The contract in question

Perhaps, gentle readers, the purpose and thrust of the product of the press may have been obscure.  I pray you, however, to be patient, for, as always, I remain the Fool’s Fool, and your servant.  In foolishness, questions are oft asked, and words teased from the mind in meanings most intractable, and thus, I pray, that you will forgive this fool his trespasses upon your consciousness and the vandalism with which I sack your thoughts, and burn your conceptions.

There are many contracts in our daily lives, and, writing from a view most centered upon the broken-away Colonies of the United States, I must look at specific contracts related to that august entity, and the creation of its federal system of government.  These are my own opinions, and whilst I make apologies for the language in which I put them, I cannot apologize for the impetus that drives me to state them.

The contract in question in this instance is nothing less than the Constitution of the United States of America.

“But wait!” wiser men than I cry.  “It cannot be a contract!  You fool, do you not realize that it was an institution of government?”  To this I must reply simply, as a simple fool might:

What else are establishment of governments by constitution?  Are they not an offer, made by the people,  of powers, in exchange for specific considerations?  When voted upon, is it not an acceptance of those terms?

The interpretation of contract has long and long been one of great contention, but always, always, wrought in the terms and understandings of those at the time.  Should those persons be dead, as in the case of government they oft are, are they not required to examine the papers and possessions, to see if the thoughts of those contractors were laid down by the plume?   If there be no well of ink dipped into, is it not true that the letter of the law must apply?
But yet, with the Constitution, there are many documents establishing the intent of those framers, the concerns of their opponents, and even documents supplying the negotiations between multiple factions within the greater Convention.  These hands raised the hammers with which the Constitutional contract was formed.

There was a specific contract established as well, explaining the terms of the contract to the People (for it is of, by, and for the people that the new government was to be founded).  These documents are the Federalist papers, an answer to the concerns of the antifederalists, written in open letters to the concerned parties, explaining both the offer and the consideration.

They laid down in clear tones,  in ink and parchment and paper the nature of the problems with the old government, the voids within the Articles of Confederation, and the places those articles left the states, and the people, undefended.  They spoke of the dangers of faction, the powers to be established for the new government, and the limitations thereof.

If there was offer, consideration, and acceptance, the constitution must be a contract, and therefore interpreted according to the understanding of those whom drafted, and accepted the contract.

More upon this… in the next article.

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An old time, in a new space

There are writings of fools and fools, and in foolish things, sometimes wisdom dances its way along the corridors of the soul.  I pray forgive the mental wanderings of this foolish servant, and in the nature of things, the latitude assumed in the writing.

There are concepts and terms not easily assigned, neither taught in simplicity, nor wrought without thought.  Thus it is that I have chosen an older style of writing for this time, a juxtaposition of the old, within today’s realm of thought.

If you are here, and here indeed you may be, for you read this, do you not?  You must be interested in the mind of a fool, for mock or whimsy,  for poesy or prose, for plenty or penury, passion or passivity.

It matters not why you are here.  This is a discussion of old times, and older ideas, a discussion of establishments, and their natures.  To understand the past, you must return thence, and thus, in its nature, to a time when people did not forget after the first five ticks of a clock’s minute hand what they had read… when concepts were communicated, not by imagery of the eye, but imagery of the mind.

Today’s discussion is one of contract, and of its nature.  This fool knows of contract, for contracts signed and sealed in his own soul bind him to the task of the fool.   Like Mephistopheles, a contract involves an offer… an offer for some good, some service, or other tangible value, a consideration, something of tangible value in exchange for the primary, and an acceptance.  Under the law, this comprises a contract, without regard to the writing thereof, or the medium of its message.

Since you are still reading, I count you already as a student, and hence, must offer explanation and apology for my speaking thus.  I am a man outside of time, lost in memory of the past, and equally lost within today’s world.  I am the Fool’s Fool, and my own foil.

The nature of contract must be established to understand what a contract is, before the discussion of aspects of law, regarding contracts.  The essential nature is, again, offer, consideration, and acceptance.  Nothing more is needed.   It is an agreement between parties for that which holds assigned value, an exchange of rights and powers over that consideration.

Like Mephistopheles of old, contracts are subject to interpretation.  The essence of the contract is the agreement, the meeting of the minds.  This meeting may be illusory, deceptive in practice, or deceptive in establishment.  The understanding thereof becomes vital in determining the nature of that meeting of the minds.

There are several things that may make a contract void, and the first of those things, dear reader, is fraud.  If I offer the sale of a loaf of bread, and the bread is not mine, then fraud has occurred.  The lack of rights of ownership is not the only form of fraud, misrepresentation is also, equally fraudulent.  Fraud takes many forms, many faces.   Fraud can be in the offer, the consideration, or the acceptance.

Fraud has several  brothers, mistake, and duress.  Any of these capering imps manipulating the contract in any aspect may cause it to become void.  A person can be mistaken as to the terms of the contract, and therefore, the meeting of the minds did not occur.  If duress threatens the contractor, on either side in order to give his offer, consideration, or acceptance, the contract is automatically void.

The most particular parts of contract are the essences of the discussion at hand.  In order to understand the offer, and the consideration and acceptance, we must be able to examine the terms of the contract, the particulars of the contract, and the negotiation behind the terms.

Without these elements, the nature of the contract becomes indeterminate, and it is dubious that any contract actually existed to begin with.  Neutral witnesses to any contract help, as well as the preservation of documents, or statements made as to the nature of that contract.

This nature of contract has been part of the laws of the United States since it was born, and before it was born, rootstock upon which the laws of England grew.

But why is contract so important?  Perhaps the next article may bring that to light, good readers.

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