Friday, May 12, 2017

Freedom And The Meaner

Today I would like to address a subject most people avoid the way men attempted to escape the Black Plague: Freedom and the Average Man, what I call the "Meaner".

Freedom is a two-edged (or more) sword.  Flight is a great illustrative analog.  On the one hand, there is the thrill of non-restriction - soaring high above it all in whichever direction one chooses, the ability to go where one wishes, when one wishes, taking the path one wishes, and usually with a dispatch that earth-bound transit will not allow. Those are what we might term as the basic thrills of flying.

Then there are the "costs" or "demands" of flight, which would include the various responsibilities and risks associated therewith.  For example, one must maintain minimum velocity and a sufficient awareness of his position in relation to the earth and other objects including other possible air traffic, lest he fall from the sky or  crash into another thing, resulting in grave injury or even death to oneself, others, and property.  In order to fly competently, one must be ultimately responsible for his state of mind while flying, as well as the attendant actions.

Bringing us to the issue of practical human flight, which requires aircraft and other human artifice,  the question arises as to why so few people so much as learn to fly, much less engage in flight on anything that could be called a regular basis.  One thing of which I can assure is that it is not money that keeps people from flying, but rather all the other costs associated with it, including fear.

The Meaner has no interest in flying sufficient to motivate him to learn because the thrill of the freedom it represents is far and away outpaced by his aversion to the demands it places upon him.  The practical human pilot must be well disciplined through his training.  He must understand the basics of aerodynamics, as well as navigation, communications, emergency procedures, and legal issues regarding restrictions upon his prerogatives as a pilot.

The artifice of human flight carries with it risks that strike great unease, if not paralytic fear into the hearts of average men such that they could give the least damn about the freedom to be found there.  Such men prefer the lie that is the false sense of security provided by their earthbound, foot-shuffling confinement to the ground.  The thrill and exhilaration of the freedoms of flight hold insufficient charm for him because it demands that which lies beyond the timid metes and bounds dictated by his morbid addiction to lassitude-driven convenience, his aversion to responsibility, and his crippling fear of, and aversion to risk.

And so may this analog be extrapolated to map to the broadest senses of human freedom.  The thrills and the potentials of actual freedom hold no sufficient allure for Johnny Average because the associated costs he regards as too high.

To be free is to be wholly accountable for what you think, do, and feel.  This demand of accountability is perhaps the most prominent element to which the Meaner blasts his fear-riddled, anger-laden voice of rejection.  The justifications he concocts pursuant to his counter-blasts represent such creative fecundity that, were he to make the same applications to his other pursuits, I daresay the great maladies of humanity would have fallen away from his shoulders long ago.

And so the mean man has contrived for himself this elaborate system of lies and other false reasons for rejecting freedom in favor of systems of slavery and their associated tyrannies.  He furthers his crimes against himself and his fellows with the added mendacity of calling the prisons into which he relegates himself and those around him, "freedom".  The irony of it burns with a hateful misery in the eyes of thinking men of integrity and honor, to drive them to the edges of despair.

Men's individual notions of "freedom" are almost as manifold as their numbers.  The one thing such notions carry in vast common is their false quality.

In a properly free society, men stand in apprehension of their positions in the grander scheme of things on  planet earth.  They know they are owed absolutely nothing, save that gained through their various acts of valid labor, whether singly endeavored, or severally.  They know that if they succeed at whatever it is to which they apply themselves, the fruits of endeavor are theirs and nobody else's.  They know equally well that if they fail, no man is compelled to render aid and assistance.  Therefore, they understand and accept the risks (a form of cost), of their freedom, as well as the benefits.

By extrapolation, they understand that not all of their fellows will "make it" in life, whether in pursuit of success in business, or even their ability to physically survive for another day.  Being generally decent sorts, average men chafe at the prospect of their fellows dying at the hands of circumstance.  The difference between today's Meaner, who is a Weakman, and the Freeman is that the latter understands that there is no conceivable social good that lends the least authority at any time to one man such that he may lord over and restrict the rightful prerogatives of another.

People of just about any stripe one might care to name appear readily willing to violate the property rights of their fellows pursuant to their pet social cause, whether it be hungry children, roadways, national security. "social" security/order,  natural disaster, religion, or any of a great host of other transparently false justifications for the violence-laced expropriation of property and violation of rights.  They care no whit about that, so long as they get to ease their consciences at someone else's expense.

The timid "liberal", quaking in bladder-emptying fear of potential violence, is more than willing to employ cruel and rampaging terror against his fellows through the instrument of "the state" in order to quell the riotous machinations of his fevered mind, running amok with panic and alarm.  Hence, he is wildly eager to see "gun control" legislation enacted in violation of a man's sacred right to the means of defense, as well as a vast host of other statutes in similar violation of the rights of men in order that his delicate sensibilities be spared the horrors of reality.

The so-called "social conservative" would have the homosexual censured and perhaps even imprisoned for having the temerity of upsetting his white-picket-fence vision of the social order.  Once again, his delicate sensibilities prove more important to him than any sense of equity and respect between men.  After all, we know all too well that the scourge of the queer presents a clear, present, and mortal danger to all and must, therefore, be stamped out sans the least hint of equivocation.

The clue-bereft "environmentalist", apparently oblivious to the hypocrisy of his pseudo-Luddite positions would see the world reverted to stone-age conditions for no other reason than to ease his falsely troubled mind regarding issues of habitat that he has taken from what is reasonable and dragged into the distortions of ignorant extremes, the rights of those around him be damned.

The so-called "social justice warrior" (talk about irony) would literally see his fellow men slaughtered in waves to make the likes of Mao Tse Tung and Joseph Stalin weep tears of bitter envy for sheer numbers, pursuant to their petty and tepid visions a perfect world devoid of risk and hurt feelings.  Heaven forbid anyone utter a word that meets with his disapproval.  Best to see such utterances met with the most draconian response, rather than so much as risk someone's feelings being nudged.

We could go down a very long list of groups whose visions of social paradise readily call for the restriction, violation, and even destruction of what is often vast numbers of their fellow men.  Fundamentalist Muslims cry for the extermination of Jews and other "infidels".  Some Christians would impose their beliefs upon all, as would some Jews.  Communists, socialists, scientologiests, flat-earthers, "futurists", Luddites, animal-rights activists, Democrats, Republicacns, men, women, gays, lesbians... the list is long, arduous, and representative of mankind's worst and most dangerous enemy: itself.

Such people are steadfastly opposed to accepting freedom from the one side of their mouths, while spewing "we're FREE!!" from the other.  They want only that which appeals to them, vociferously and often violently rejecting all that holds no shine for their eyes, no matter what anyone else might think or want.

So long as Joey Meaner gets what he wants from life, the rest of mankind can go straight to hell, willing to use whatever means he deems fit to oppress the rightful prerogatives of those around him and whose desires might vary beyond his narrow-between-the-eyes notions of what is desirable.

In this, human beings are almost universally corrupt.  I can think of but the smallest handful of individuals with the vision and decency to allow others their lives, so long as the rights of all are held sacrosanct by each.  That in part means accepting the horrors of life, as well as the beauties.  There is nothing wrong with helping those in dire straits.  Crime comes not in rendering aid, but in forcing one's neighbors to do so where the inclination is absent.

