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L. Neil Smith's

Number 828, July 5, 2015

Most Americans just want to be left the bloody hell alone

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Jefferson's Promise, Smith's Fulfillment
July 4th Reflections on the 30th* Anniversary
of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent

by Dennis Wilson

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Today being the Fourth of July, 2015, it is timely to review what L. Neil Smith wrote 30 years ago, in 1985, and what I have described as "the fulfillment of the promise of Jefferson's Declaration"[1].

L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent actually FULFILLS the promise of individual freedom in Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. The Covenant is simple, rational, personal, easy to understand and even short enough to memorize.

The Covenant also satisfies the objections noted by Lysander Spooner[2] in 1870. Instead of being a document that describes how the government shall act, and a document YOU did not sign, the Covenant is a document that describes how YOU will act and is a document that YOU voluntarily sign, if you agree.

Those who do not sign (the "dissenters" mentioned by Ayn Rand[3] in 1964) are not punished. They are simply and clearly warned what to expect if they violate the rights of Signatories.

The Covenant of Unanimous Consent is indeed the political foundation, the "legal framework needed to establish and maintain a free society open to all, including dissenters" as was suggested by Ayn Rand. I explore that legal framework concept further in my own article, What *IS* The Bare Minimum...? at

For convenience, I have collected Mr. Smith's original articles along with my own and other related articles that I have found and have indexed them here:


To live together peacefully and productively:

Follow the Precepts of the Covenant and no "government" will be necessary;
Violate the Precepts of the Covenant and no amount of government will be sufficient.

Live long and prosper,
Dennis Lee Wilson
Signatory: The Covenant of Unanimous Consent


[1] [2006-08-20] " Institute new Government, laying its foundation..."

  • How the Covenant of Unanimous Consent fulfills the promise of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

[2] Lysander Spooner's 1870 comment that "The Constitution has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it" comes from his essays "No Treason" & "The Constitution of No Authority" which may be found at

[3] It is well known that Galt's Gulch as described in Atlas Shrugged has become THE prime model for those seeking relief from our current culture of ever encroaching tyranny. In The Letters of Ayn Rand, The Later Years (1960-1981) page 626, May 2, 1964, commenting about Galt's Gulch, Ayn Rand said:

  • "I must mention that Galt's Gulch is not an organized society, but a private club whose members share the same philosophy. It exemplifies the basic moral principles of social relationships among rational men, the principles on which a proper political system should be built.

    "It does not deal with questions of political organization, with the details of a legal framework needed to establish and maintain a free society open to all, including dissenters. It does not deal with specifically political principles, only with their moral base."

* There are two "origin" dates associated with the Covenant of Unanimous Consent. It was originally published in 1985 in Chapter XVII of The Gallatin Divergence by L. Neil Smith, Del Rey Books (a division of Random House), and was amended by unanimous consent, October, 1986.

This article was originally published on Mr. Wilson's website at Jeffersons-Promise

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