Consent Does Not Determine Justice
June 26, 2008 § 16 Comments
The saying goes that the just powers of a government derive from the consent of the governed.
That, not to put too fine a point on it, is complete poppycock.
A just power is an exercise of government authority which one is morally required to obey. “Give unto Caesar” is an archtypical example for Christians. One is morally required to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. One cannot excuse onesself from this moral requirement by claiming that Caesar’s powers do not as an historical matter derive from the consent of the governed.
Under the hood the ‘consent of the governed’ narrative is designed to replace the natural law with consent: to equate what is good with what is willed. It is of a piece with the modern revolt against God and nature.
(Cross-posted at What’s Wrong with the World)