Our second of eight liberty principles is to Teach every citizen and public official to know why written contracts that define and limit the power of government officials are important—and why the clear written words of the U.S. and NJ Constitutions must be understood and obeyed.
Why are contracts important for a free society?
Contracts form a basic understanding between two or more parties as to what each party can and can not do. Contracts give people the confidence that certain things will happen and if they do not, there is a court system, where broken contracts can be remedied through an orderly judicial process. People may lie, change their minds, and go against their word, but a contract – especially a written contract – gives people an objective account of what an agreement is.
The assurance that contracts give to people also insures that there is a healthy regard for private property. In fact, the sanctity of both contracts and private property form a basis for a free society. Contracts assure people that they will not be harmed when dealing with others. This principle also applies to the government.
Our Declaration of Independence has a phrase, that our government is instituted with the “consent of the governed.” This underlying consent to a certain and limited authority of the government is a contract. It is a contract between free citizens and our government. The contract limits what government can and cannot do and also provides for the rights of the citizens. It is when this contractual agreement is violated – such is the circumstance we find today – that citizens must avail themselves of the proper and necessary channels of recourse. Namely, our Federal and State Constitutions.
If our rights are violated, and we have only the words of a benevolent dictator, or the hope that our leaders will “do the right thing” and correct the wrong, there is no peaceful recourse to justice. It is a beautiful thing that in America there are written Constitutions – contracts – with the government. We can turn to these contracts and use the appropriate remedies to right any wrongs that have been inflicted by a government in breach of its contract(s). It would be ideal to familiarize ourselves with both the Federal and New Jersey State Constitutions, both of which are on our web-site under the “Liberty Documents” section.
(Image source – http://www.hackcollege.com/blog/2013/04/24/translate-terms-of-service-into-everyday-speech.html)