Signing a written contract conveys the message, “I am transferring some of my rights to the other party.”
A fundamental tenet of the liberal conception of justice is that resources rightfully belonging to another may not be taken without the manifested consent of the rights-holder. This tenet bars the use or threat of force to obtain a manifestation of consent; thus, a contract signed or “consented to” under duress is void. In addition to prohibiting force to obtain consent, liberalism has always barred persons from obtaining consent by means of coercion.
Freedom to contract enables persons to transfer rights to resources they have in exchange for rights to resources they would rather have, thereby inducing transfers of rights that benefit both parties to the exchange as well as the recipients of gifts.
Jim Crow laws restricting the activities of African-Americans in the south, apartheid restrictions on blacks in South Africa, and employment restrictions imposed upon Jews throughout most of history would have been impossible without extensive public property and coercive interferences with freedom of contract.
Not disclosing information is not fraud, but disclosing incorrect information is.