Green on social contract theory

"In fact, the condition of society in which it could properly be said to be governed by a law of nature, i.e. by an obligation of which there is no imponent but the consciousness of man, an obligation of which the breach is not punished by a political superior, is not antecedent to political society but one which it gradually tends to produce. It is the radical fault of the theory which finds the origin of political society in compact that it has to reverse the true process." -- The Principles of Political Obligation, p. 48

In other words, it is politics itself which produces our recognition of each other as rights-bearing individuals.

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