Will people ever learn the Golden Rule, which is nothing fancier than "live and let live"?  I cannot say for certain, but if our history is any indicator, then I must conclude that the prospects do not look good.

Freedom is at once both beautiful and horrifying; appealing and revolting.  The weal must come with its attendant woe; the benefit with the cost; the right with the responsibility.  As we engineers learned in all our studies of energy systems, beginning with thermodynamics, "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." (TAANSTAFL).  Everything in this life costs.  Everything.  That includes freedom.  If one wishes to enjoy the thrills of flying high, one must accept that which is required in order to be able to do it, and accept the associated risks.  There is no one without the other, no matter how hard one might wish it to be otherwise.

Things will always go wrong; people will always abuse or otherwise act wrongfully.  There is no possibility of eliminating such developments.  Furthermore, I boldly assert that were it possible, such a world would be so boring a place that people would go out to injure themselves or others just to escape to drabbery of it.  Yes, I just made up "drabbery".  Get over it. :)

The sooner men of more ignorant and/or timid bents come to accept that life is not all bunnie, light, and unicorn poo, the more quickly will the world of men heal and come to optimum realization of its best potentials.  Until that time, the human fabric will always be significantly less than what if might become.  Fear, Avarice, Ignorance, and Lassistude (FAIL), no matter how devotedly one may cling to them, will never produce the results so many think possible.  Our reflexive approaches to "improving" the world are akin to feeding salmonella cultures to those dying of food poisoning with the intention of curing them.  It is not even remotely possible.

Life requires courage, lest it be reduced to mere existence unworthy of its own appellation.  It requires generosity of a sort that leaves people their rightful prerogatives intact, as well as smarts and a certain brand of industry, if it not to devolve and decay into an affair of poverty, violation, disease, chaos, misery, and living death.

Freedom is the only path that can optimize the human condition.  It is beautiful, but it can be scary, demanding, and outright horrifying at times.  But it is the only path toward humanity's apex, all others leading to Davey Jones' locker, whether sooner, or later.

So please, be of a generous spirit toward your fellows.  Be generous toward yourself through the rewards of courage, strong and honest intellect, and the drive to achieve for yourself, not to mention the will to allow others to do the same.  I promise you on my sacred word that this is the only good way forward.  It is the way of the Freeman in rejection of that of the Weakman.

Be free.  The payoff is well worth the cost, one hundred-fold.

Until next time, please accept my best wishes.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Super-Organized Societies And The Warrior Culture

Human societies have existed for a long time, between 100,000 and 200,000 years, if the archaeologists are to be believed.  For the vast temporal majority of our tenure, people have lived in simple tribal societies, if the current interpretations of the anthropological record are to be taken as credible and true.  Once again, depending on whether the anthropologists have it right, so-called "super-organized societies" did not come into being until comparatively very recent times.

Even if we assume that the settlement at Çatal Höyök in modern Turkey was a super-organized society, that would place the emergence of such entities at only 9,500 years, a comparatively small chunk of humanities time on earth, thus far.


Today I would like to address the concept of the "super-organized society" and discuss the advantages, as well as the drawbacks of such entities.

First, we must have on hand a definition for "super-organized society"(SOS).  This definition is not quite so easily conjured, but let us begin with the notion of a "superorganism" which one dictionary defines as:








noun

1.
a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes.
2.
a form of life considered as an entity; an animal, plant, fungus, protistan, or moneran.
3.
any organized body or system conceived of as analogous to a living being:

As is readily apparent, the definition may include almost any "higher" living creature, including individual human beings.  We will have to pin this down with greater specificity.  However, definition 3 appears to com very close to that which is pertinent.

It is of some value, however, to note that such organisms are generally constructed with components that are both specialized in their functional role as part of the greater body and that they are generally not well equipped to survive on their own, having become highly dependent upon the totality.  These characteristics are readily identifiable in the super-organized society in that there is a division of labor to such an extent that survivability of any randomly chosen individual is likely to be low in the extended absence of the whole.

Therefore, we may provisionally define "super-organized society" as one of such an architecture where we see specialization of knowledge and skill taking the place of generalized abilities in the individual pursuant to serving the various roles required toward the achievement of super-human endeavors, which are themselves defined as those not readily accomplished by individuals.

One might call it a step in the evolution of men.  Of course, others might call it something very different.

If we take this as the absolute minimum sufficient definition, we may then have a bare minimally sufficient, if still somewhat vague, notion of what constitutes a Super-Organized Society.

For the sake of clarification through comparison, consider the "primitive" society of the tribal anarchy where the populations tend to be small, usually counted in the hundreds or even less, and where the division of labor and the attendant specializations are far less evident.  In such societies, while there were certainly the hunters, as well as a small number of other broad specializations, these were very few in number when compared with what we see today.  Where, for example, the "medicine man" of ancient times embraced a broad avenue of responsibilities, today's analogs inhabit and one of a fairly large number of specialities such as oncology, podiatry, internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, ear nose and throat, nephrology, and so on down a considerable list of divisions.

When considering these differences, we see that one of the advantages of the SOS is the vastly augmented base of human knowledge.  Our technologies, whether medical, engineering, or what have you, could not be maintained in a tribal anarchic society because the body of knowledge is itself far too vast for such small numbers to retain in both memory and the ability to apply.  Even with modern cybernetic technologies, a general practitioner of medicine does not break out a how-to video and suddenly find himself capable of performing brain surgery.

When knowledge crosses some foggily defined threshold in terms of volume, complexity, and subtlety, it becomes necessary for humans to pick and choose relatively small chunks of it as vocation in order to be able to accomplish the goals of practice.  A brain surgeon's bailiwick is so complex and subtle, despite being so narrow in the grander scheme of human medical practice, that few if any are able to engage themselves in other specialties precisely because the demands of mastering the needed skills are so very high.

Super-Organization has lead to super-human capability where SOSs are taken as gestalts.

The disadvantages of the SOS are at least as significant as the advantages.  Loss of independence is a major problem from several standpoints.  Firstly and most likely is the fact that interdependence has been very effectively used as a means of political coercion.  Menacing a highly specialized man such as a brain surgeon with removing his ability to purchase food would be a literally life-threatening act. How many brain surgeons do we know who are also capable hunters and gardeners, able to raise their own food?  How many such men would be able to manage both the professional demands, as well as those of their continually emptying stomachs?  Few, if any.

Besides the high potential for political chicanery, there is also the threat of natural disaster.  When such events occur, the specialized people of the SOS are often helpless in the aftermath, incapable of performing for themselves the most basic life-sustaining tasks such as securing food and shelter.  Disasters such as hurricane Katrina bear stark and frightening witness to the dire nature of the straits in which typical men find themselves when all of a sudden the supermarket shelves are empty or no longer accessible.

Broad but relatively shallow knowledge is more valuable under circumstances where self-sufficiency becomes the primary factor in determining one's survival.  Narrow and deep knowledge holds greater value when circumstances are "normal".  Men can take greater risks because the means of minimizing the consequences of failure are at hand.  By this virtue are men able to accomplish greater things.  But when the fundamental infrastructure of the SOS is disrupted sufficiently, the highly specialized knowledge of the average man threatens to become virtually useless to the purposes of one's immediate survival.

And let us once more reiterate the threat posed by tyrants in pursuit of that which they desire.  Such men will use the weaknesses of super-specialization against individuals and even communities in order to have their ways, in the event such people prove resistant to the will of "authority".

