I would like to express my concerns regarding action of the Israeli government in general, and by a member of Likud in particular.
According to an article today (13 December 2010) in the Jerusalem Post, "Cellphone users to not pay for service they don't want", it seems that the actions of Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon evince a belief by the Israeli government it has a right "to bind in all cases whatsoever" (to quote England's 1766 Declaratory Act, which was a large factor in instigating the Revolutionary War against England).
According to that article, "Starting on March 7, cellular phone customers will no longer be forced to sign documents..." "Forced"??!! Who forced anyone to sign anything??!!
(As an aside, my contract with my cellular carrier was not even one page long. The contract dictated my monthly fee, and any additional fees by-the-minute for local and international calls, respectively. It also dictated the fee for my having an American number that patches through to my Israeli cellular phone. So it's also a blatant lie that Israelis must perforce accept mortgage-length contracts. My contract was less than a page long and has only FOUR separate fees. It was so short that you could probably have fit it all onto a business card.)
This development was "due to large numbers of public complaints against them." Excuse me??!! When the public is not satisfied with their cellular contracts, they are to find new providers, or petition their present providers! It is not the job of the government to redress complaints about products unless there is actually bona-fide fraud or theft which the company refuses to resolve. But it is not the job of the government to run roughshod over companies when they, through no injustice or fraud or theft or thievery or crime, fail to cater to the whims of the masses. If the company, through honest and legal means, fails to satisfy its customers, then let the company go out of business!
What the Israeli government has done here, is to egregiously ignore the entire principle of due process and the rule of law. It has ignored the principle of the right to private property and private contract, the very foundations of all human society. ALL of human society is based on the concept of humans negotiating and coming to mutual agreements, whether written or verbal, whether explicit or implicit. When the government intervenes and violates private contracts, then the government is actively destroying the bedrock of society. When the government intervenes in matters of private contract, it puts itself into a state of war with its citizens. (Cf. Althusius's Politica, which, building on prior Reformed Christian federalism, derives all of politics and governance from the principle of private contract. After all, the concept of social-contract implies that government is not sui generis, but is merely one specific example of the general phenomenon of private contract.)
When the government intervenes in private contract in this manner, it is fascism, plain and simple, in the original sense and meaning of the word "fascism," meaning government ownership and regulation of private enterprises. (For example, Franklin Roosevelt said he admired the fascism of Mussolini and that the New Deal was inspired by Mussolini's fascist policies.) When the government regulates something other than in order to prevent or rectify fraud and theft and crime, it is because the government believes it owns what it is regulating, that what is being regulated is the actual property of the government.
Furthermore, given that this was not an act of legislation, but a regulation by the executive branch, we run into another issue: to regulate the cellphone companies is in effect, to tax them. Regulation is merely a non-monetary form of taxation, and the principle is the same. Whether the government directly takes someone's money, or regulates them in such a way that they must spend their own money and time to satisfy the government's desires, the basic idea is the same. It is an act of the government's enforcing its will and agenda on the individual. But in the Magna Carta, we read, "No scutage nor aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel of our kingdom." No taxation - including regulation - is permitted without the consent of the legislature. Alternatively, the Magna Carta reads, "No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land." To regulate is to disseise, in this case of the time and money of the company needed to overhaul its affairs in order to comply with the regulation, and furthermore, if the company fails to abide by the regulations, he will be "destroyed" and "gone upon" and "sent upon," and as the Magna Carta declares, all this must be done by the law of the land. This new regulation by Kahlon, however, is NOT the law of the land, in that it was not enacted by the legislature.
I thought Israel was a democracy, but it seems that English barons in 1215 had more advanced and just concepts of good governance than the Israeli government does today.
It would be an understatement to say that I am highly disgusted and appalled by this.
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