more from David Hume

Single Idea 20495

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. Social contract]

Full Idea

[If we give 'tacit' assent to the state] ...we may as well assert that a man, by remaining in a vessel, freely consents to the dominion of the master, though he was carried aboard while asleep.

Gist of Idea

We no more give 'tacit assent' to the state than a passenger carried on board a ship while asleep


David Hume (Of the original contract [1741], p.283)

Book Reference

Wolff,Jonathan: 'An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev)' [OUP 2006], p.43

A Reaction

We should probably drop the whole idea that we give assent to the state. We are stuck with a state, and a few of us can escape, if it seems important enough, but most of us have no choice. He hope to assent to the controllers of the state.