Empire is an example of super-organized society.  Empire must perforce be of a super-organized architecture precisely because of the power required to establish and maintain such a society.  One cannot engage in the erection of huge edifices and monuments on individual bases, though there appears to be one or two examples extant where single individuals have managed such feats be means that remain unpublished.  That being the wild outlier, it is safe to say that temples of stone, huge statues and the sort could not have been erected without not only large numbers of bodies, but also very specialized knowledge of various crafts such as stone quarrying, cutting to dressed size, transport, and so forth.  We will, therefore, refer to such activities as being of a "super-human" nature, for the most part.  That is, they require capabilities beyond those of individual men.

Acquisition of all the resources required for the undertaking of super-human endeavors is no mere matter of wishing them into existence.  Gathering them takes work that in early times could be done only by other men, as well as draft animals; most often lots of them.

Human nature being what it is, most people undertake a given activity only if there is some payoff for doing so.  Working for a lifetime cutting stone for a temple is not an easy life.  Therefore, the payoff for choosing such a path would likely have to be pretty good for the average man.  That, or the threat to his life sufficiently grave.  Slavery of one form or another has been one of the key and defining characteristics of the SOS since time immemorial, or so it seems.  Empires undertook vastly superhuman endeavors, whether building temples and monuments, or conquering other people.  Only super-organization  can provide the power necessary to the exercise of such volumes of power, and when the average man was predictably reticent to become involved, the strong man became the tyrant and enslaved him by one means or another.

There appears some question as to whether the earliest walled cities such as Sumer were built with forced labor.  It is certainly arguable that it had not been, for in those days it seems that all a man needed do was walk away in the night, for there were perhaps no cages yet into which to place reluctant men, and by definition there were no walls.  But even if the earliest cities were built on a purely voluntary basis, it seems that some men rapidly expanded their wills to include the use of force to build the monuments in honor of themselves, if nothing else.

The seemingly necessary enslavement of the populations of Super-Organized Societies has, in fact, become its obscured hallmark, which remains to this very day.  We have, as yet, failed as a species to contrive a super-organized societal architecture that does not base itself upon a hierarchical master-slave paradigm.  To this very day there are those who claim authority over the rest, all disagreement be damned.  And where the disagreement crosses a line scribed in the societal sand, most often arbitrarily and with capricious vicissitude, "authority" responds with violence in some form and degree.  It is a pattern as predictable as the phases of the moon.

This, then, raises the question of whether there exists the potential for establishing a culture where the freedoms of men are fully respected while delivering all the promise of super-organization.  To that, I suspect the answer is "yes".  But in order to realize such a social order, one must have in hand the basic knowledge required, as well as the will and integrity not only to make it so, but to maintain it in the face of the unavoidable less-pleasant aspects of freedom, which most people appear overly eager to escape.  Few men are even aware of such considerations, much less possess the knowledge, but that is a discussion for another day.

Another requirement for such societies is abundant energy for all that is so low in cost that it is effectively "free".  Coupled with this is the need for sufficient advancement of human technology such that most, if not all, of the various labor-intensive endeavors to which men apply themselves would be carried forth to realization by machinery, rather than flesh and sinew.

We could, of course, return to a hunter-gatherer paradigm wherein each man did his thing, the division of labor was very broad such that most men were jacks of many trades, and live the simple life of our distant ancestors.  The probability of that, barring a Reset Event (meteor strike, Jesus returns, genocidal warfare, aliens landing on the South Lawn, etc,), is vanishingly small such that we can call it impossible for all practical purposes.  Therefore, if we are to live as free men without the hobnailed boot of some random tyrant upon our necks, we absolutely must evolve our technologies such that our hunger for "advancement" can be satisfied without trampling upon the lives of men in the process.

But that is only a necessary condition, being by no means sufficient.  Sadly, some people seem to have been born with the gnawing need to run the lives of others, no matter how materially wealthy they might be.  Call it a defect of character, genes, or whatever you wish; it matters not.  What counts is that such people would continue to work toward the acquisition and cultivation of political power in order to call themselves "boss" such that they bark and the rest jump.  That brings us to the notion of the Warrior Culture, which I will be addressing in some detail at a later date.

Warrior Culture is one based upon the principles of the "true" warrior.  Adjectives such as "true" have proven very sticky wickets in the past, but what I have in mind here is very specific and shall be defined and described in full detail elsewhere.  Suffice to say that in a Warrior Culture, the very notion of one man attempting to subdue the rightful claims of another, whether by force, fraud, or any other criminal means, would be regarded as utterly intolerable.  Any such violations of one man by another would be met with unequivocal resistance, up to and including the taking of life in cases where the perpetrators show continuing determination to commit violations against another despite having been warned away.

While political chicanery would not likely be eliminated in a Warrior Culture, it would take on a rarity so great and a character so different from that to which we are currently subjected, that the deeper threats posed by today's political machinery would be rendered effectively extinct.  This is because the skullduggery so common today would become so immediately and existentially risky for anyone attempting even the most innocuous seeming (by today's standards) usurpation, that they would fear for their lives at the very thought of it.  The cost of violating the rights of another would become so high in comparison to the reward, that nobody in their right mind would so much as waste their time thinking about such things.  Those who did would be taught rapid, harsh, and potentially fatal lessons in social Darwinism.

Not every man would have to be a warrior, but the more such men there were, the better.  There would, however, have to be a critical mass of such men who would act as the guardians of the rights of all.  I speak not of police or anything "governmental", but strictly of those who would make certain that the principles of proper human relations remained sacrosanct and in full, unyielding force.  Any man could be a warrior.  Any child, as well.  The more warriors, the merrier, so long as the understanding of equal authority to act remains clear and unchallenged.

In such a society, for example, rather than having police who enforce the arbitrary statutes of some equally arbitrarily constituted body claiming authority over the rest, all men would in effect be able to act as police in the defense of the rights of not only themselves, but of all their fellows as well.  There would be no special privileges or arbitrarily assigned super-authorities doled out to uniformed and badged men.

But such a social order would require great dedication to the principles in question, which would in its turn place significant demands upon the individual that the current trend of self-absorption cannot support.

Super-organized societies enable men to accomplish that which would clearly be impossible through individual effort.  Super-organization was necessary to the bootstrapping of human technologies much beyond flint-knapping and stone hammers.  However, the paths taken to super-organization by nearly all "leaders" has been rife with force, violence, and the threats thereof.  Why this has been the nearly universal historical case remains open to discussion, but is irrelevant to the question of whether force is necessary in order to achieve and maintain super-organization.  It is clearly not necessary, which means that given the proper knowledge and political/cultural will,  states of super-organization can be achieved and maintained without reporting to coercion in order to marshal the resourced needed for achieving super-human objectives.

The other issue remaining revolves around the question of who should motivate, implement, and manage the establishment of human super-organisms.  Assuming such organizations are both desired and justifiable, should the "government" create and manage such social structures, or should their establishment and dissolution be left to individuals who choose to come together and, perhaps, go their own ways?  Perhaps there are roles for each in such matters, so long as men are not coerced into action or by prohibitions unworthy of a land characterizing itself as "free".

So long as super-organizations conduct themselves in accord with the principles of proper human relations, there is no need to fear them.  The issue of self-regulation has, of course, been problematic, failures having prompted government interference which have proven deleterious to the quality of men's lives, on the average, bringing us right back to the importance of Warrior Culture.

