The American right loves forms, paperwork and other bureaucracy


Originally published at:


The right puts a lot of effort into creating monsterous rules so they can then ‘just follow orders’ and get their cruelty fix while bemoaning the whole process


“Ayn Kafka”-- well done!


Also note the one-sided enforcement of said contracts, as the companies and authoritarians never hold up their side of the “bargain”. These are people who congratulate each other on how much cheating they can get away with. To them, contracts are great because they only ensnare the honest, the obedient.


I heard the Nazis were fastidious.


Have you got a 27 B/6?


I was thinking about this on the “banning libraries from having drag queen story hour” story. For people who believe the government should keep it’s hands off of religion, they certainly don’t hesitate to use the state as a cudgel to enforce their doctrine…


It is a cudgel, but it is their cudgel, damn it! And it does fit that those who use magical thinking will treat a piece of paper as possessing some sort of geas magic. Writing remains something magical (as in unexplained, mysterious, powerful) to them.


IDK if a government form is a contract, as such, but if it was a contract this girl signed, it would be surprising if it did not fall foul of the US contract law about unconscionable contracts.

Call the ACLU.


The American Right loves Big Government as long as it’s their kind of Big Government.


"Note that taking steps to improve your bargaining position is only a valid course of action for the rich: if workers band together through collective bargaining, that is (for some reason) and illegitimate action that ‘distorts markets.’ "

Can’t find the quote, but I recall Dickens makes the same point in Hard Times, that when workers combine it’s a seditious conspiracy, but when owners combine it’s just doing business.


50 million documents worth, apparently.


(Remember when Wells Fargo forged 2,000,000 Americans’ signatures to open fake accounts, then argued that the fine-print over those forged signatures that waived the right to sue for fraud was enforceable?)

This kinda stuff infuriates me. The very idea of holding someone to a contract they did not sign on the theory that, since I can provide a forged signature, that should be good enough! How is this even a thing? Even if you hold to a hard core Ayn Randian sort of Libertarianism, this is utter bullshit.


The Nazi American right loves forms, paperwork and other bureaucracy





It starts long before then. The written record has a symbolic power. In North America, it starts with Cortes. (Archival Science 2: 45–61, 2002, O’toole, J.M., Cortes’s Notary: The Symbolic Power of Records - Sometimes these records are a means of lending legitimacy to an act, which may not be legitimate; sometimes it’s symbolic act. “See, that paper their says they gave up their rights!” We as a group fall for it, because of that symbolic power. Any of those ‘records’ are really meaningless. What is the truth of a contract you signed because you had to?




You know, you remind of the fact that authoritarians do love the myth about selling your soul, especially the part of weaseling out of the contract. Or finding a part of the contract that turns the tables. They seem to be utterly fascinated by the idea that paper makes it magical. That signatures are magical. That they can bind others with them but somehow escape themselves through loopholes.

Really, I find it more and more to be magical thinking on their part rather than enforcing actual agreements made in good faith.


Absolutely obligatory:

Things only have as much value as we are willing to afford them and contracts are not “magic.”

Just as currency is a symbol that’s only worth what we say it is, so are laws only binding if the masses are willing to uphold and enforce them.


Other languages than English have the notion of a contract which is unfair because one of the party is using a position of power. In French: contrat léonin". The closest English equivalent is “unconscionable”, but not quite the same. Conversely, other countries have laws rendering these contracts void.