ bar a bunch of girl-scouts selling cookies or a lost person looking for a particular address from ringing your door bell? Are you going to prosecute them for trespassing? Are you going to shoot any person on your property even if there is no evidence that the person meant or was capable of harm? What about shooting the new mailman or an unfamiliar UPS courier? Any thoughts about shooting kids who accidentally intrude on your sacred property?
Let us now look at an example that illustrates the concept of ‘reasonably expected’. Imagine a good-looking girl taking a vacation at some beach resort. During the course of that vacation she decides to tan in a very skimpy bikini or less. Now, her lack of clothes in that context is not an excuse for some guy assaulting her or persistently harassing her and that is a reasonable expectation. However let’s say that some guy came up to her in the evening at a local bar and told her that she looked very attractive when she was tanning. Should she consider that harassment or stalking, especially if that was an isolated once-only remark or one sentence in a short conversation? Technically, it could be seen as harassment or stalking and prosecuted as such, but is it ‘reasonably expected’ for women to press charges for a single remark from a non-aggressive guy she barely knows?
Getting back to the main issue-
Is it a reasonable or realistic for every user to read and understand every single word in a multitude of long contract, that is deliberately written to obscure its true implications.
Given that all contracts are supposed to establish ground rules and expectations for the behavior of all concerned parties, isn’t it fraudulent to deliberately impair the ability of one party to fully understand the nature of the contract? Isn’t it? Do we respect the contractual validity of something signed by a person under duress or under the effects of psychotropic drugs? What if the person is illiterate or a minor? If not, why not?
It comes down to the ability to understand the full implications of a contract.
A contract is realistically valid only if all parties to the contact can understand it. Moreover, corporations have hundreds to thousands of well-paid lawyers and lobbyists, while the individual citizen has essentially no independent legal counsel or the resources to utilize such assistance.
Therefore the majority of contracts between individual citizens and corporations are fundamentally no different from those between a minor, prisoner, drunk or demented individual and a clever conman.
While you certainly enforce such fraudulent contracts by force, every enforcement of a manifestly unfair contract reduces the amount of faith people have in the judicial system and society as large. It ultimately degenerates into an arms race of lawyers, laws and lobbyists which irreversibly destroys civil society and adversely affects participation and hence the size of the real economy.
What do you think? Comments?