Without a population properly oriented to freedom and dedicated to living their lives in accord with the principles that best support it, tyranny shall continue as our daily reality, all good intentions to the contrary notwithstanding.  That is what is required in order to live in super-organized societies while retaining our freedom.

Until next time, please accept my best wishes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The FAIL-plex

I've been using this sparingly for a few years, but am now of the opinion that it should be spread far and wide.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the FAIL-plex, denoted as FAIL^FAIL.

What is a FAIL-plex, you ask?  It is the ultimate in FAIL, both in quantity and quality.  It could be called "ultra-FAIL" as well.  It is infinite amounts of the most intense FAIL possible in this, or any other, universe.  

Ultra-FAIL used to be an uncommon phenomenon, but with the dawning of the "modern" age (makes one wonder what "modern" actually means) it has become ever more prevalent, now to the point that it threatens to become the new normal.  

In times past, deeds that qualified as a FAIL-plex were usually of a self-correcting sort.  That is,  those who engaged in such acts usually did not live long enough to tell the tale.  Today, however, the vast infrastructural web now protects most people from the fate that Darwin's theories would dictate: extinction from the gene pool.  It shall be interesting to see where this all leads, ultimately speaking, and for how long we as a species shall be able to maintain the conditions that allow the individual to indulge in such acts without suffering the natural and rationally expected consequences.

This growing rate of the instances of the FAIL-plex has behooved me to introduce the world to this heretofore obscure term.  Where an interface will allow it, the superscripted "FAIL" should be entered as such, but where that is not possible, "FAIL^FAIL" will be acceptable.

Consider this part of my bequeath to humanity.  

You're welcome.

As always, please accept my best wishes.  Methinks we are going to need them.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lysander Spooner's "Natural Law"

The writings of Lysander Spooner, a man characterized by one source as "an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, essayist, pamphlet writer, Unitarian abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century†", are worthy pursuits for all men with an interest in freedom and the objective principles of human liberty and should make it onto their reading lists. 
Spooner was a man after my own heart in that he had a penchant for getting right to the heart of a matter, explaining and discussing it in direct, clear, and essential language.  This work, "Natural Law", among other things, exposes the fraud that all statutory law represents.

Please enjoy and, until next time, accept my best wishes.

NATURAL LAW.

PART FIRST.

CHAPTER I.: THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE.

Section I.

The science of mine and thine—the science of justice—is the science of all human rights; of all a man’s rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person.
It is the science of peace; and the only science of peace; since it is the science which alone can tell us on what conditions mankind can live in peace, or ought to live in peace, with each other.
These conditions are simply these: viz., first, that each man shall do, towards every other, all that justice requires him to do; as, for example, that he shall pay his debts, that he shall return borrowed or stolen property to its owner, and that he shall make reparation for any injury he may have done to the person or property of another.

The second condition is, that each man shall abstain from doing, to another, anything which justice forbids him to do; as,  for example, that he shall abstain from committing theft, robbery arson, murder, or any other crime against the person or property of another.

So long as these conditions are fulfilled, men are at peace, and ought to remain at peace, with each other. But when either of these conditions is violated, men are at war. And they must necessarily remain at war until justice is re-established.

Through all time, so far as history informs us, wherever mankind have attempted to live in peace with each other, both the natural instincts, and the collective wisdom of the human race, have acknowledged and prescribed, as an indispensable condition, obedience to this one only universal obligation: viz., that each should live honestly towards every other.
The ancient maxim makes the sum of a man’s legal duty to his fellow men to be simply this: “To live honestly, to hurt no one, to give to every one his due.

This entire maxim is really expressed in the single words, to live honestly; since to live honestly is to hurt no one, and give to every one his due.

Section II.

Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenceless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will, perform them. But of his legal duty—that is, of his duty to live honestly towards his fellow men—his fellow men not only may judge, but, for their own protection, must judge. And, if need be, they may rightfully compel him to perform it. They may do this, acting singly, or in concert. They may do it on the instant, as the necessity arises, or deliberately and systematically, if they prefer to do so, and the exigency will admit of it.

Section III.

Although it is the right of anybody and everybody—of any one man, or set of men, no less than another—to repel injustice, and compel justice, for themselves, and for all who may be wronged, yet to avoid the errors that are liable to result from haste and passion, and that everybody, who desires it, may rest secure in the assurance of protection, without a resort to force, it is evidently desirable that men should associate, so far as they freely and voluntarily can do so, for the maintenance of justice among themselves, and for mutual protection against other wrongdoers. It is also in the highest degree desirable that they should agree upon some plan or system of judicial proceedings, which, in the trial of causes, should secure caution, deliberation, thorough investigation, and, as far as possible, freedom from every influence but the simple desire to do justice.

Yet such associations can be rightful and desirable only in so far as they are purely voluntary. No man can rightfully be coerced into joining one, or supporting one, against his will. His own interest, his own judgment, and his own conscience alone must determine whether he will join this association, or that; or whether he will join any. If he chooses to depend, for the protection of his own rights, solely upon himself, and upon such voluntary assistance as other persons may freely offer to him when the necessity for it arises, he has a perfect right to do so. And this course would be a reasonably safe one for him to follow, so long as he himself should manifest the ordinary readiness of mankind, in like cases, to go to the assistance and defence of injured persons; and should also himself “live honestly, hurt no one, and give to every one his due.” For such a man is reasonably sure of always having friends and defenders enough in case of need, whether he shall have joined any association, or not.

Certainly no man can rightfully be required to join, or support, an association whose protection he does not desire. Nor can any man be reasonably or rightfully expected to join, or support, any association whose plans, or method of proceeding, he does not approve, as likely to accomplish its professed purpose of maintaining justice, and at the same time itself avoid doing injustice. To join, or support, one that would, in his opinion, be inefficient, would be absurd. To join or support one that, in his opinion, would itself do injustice, would be criminal. He must, therefore, be left at the same liberty to join, or not to join, an association for this purpose, as for any other, according as his own interest, discretion, or conscience shall dictate.

An association for mutual protection against injustice is like an association for mutual protection against fire or shipwreck. And there is no more right or reason in compelling any man to join or support one of these associations, against his will, his judgment, or his conscience, than there is in compelling him to join or support any other, whose benefits (if it offer any) he does not want, or whose purposes or methods he does not approve.

Section IV.

No objection can be made to these voluntary associations upon the ground that they would lack that knowledge of justice, as a science, which would be necessary to enable them to maintain justice, and themselves avoid doing injustice. Honesty, justice, natural law, is usually a very plain and simple matter, easily understood by common minds. Those who desire to know what it is, in any particular case, seldom have to go far to find it. It is true, it must be learned, like any other science. But it is also true that it is very easily learned. Although as illimitable in its applications as the infinite relations and dealings of men with each other, it is, nevertheless, made up of a few simple elementary principles, of the truth and justice of which every ordinary mind has an almost intuitive perception. And almost all men have the same perceptions of what constitutes justice, or of what justice requires, when they understand alike the facts from which their inferences are to be drawn.

