Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Homo Economicus, Jeremy Bentham

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The obligation to obey the law because it is the law. Implicit consent to the states authority over us. Does residence count as consent, because if you don"t like it then you can. This pre-supposes that you can leave if you want to. Therefore staying in a country is not morally equivalent to consenting leave. Rational individuals would consent if they were in the state of nature. This is non-voluntarism: it asks whether the state is worthy of our consent. Voluntarism: hypothetical consent gets us to realise what we already consent to. First objection: this is not really consent. Second objection: some still might refuse to consent. Did not and will not consent, so the state is illegitimate. Anarchists are correct to reject blind obedience. But people disagree about the justice of certain laws. Two options are available: a publicly agreed shared set of laws, defer to private judgments about the content of laws.

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