Principle of Fairness: Relation of Consent to Justness (Part 2 of 2)
The final take on the concept of Consent is one that hopes to gain the scale ability both in terms of size of groups as well as the daunting task of long term commitments. In this form the act of consenting lasts only as long as a person feels they would rather be in the deal than not, accepting benefits in full knowledge of the deal, which includes the benefits and the negatives. In Layman’s once again this is the idea that you pay for what you like and not for what you don’t. The payment does not have to be monetary but that’s the simplest way to understand the concept.
Returning to the pub for a real world example we have the group decide that if anyone wants to be part of the group they just need to pay for a pitcher when it comes to be their turn. In this system they can safely get larger or smaller and anyone can be part of the deal for any length of time. A person who decides that they’d like to be a part of the deal for a few years can decide at a later date that this setup is no longer working for them. Indeed the act of losing members while raising the financial investment per member also lengthens the time between purchases. In this system nobody is expected to invest beyond their own interests and nobody is punishable for breaking away, assuming that at no point do they receive the benefits of the service without putting in for the negatives.
This system is self regulating and in that manner it is useful in all situations. Take a nation of a million fold, they decide together that anyone in the nation may decide on what they do or do not want their tax money to go towards. However anything they do not invest in they cannot reap the benefits of. So those who refuse to pay into the taxes for health care would not be able to get it without paying during their checkups, those who don’t pay into the education system could not send their children without paying, the same would be said for all the various services across the nation.
Under the assumption that people will pay for what they need, the services will become more well funded as more people require them which will cause the services (under proper management) to expand and accommodate the larger numbers. As less people desire a service the funding will cut back and likewise the number of persons using that service cuts back. Services that few or no people desire, for example biological weaponry, would eventually fall apart from lack of funding. Taxes likewise would rise and fall in accordance with the services that people actively desire.
This also addresses an argument raised by Robert Nozick, who equated taxation to forced labor. In Nozick’s example taxation is a forced system that all parties within a nation (or group) agree upon by living in that area or being a part of that system. However as established earlier this implied agreement is not a consistent nor effective form of contract and indeed there must be a much more interactive and dynamic system to provide the least unjust (ideally entirely just) system possible.
This form of taxation is no longer forced, it becomes more of a subscription based investment system. Anyone who does not agree with a certain project can designate their funding to not be used in that project. Under an honest and open governing body this creates a nation where there would be no reason to feel that taxes are a negative factor. It is my strong opinion that the negative attitude towards taxation is not towards the nature of taxing itself but the rather global nature of unreasonable taxation. Every current nation has large sums of money spent on projects that a vast majority of its people do not agree with nor would they pay into if they had an actual choice. Unfortunately taxation is an ultimatum in modern civilizations rather than an actual choice. So while I strongly disagree that any taxation equates to forced labor I would agree with Nozick that modern day itineration’s of taxation however do.
There is are problems with this system however. We must assume that any civilization under this system would be entirely populated by sound minded individuals with each person having a sufficient level of education to help guide their decisions. We also require that there be no false advertising in what projects actually do when applying for what a citizens taxes should go towards. Both of these assumptions are quite unreasonable when looking at all current and past nations, indeed it might be impossible to begin a system such as this without starting an entirely new society comprised of either persons who had proper education, civic pride, and proper cognitive functioning or a society of persons who have never been indoctrinated into any of the current or past civilizations. The latter is an obvious impossibility without the extreme step of taking a large clutch of infants and placing them somewhere, and the former is highly difficult given the nature of modern nationhood (massive countries covering every habitable inch of the Earth).
Another issue that is raised by this system is to whether or not one must have consent under certain situations. If a person is currently carrying a pathogen that has a 100% mortality rate, is spread through various high traffic means like air or contact, and they live near or could get near a populated area is it unjust to restrain them? While it is true a properly functioning person would likely quarantine themselves for those who won’t is it fair to place them under containment until either a cure is found or they die? It was already established before that one cannot coerce others into an agreement and that they must accept the deal once understanding both the positive and the negative involved but in this sort of incident is that a set of rules that must be adhered to?
In this instance all four possible views of consent above seem to fall short. While it may seem improper (and uncomfortably utilitarian) to harm one or few to protect many it also seems obvious that in situations like this that a blind faith approach to fairness and justice could very quickly lead to incredibly bad outcomes. While it seems like an unlikely situation previous real world events, historically there have been 18 major plagues that have cost hundreds of millions of lives. The Black Death alone killed upwards of 75 million people.
These are extreme cases, but they must be addressed before they become an actual issue again. It may be required that there be a formula for all the most common situations, as with the fourth version of consent and to supplement it with a separate by similar doctrine for extreme circumstances. Laws in Physics break down whenever explaining a super massive or super small object(s), it would seem unreasonable to assume that any principle of command would likewise require special rules or supporting principles in extreme situations either large or small.
— So that’s it. If you notice anything or have any questions feel free to drop them by me. It’s due on Wednesday so I still have time to edit it.