Men living in contact with each other, and having intercourse together, cannot avoid learning natural law, to a very great extent, even if they would. The dealings of men with men, their separate possessions and their individual wants, and the disposition of every man to demand, and insist upon, whatever he believes to be his due, and to resent and resist all invasions of what he believes to be his rights, are continually forcing upon their minds the questions, Is this act just? or is it unjust? Is this thing mine? or is it his? And these are questions of natural law; questions which, in regard to the great mass of cases, are answered alike by the human mind everywhere.*

Children learn the fundamental principles of natural law at a very early age. Thus they very early understand that one child must not, without just cause, strike, or otherwise hurt, another; that one child must not assume any arbitrary control or domination over another; that one child must not, either by force, deceit, or stealth, obtain possession of anything that belongs to another; that if one child commits any of these wrongs against another, it is not only the right of the injured child to resist, and, if need be, punish the wrongdoer, and compel him to make reparation, but that it is also the right, and the moral duty, of all other children, and all other persons, to assist the injured party in defending his rights, and redressing his wrongs. These are fundamental principles of natural law, which govern the most important transactions of man with man. Yet children learn them earlier than they learn that three and three are six, or five and five ten. Their childish plays, even, could not be carried on without a constant regard to them; and it is equally impossible for persons of any age to live together in peace on any other conditions.

It would be no extravagance to say that, in most cases, if not in all, mankind at large, young and old, learn this natural law long before they have learned the meanings of the words by which we describe it. In truth, it would be impossible to make them understand the real meanings of the words, if they did not first understand the nature of the thing itself. To make them under stand the meanings of the words justice and injustice, before knowing the nature of the things themselves, would be as impossible as it would be to make them understand the meanings of the words heat and cold, wet and dry, light and darkness, white and black, one and two, before knowing the nature of the things themselves. Men necessarily must know sentiments and ideas, no less than material things, before they can know the meanings of the words by which we describe them.

CHAPTER II.: THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE (Continued)

Section I.

If justice be not a natural principle, it is no principle at all. If it be not a natural principle, there is no such thing as justice. If it be not a natural principle, all that men have ever said or written about it, from time immemorial, has been said and written about that which had no existence. If it be not a natural principle, all the appeals for justice that have ever been heard, and all the struggles for justice that have ever been witnessed, have been appeals and struggles for a mere fantasy, a vagary of the imagination, and not for a reality.

If justice be not a natural principle, then there is no such thing as injustice; and all the crimes of which the world has been the scene, have been no crimes at all; but only simple events, like the falling of the rain, or the setting of the sun; events of which the victims had no more reason to complain than they had to complain of the running of the streams, or the growth of vegetation.

If justice be not a natural principle, governments (so-called) have no more right or reason to take cognizance of it, or to pretend or profess to take cognizance of it, than they have to take cognizance, or to pretend or profess to take cognizance, of any other nonentity; and all their professions of establishing justice, or of maintaining justice, or of regarding justice, are simply the mere gibberish of fools, or the frauds of imposters.

But if justice be a natural principle, then it is necessarily an immutable one; and can no more be changed—by any power inferior to that which established it—than can the law of gravitation, the laws of light, the principles of mathematics, or any other natural law or principle whatever; and all attempts or assumptions, on the part of any man or body of men—whether calling themselves governments, or by any other name—to set up their own commands, wills, pleasure, or discretion, in the place of justice, as a rule of conduct for any human being, are as much an absurdity, an usurpation, and a tyranny, as would be their attempts to set up their own commands, wills, pleasure, or discretion in the place of any and all the physical, mental, and moral laws of the universe.

Section II.

If there be any such principle as justice, it is, of necessity, a natural principle; and, as such, it is a matter of science, to be learned and applied like any other science. And to talk of either adding to, or taking from, it, by legislation, is just as false, absurd, and ridiculous as it would be to talk of adding to, or taking from, mathematics, chemistry, or any other science, by legislation.

Section III.

If there be in nature such a principle as justice, nothing can be added to, or taken from, its supreme authority by all the legislation of which the entire human race united are capable. And all the attempts of the human race, or of any portion of it, to add to, or take from, the supreme authority of justice, in any case whatever, is of no more obligation upon any single human being than is the idle wind.

Section IV.

If there be such a principle as justice, or natural law, it is the principle, or law, that tells us what rights were given to every human being at his birth; what rights are, therefore, inherent in him as a human being, necessarily remain with him during life; and, however capable of being trampled upon, are incapable of being blotted out, extinguished, annihilated, or separated or eliminated from his nature as a human being, or deprived of their inherent authority or obligation.

On the other hand, if there be no such principle as justice, or natural law, then every human being came into the world utterly destitute of rights; and coming into the world destitute of rights, he must necessarily forever remain so. For if no one brings any rights with him into the world, clearly no one can ever have any rights of his own, or give any to another. And the consequence would be that mankind could never have any rights; and for them to talk of any such things as their rights, would be to talk of things that never had, never will have, and never can have an existence.

Section V.

If there be such a natural principle as justice, it is necessarily the highest, and consequently the only and universal, law for all those matters to which it is naturally applicable. And, consequently, all human legislation is simply and always an assumption of authority and dominion, where no right of authority or dominion exists. It is, therefore, simply and always an intrusion, an absurdity, an usurpation, and a crime.

On the other hand, if there be no such natural principle as justice, there can be no such thing as injustice. If there be no such natural principle as honesty, there can be no such thing as dishonesty; and no possible act of either force or fraud, committed by one man against the person or property of another, can be said to be unjust or dishonest; or be complained of, or prohibited, or punished as such. In short, if there be no such principle as justice, there can be no such acts as crimes; and all the professions of governments, so called, that they exist, either in whole or in part, for the punishment or prevention of crimes, are professions that they exist for the punishment or prevention of what never existed, nor ever can exist. Such professions are therefore confessions that, so far as crimes are concerned, governments have no occasion to exist; that there is nothing for them to do, and that there is nothing that they can do. They are confessions that the governments exist for the punishment and prevention of acts that are, in their nature, simple impossibilities.

Section VI.

If there be in nature such a principle as justice, such a principle as honesty, such principles as we describe by the words mine and thine, such principles as men’s natural rights of person and property, then we have an immutable and universal law; a law that we can learn, as we learn any other science; a law that is paramount to, and excludes, every thing that conflicts with it; a law that tells us what is just and what is unjust, what is honest and what is dishonest, what things are mine and what things are thine, what are my rights of person and property and what are your rights of person and property, and where is the boundary between each and all of my rights of person and property and each and all of your rights of person and property. And this law is the paramount law, and the same law, over all the world, at all times, and for all peoples; and will be the same paramount and only law, at all times, and for all peoples, so long as man shall live upon the earth.

But if, on the other hand, there be in nature no such principle as justice, no such principle as honesty, no such principle as men’s natural rights of person or property, then all such words as justice and injustice, honesty and dishonesty, all such words as mine and thine, all words that signify that one thing is one man’s property and that another thing is another man’s property, all words that are used to describe men’s natural rights of person or property, all such words as are used to describe injuries and crimes, should be struck out of all human languages as having no meanings; and it should be declared, at once and forever, that the greatest force and the greatest frauds, for the time being, are the supreme and only laws for governing the relations of men with each other; and that, from henceforth, all persons and combinations of persons—those that call themselves governments, as well as all others—are to be left free to practice upon each other all the force, and all the fraud, of which they are capable.

Section VII.

