Free Will Manufacturing Consent

Reading this article today, I was dragged back to a 1984 discussion in the Pallottine Seminary, with Fr. William Quirk.  The details are murky, but it had something to do with a restriction being placed on me in Seminary, while simultaneously believing I was free to follow my conscience and free will.

“Oh yes, Bob,” Fr. Quirk hemmed and hawed from beneath his Moe Howard toupee, “You DID have free will to choose to enter the seminary, but in so doing you willingly gave it up forever. You don’t have a choice now.”

This was a bullshit clause I knew I hadn’t signed up for.  Fine print waiting to choke the person who “consents” or makes a “free” choice. Count this among many reasons I’m not a Catholic Priest today.

That’s where I was transported as I read about similar tactics being practiced by Chase Bank.  Buried deep within its credit-card T&C’s is a clause notifying users they are give up a right to pursue claims in court, and by signing are subjecting themselves instead to forced arbitration.

Read the article, and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why is it assumed that the corporation has the right to take away all consumers’ rights to class-action lawsuits or legal action?  Any “Opt Out” clause does just this, preferencing the Corporation’s “rights” over the person’s.
  2. Why is it NOT assumed that the customer has the rights, and that if the corporation wants customers to give up those rights, it must clearly and unambiguously request each customer actively choose to abdicate those rights?  Why hide this in the fine print?
  3. Why are corporations allowed to provide simple, rapid, on-line consent forms to enter IN to a contract, but simultaneously make getting OUT of those contracts, or opting out of clauses within the contracts, orders of magnitude more difficult?

    To opt out, to choose to NOT have your legal rights stolen by Chase, the customer must send a written, snail-mail notification to a PO box. Why not a quick, one-time, online checkbox for exiting a contract, as easy as the “I Agree” box that ensnares and commits us to various contracts or terms?

  4. What responsibility is placed on the corporation to keep an accurate record that they have received your opt-out?  What verification are they required to send as a receipt?

    None. All of the burdens are shifted to the consumer, as the corporation is privileged by the law.

That is not democracy “for” the people.  That is systemic advantage being handed to the fleecers. The de facto right or corporations to steal from us is clad in this tissue thin negligee of consent-as-CYA for subsequent dirty dealings.




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