There are two types of contracts. Unilateral and Bilateral.
Unilateral contracts are one sided. You agree to unknown terms.
Citizenship is a wonderful example of a unilateral contract. The 14th amendment is a great example of this. Lets look at section 1.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
What does this mean?
By living in the states you are now a citizen instead of a person. I know it sounds silly, but this is a legal technicality. It matters.
All the citizens are granted privileges. Sounds good right?
Continue reading and you will see this bit "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"
Let me reiterate. ...any person of life...
So, by living in the states you are now a citizen and not a person. You no longer have the right to keep your property safe from the government. That's right.
Bilateral contracts involve a meeting of the minds. All parties are fully aware of the terms of the contract and are able to make changes to the contract in question.
This means that you can re-write parts of a contract you don't like if the other party is willing to accept these changes. A good example would be a bank loan. If you don't like some of what's on there cross it out. Make sure they are aware you did this, and if they sign it you are no longer bound by the crossed out terms or conditions.
You can do this with any contract. Though, I must admit that you will get some rather shocked sales people shouting "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!". Of course you can. Just explain it to them.
This sort of contract is great since there is a meeting of the minds. That's not to say that it can't be abused though.
Ever sign a contract for a cell phone? Did they give you a chance to fully read and understand the contract before you signed your name to the paper? I doubt it. By doing that you agree to unknown terms even though the terms are laid right before you.
Even if you did read it, would you fully understand all that legal talk? Probably not. Terms are defined in rather odd ways. You may have to study the contract for quite a long while till you have a full understanding.
This is the shady side of bilateral contracts. Where a person could if they wanted to understand, but probably never does.
The sorts of contracts that fall into this shady category include the following.