If there be no such science as justice, there can be no science of government; and all the rapacity and violence, by which, in all ages and nations, a few confederated villains have obtained the mastery over the rest of mankind, reduced them to poverty and slavery, and established what they called governments to keep them in subjection, have been as legitimate examples of government as any that the world is ever to see.

Section VIII.

If there be in nature such a principle as justice, it is necessarily the only political principle there ever was, or ever will be. All the other so-called political principles, which men are in the habit of inventing, are not principles at all. They are either the mere conceits of simpletons, who imagine they have discovered something better than truth, and justice, and universal law; or they are mere devices and pretences, to which selfish and knavish men resort as means to get fame, and power, and money.

CHAPTER III.: NATURAL LAW CONTRASTED WITH LEGISLATION.

Section I.

Natural law, natural justice, being a principle that is naturally applicable and adequate to the rightful settlement of every possible controversy that can arise among men; being, too, the only standard by which any controversy whatever, between man and man, can be rightfully settled; being a principle whose protection every man demands for himself, whether he is willing to accord it to others, or not; being also an immutable principle, one that is always and everywhere the same, in all ages and nations; being self-evidently necessary in all times and places; being so entirely impartial and equitable towards all; so indispensable to the peace of mankind everywhere; so vital to the safety and welfare of every human being; being, too, so easily learned, so generally known, and so easily maintained by such voluntary associations as all honest men can readily and rightfully form for that purpose—being such a principle as this, these questions arise, viz.: Why is it that it does not universally, or well nigh universally, prevail? Why is it that it has not, ages ago, been established throughout the world as the one only law that any man, or all men, could rightfully be compelled to obey? Why is it that any human being ever conceived that anything so self-evidently superfluous, false, absurd, and atrocious as all legislation necessarily must be, could be of any use to mankind, or have any place in human affairs?

Section II.

The answer is, that through all historic times, wherever any people have advanced beyond the savage state, and have learned to increase their means of subsistence by the cultivation of the soil, a greater or less number of them have associated and organized themselves as robbers, to plunder and enslave all others, who had either accumulated any property that could be seized, or had shown, by their labor, that they could be made to contribute to the support or pleasure of those who should enslave them.

These bands of robbers, small in number at first, have increased their power by uniting with each other, inventing warlike weapons, disciplining themselves, and perfecting their organizations as military forces, and dividing their plunder (including their captives) among themselves, either in such proportions as have been previously agreed on, or in such as their leaders (always desirous to increase the number of their followers) should prescribe.
The success of these bands of robbers was an easy thing, for the reason that those whom they plundered and enslaved were comparatively defenceless; being scattered thinly over the country; engaged wholly in trying, by rude implements and heavy labor, to extort a subsistence from the soil; having no weapons of war, other than sticks and stones; having no military discipline or organization, and no means of concentrating their forces, or acting in concert, when suddenly attacked. Under these circumstances, the only alternative left them for saving even their lives, or the lives of their families, was to yield up not only the crops they had gathered, and the lands they had cultivated, but themselves and their families also as slaves.
Thenceforth their fate was, as slaves, to cultivate for others the lands they had before cultivated for themselves. Being driven constantly to their labor, wealth slowly increased; but all went into the hands of their tyrants.

These tyrants, living solely on plunder, and on the labor of their slaves, and applying all their energies to the seizure of still more plunder, and the enslavement of still other defenceless persons; increasing, too, their numbers, perfecting their organizations, and multiplying their weapons of war, they extend their conquests until, in order to hold what they have already got, it becomes necessary for them to act systematically, and co operate with each other in holding their slaves in subjection.

But all this they can do only by establishing what they call a government, and making what they call laws.

All the great governments of the world—those now existing, as well as those that have passed away—have been of this character. They have been mere bands of robbers, who have associated for purposes of plunder, conquest, and the enslavement of their fellow men. And their laws, as they have called them, have been only such agreements as they have found it necessary to enter into, in order to maintain their organizations, and act together in plundering and enslaving others, and in securing to each his agreed share of the spoils.

All these laws have had no more real obligation than have the agreements which brigands, bandits, and pirates find it necessary to enter into with each other, for the more successful accomplishment of their crimes, and the more peaceable division of their spoils.

Thus substantially all the legislation of the world has had its origin in the desires of one class of persons to plunder and enslave others, and hold them as property.

Section III.

In process of time, the robber, or slave holding, class—who had seized all the lands, and held all the means of creating wealth—began to discover that the easiest mode of managing their slaves, and making them profitable, was not for each slaveholder to hold his specified number of slaves, as he had done before, and as he would hold so many cattle, but to give them so much liberty as would throw upon themselves (the slaves) the responsibility of their own subsistence, and yet compel them to sell their labor to the land-holding class—their former owners—for just what the latter might choose to give them.

Of course, these liberated slaves, as some have erroneously called them, having no lands, or other property, and no means of obtaining an independent subsistence, had no alternative—to save themselves from starvation—but to sell their labor to the landholders, in exchange only for the coarsest necessaries of life; not always for so much even as that.

These liberated slaves, as they were called, were now scarcely less slaves than they were before. Their means of subsistence were perhaps even more precarious than when each had his own owner, who had an interest to preserve his life. They were liable, at the caprice or interest of the land-holders, to be thrown out of home, employment, and the opportunity of even earning a subsistence by their labor. They were, therefore, in large numbers, driven to the necessity of begging, stealing, or starving; and became, of course, dangerous to the property and quiet of their late masters.

The consequence was, that these late owners found it necessary, for their own safety and the safety of their property, to organize themselves more perfectly as a government, and make laws for keeping these dangerous people in subjection; that is, laws fixing the prices at which they should be compelled to labor, and also prescribing fearful punishments, even death itself, for such thefts and trespasses as they were driven to commit, as their only means of saving themselves from starvation.

These laws have continued in force for hundreds, and, in some countries, for thousands of years; and are in force to-day, in greater or less severity, in nearly all the countries on the globe.

The purpose and effect of these laws have been to maintain, in the hands of the robber, or slave holding class, a monopoly of all lands, and, as far as possible, of all other means of creating wealth; and thus to keep the great body of laborers in such a state of poverty and dependence, as would compel them to sell their labor to their tyrants for the lowest prices at which life could be sustained.

The result of all this is, that the little wealth there is in the world is all in the hands of a few—that is, in the hands of the law-making, slave-holding class; who are now as much slave-holders in spirit as they ever were, but who accomplish their purposes by means of the laws they make for keeping the laborers in subjection and dependence, instead of each one’s owning his individual slaves as so many chattels.

Thus the whole business of legislation, which has now grown to such gigantic proportions, had its origin in the conspiracies, which have always existed among the few, for the purpose of holding the many in subjection, and extorting from them their labor, and all the profits of their labor.

And the real motives and spirit which lie at the foundation of all legislation—notwithstanding all the pretences and disguises by which they attempt to hide themselves—are the same to-day as they always have been. The whole purpose of this legislation is simply to keep one class of men in subordination and servitude to another.

Section IV.

What, then, is legislation? It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of absolute, irresponsible dominion over all other men whom they can subject to their power. It is the assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to subject all other men to their will and their service. It is the assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to abolish outright all the natural rights, all the natural liberty of all other men; to make all other men their slaves; to arbitrarily dictate to all other men what they may, and may not, do; what they may, and may not, have; what they may, and may not, be. It is, in short, the assumption of a right to banish the principle of human rights, the principle of justice itself, from off the earth, and set up their own personal will, pleasure, and interest in its place. All this, and nothing less, is involved in the very idea that there can be any such thing as human legislation that is obligatory upon those upon whom it is imposed.

