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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Slavery???

From: Charles Duffy
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Slavery???
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 04:56:02 -0600

On Mon, 2003-11-24 at 04:38, Peter Conrad wrote:
> Look at reality: most contracts are fulfilled without anyone even trying
> to sneak out of it. That supports my claim.

If so, your claim is entirely irrelevant to the position I (and I think
Tom) take.

A contract is a contract, and not a gentleman's agreement, only if there
is an enforcement mechanism available. How often gentleman's agreements
(those being a superset of contracts -- including also agreements which
have no external force supporting them) are fulfilled is entirely
irrelevant to whether the government's decision to enforce contracts or
otherwise exists strictly as a social construct.

> On the other hand, despite the possibility of enforcement, some contracts
> are broken (some even successfully). According to Tom's logic that'd
> mean: contracts require enforcement. Since there is obviously no reliable
> means of enforcing a contract, it follows there aren't any contracts. q.e.d.

That, I think, is one of the worst strawmen I've seen in quite some

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