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Online Great Books Podcast

Dec 2, 2021

This week, Scott and Karl read Lysander Spooner's 1870 essay No Treason No. 6: "The Constitution of No Authority." 

Spooner was an American anarchist, abolitionist, and legal theorist of the nineteenth century. He is known for competing with the U.S. Post Office with his American Letter Mail Company, later forced out of business by the United States government. Scott says, "The violent revolutionary approach to political change doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with anarchism. Anarchism, in the Spooner form, doesn't mean a free-for-all. It means organic laws and no overarching ruler." 

In this essay, Spooner examines the potential validity and lasting authority of the U.S. Constitution as a binding contract between men. Karl asks the listeners, "Have you given consent to the Constitution? In what way did you give that consent? Is it because you haven't moved away?"

Tune in for Part One of the duo's discussion. Brought to you by