Sir William Jones, an English judge in India, and one of the most learned judges that ever lived, learned in Asiatic as well as European law, says: “It is pleasing to remark the similarity, or, rather, the identity, of those conclusions which pure, unbiassed reason, in all ages and nations, seldom fails to draw, in such juridical inquiries as are not fettered and manacled by positive institutions.”—Jones on Bailments, 133.

He means here to say that, when no law his been made in violation of justice, judicial tribunals, “in all ages and nations,” have “seldom” failed to agree as to what justice is.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysander_Spooner

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Law


"Law" is everywhere in this modern world, and yet I find there to be little to no understanding by people of what, exactly, it is beyond some vague notion that it must be obeyed no matter what.

Indeed, it has appeared to me that even most lawyers have no explicit knowledge of what law actually is, or should be.  Rather, their knowledge rests mainly in procedure and precedent.  Knowing what purported "laws" say and how to use them in the various forms of professional procedures is not the same as understanding the normative definition of "law".

It is furthermore worthy to note that, so far as I have been able to discern, even the various law dictionaries miss the mark in how they define "law", a fact I find most disturbing, as should all men of sound mind and character.

For instance, the Oxford Dictionary of Law defines "law" as follows:

"law n. 

1. The enforceable body of rules that govern any society. See also COMMON LAW; NATURAL LAW. 

2. One of the rules making up the body of law, such as an *Act of Parliament."

Note how devoid of basic meaning is this definition.  "Enforceable body of rules": enforceable by whom and by what non-arbitrary authority?  There is far more amiss with definitions such as this one, and we will address those inadequacies shortly.

Meanwhile, and unfortunately, the definition of "common law" provides no help:

"common law 

1. The part of English law based on rules developed by the royal courts during the first three centuries after the Norman Conquest (1066) as a system applicable to the whole country, as opposed to local customs.

2. Rules of law developed by the courts as opposed to those created by statute. 

3. A general system of law deriving exclusively from court decisions."

Note how all these definitions, thus far, describe positive entities only, failing to give us a normative specification.  I submit that it is precisely a normative definition of "law" is the only one that matters, for such a definition should in essence demonstrate the principle upon which law derives its just authority.  More on that later.

Black's Law Dictionary fails similarly:

"LAW. That which is laid down, ordained, or established. A rule or method according to which phenomena or actions co-exist or follow each other. That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens, subject to sanctions or legal consequences, is a "law." Koenig v. Flynn, 258 N.Y. 292, 179 N. E"

Note again how it speaks to the positive rather than the normative.  As with the others, it shows no superiority to the arbitrary and makes no case as to why it must be obeyed, but only that it must be on pain of sanction.

Black's does, however, appear to  touch, however lightly, on a deeper character of law, but goes into no effort to elaborate:

"The earliest notion of law was not an enumeration of a principle, but a judgment in a particular case. When pro-nounced in the early ages, by a king, it was assumed to be the result of direct divine inspiration. Afterwards came the notion of a custom which a judgment affirms, or pun- ishes its breach. In the outset, however, the only au- thoritative statement of right and wrong is a judicial sen- tence rendered after the fact has occurred. It does not presuppose a law to have been violated, but is enacted for the first time by a higher form into the judge's mind at the moment of adjudication."

Sadly, my suspicion here is that "principle" is being misused such that the arbitrary will of a legislature is being wholly confused with non-arbitrary principle.  This, of course, is a catastrophic error, and yet it makes perfect sense that those in the "legal profession" would accept it because it serves the purposes of those in corrupted political power far more satisfyingly that would any adherence to actual and immutable principle.  The former affords lawmakers and top-level employers of law (mostly governmental officials) virtually limit-free prerogative to churn out whatever body of outrage-du-jour, whereas the latter stands to tightly restrict and narrow their avenues of legislative choice.

Continuing, law.com's law dictionary defines "law" as follows:

"law n.

1) any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of a community, society or nation, in response to the need for regularity, consistency and justice based upon collective human experience.

2) n. a statute, ordinance or regulation enacted by the legislative branch of a government and signed into law, or in some nations created by decree without any democratic process. This is distinguished from "natural law," which is not based on statute, but on alleged common understanding of what is right and proper (often based on moral and religious precepts as well as common understanding of fairness and justice). 3) n. a generic term for any body of regulations for conduct, including specialized rules (military law), moral conduct under various religions and for organizations, usually called "bylaws.""

Once again, the definition fails to satisfy the central valid purpose of law, which is to codify principled truths that apply to all men.  The opening words, "any system", are most troubling, implying that arbitrariness is not an issue with which one ought concern himself, save perhaps that it be employed to one's benefit at the possible detriment of all others.

Note the reference to "Natural Law", which at least hints at principled bases.

Thefreedictionary.com's law dictionary offers nothing substantively different:

"body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by controlling authority.
In U.S. law, the word law refers to any rule that if broken subjects a party to criminal punishment or civil liability. Laws in theUnited States are made by federal, state, and local legislatures, judges, the president, state governors, and administrative agencies."

As we see, this also suffers the selfsame deficiencies.

The only relief I have thus far found lies in the definitions of Bouvier's Law Dictionary of 1856 vintage:

"LAW. In its most general and comprehensive sense, law signifies a rule of action; and this term is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action; whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. 1 Bl. Com. 38. In its more confined sense, law denotes the rule, not of actions in general, but of human action or conduct. I


2. Law is generally divided into four principle classes, namely; Natural law, the law of nations, public law, and private or civil law. When considered in relation to its origin, it is statute law or common law. When examined as to its different systems it is divided into civil law, common law, canon law. When applied to objects, it is civil, criminal, or penal. It is also divided into natural law and positive law. Into written law, lex scripta; and unwritten law, lex non scripta. Into law merchant, martial law, municipal law, and foreign law. When considered as to their duration, laws are immutable and arbitrary or positive; when as their effect, they are prospective and retrospective. These will be separately considered."

At least Bouvier's honestly and competently recognizes that "law" as practiced is every bit as likely to be arbitrary and irrational as it is to be otherwise.

Bouvier's goes on:

"LAW, ARBITRARY. An arbitrary law is one made by the legislator simply because he wills it, and is not founded in the nature of things; such law, for example, as the tariff law, which may be high or low. This term is used in opposition to immutable."

Note the reference to immutability.  Anything called "law" should be immutable, otherwise it is not law.  Natural Law bears this quality, which is perhaps a main reason it is discredited by the corrupt and ignorant who peddle unpublished agendas to the unwitting.

Why do we refer to the "law of gravity", or the "laws of physics"?  We do so because they are, for all practical purposes, immutable.  There is no changing or eliminating gravity or the ways in which matter and energy behave.  We must, perforce, deal with these aspects of reality on their terms, and not our own.  While there may be many ways to coax matter and energy to do things in what seems to us an artificial manner, we are nonetheless operating upon them by their rules, and not our own.  The principles by which matter, energy, and gravity operate are effectively immutable.

So it must be with "law", and here I shall distinguish what we shall come to know as "real law" v. "false law" (see Arbitrary Law, above) by capitalizing the noun.  Therefore, "Law" shall mean proper law; law as nearly no man understands it and the legal institutions of the world would have it never be.

Before proceeding, it perhaps serves us well to look at one more law definition, once again from Bouvier's:

"LAW, CANON. The canon law is a body of Roman ecclesiastical law, relative to such matters as that church either has or pretends to have the proper jurisdiction over:

2. This is compiled from the opinions of the ancient Latin fathers, the decrees of general councils, and the decretal epistles and bulls of the holy see."

It is of value to note the reference to pretense here.  It is further noteworthy that the reference to pretense is not quite so explicitly applied to other governing bodies such as those of nation-states as exampled by America, Great Britain, and so forth.  The definition of "Arbitrary Law" only speaks to the object of the definition, offering no real world examples or cites for which law dictionaries appear to be otherwise so painfully generous.


What, Then, Is Law?

If the law dictionaries are getting it wrong, and I insist that they are, what then would a proper definition of "law" look like?  That is to say, how does one properly define Law?

For starters, Law cannot be arbitrary.  Arbitrary law is mere statute, which in turn is naught other than an expression of the will and caprice of a man or body thereof who decided that some behavior shall now be required of people.  Mere statute has no validity, and therefore no force of law.  Unfortunately, it almost universally does have the force of armed men who appear to hold precious small compunction to enforce such caprice upon the people to whom they swear an oath to protect their rights.  There is great irony in this; sad, dangerous irony that destroys all that is good between men.

If law is to be Law, it must be non-arbitrary, which further implies that it must be based in just principle.  Otherwise, it is by definition arbitrary and thereby not Law.

There is, by the way, an analog to this, however loose it may be.  A "contract", in order to exist, must meet six criteria, each or which may be validly seen as a principle of sorts, or at least an analog to principle in the sense that they are clearly defined.  To wit, a contract must have the following elements present:
  1. Offer
  2. Acceptance
  3. Capacity
  4. Intent
  5. Consideration
  6. Lawfulness
The first two simply say that someone must be making some sort of an offer to another and that the other must accept it in the absence of coercion.

"Capacity" refers to one's mental and physical capacities to responsibly enter into the agreement and discharge the duties and obligations, as well as reap the benefits, embodied therein.

"Intent" refers to the non-coerced intention of all parties to enter into the legal relations the contract stands to establish between them.

"Consideration" is comprised of the list of those things to be exchanged between the parties as the substantive matters of the agreement.  It is worthy to note that all parties must receive consideration and that, generally speaking, the mutual considerations must be deemed as at least roughly equivalent.  An agreement where only one party  receives consideration cannot be a contract, but is naught more than a mere and one-sided obligation of one man in servitude to another.  The lawfulness of such agreements appears to sit in some serious question in many jurisdictions.

"Lawfulness" means that the considerations of the agreement must accord with law.  For example, I many not contract with another man to have my neighbor murdered.

The point here is that "contract" has a more or less rigorous definition that is narrow and clear.  Furthermore, it is declarative in voice, saying "this is what must be."  It is a specification for a structure such that all candidates for contract status are, at least in theory, readily judged for validity.  In practice, of course, there are those rare cases where the elements are of such a nature that unusual and often thorny questions arise, requiring the attention of particularly adept experts in the practice of contract law.

By this definition, any agreement that fails to carry all six of these elements within its structure is decidedly not a contract, but rather something else.

And so it must be with Law.  "Law" must specify the super-normative requirements of its own constitution.  Law must be defined in such a way that any man of marginal intellect may look at it and be able to determine whether something put before him as Law is, in fact, Law.  This is the key characteristic and requirement that is so conveniently missing and apparently has been since the first days of man's law, with few exceptions.

One of those exceptions may be English Common Law.  However, I have become familiar with several potentially and mutually exclusive views on Common Law.  The definition as given above makes no mention of such immutable principles, and yet in other venues I have read about such.  My understanding, such as it may be, is that under Common Law there are three basic principles to which all men must comport themselves in good accord.  To wit:

  1. Do no unjust harm
  2. Be good for your word
  3. Make whole that which you damage
My understanding of this is that these are the principles upon which all Common Law is based and that the remainder is nothing other than case law as the application of these principles cited.  I suspect there is likely more to it that just this, certainly today with the British Pariliament churning out statute in the manner of Otto von Bismarck's fabled sausages, where is is quoted as having said, "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made."  The quote is often misattributed to Mark Twain.

Other than this somewhat questionable example, I can think of no other body of national law that founds upon immutable principle insofar as the specification of what constitutes actual Law.  Once again I reiterate my opinion that this is not by mere happenstance of unfortunate oversight by those entrusted to define, create, and enact "law".  Very much the opposite: men are well proven to covet political power over their fellows.  A loosey-goosey definition of "law" offers such men the widest possible latitude to churn out and enact their arbitrary impulses, which serves the interest of their lusts far more faithfully than a definition that any man would be able to apply in determination of whether that which they have declared is in fact valid and in possession of the force of principle.

This brings us to the heart of the matter: a set of specifications that, taken as a whole, defines the qualities and characteristics of Law in terms that are both clear, correct, and complete.  Anything less than this must be rejected by all good men of sound mind and character and who treasure that which is right above the wrong, and who treasure their rights and the freedom that has been born into them, as well as the justice that derives from the proper relations between them.


Law, n.

a rule of action applicable to all men to compel or prohibit behavior, constructed in accord with the following specifications and caveats:

  1. It must never diminish, restrict, limit, disparage, or otherwise violate the fundamental rights of men in any manner or degree whatsoever, regardless of purport of necessity or claim to authority
  2. If addressing a crime, there must be a provably valid specification of the victim's constitution given as justification and basis for the rule
  3. it must be based upon an immutable and provenly valid principles of proper human relations
  4. It must be linguistically constructed so as not be subject to variations in interpretation.  What it meant yesterday, it means today and shall mean tomorrow in perpetuity.
  5. It must be demonstrably clear
  6. It must be provably correct
  7. It must be proven in all its elements prior to taking effect
Caveat of nonseverability: absence of any of these requirements renders the rule as mere and invalid statute, and thereby devoid of any force of Law. Any attempt at the enactment of such an invalid corpus is by this definition false and by that virtue may any man ignore the dictates and prohibitions with no obligation to submit to any act of enforcement. Any such reprisals may be met with force sufficient to remove the threat, up to and including deadly force in the cases where the threats presented are of such a nature and degree that their results may include bodily injury, death, or immediate loss of physical freedom through any or several avenues including but not limited to physical apprehension and subsequent kidnapping by anyone purporting to enforce such non-Law.

Caveat of applicability: Law validly applies only to the degree to, and the manner in which, it is complete and sufficiently specific

Consequences of Conviction: Anyone found guilty of the crime of Murder shall be sentenced to no less than five years in prison, but may be sentenced up to the duration of his life.

Note how this architecture for Law provides objective criteria for its construction and proofing.  As with contracts, it makes explicit the requirement of all elements in order for a Law to in fact exist and that absence of any single required component renders the rule as statute and therefore, non-Law, void of any force or effect.  It further explicitly recognizes  a man's fundamental and inborn right as a Freeman to defend himself against enforcement of such invalid statutory declarations by whatever means necessary, up to and including killing those attempting to impose it upon him.


Example of a valid Law


Here, I contrive a hypothetical Law against murder.  Note how immediately and intuitively evident such a law tends to be, precisely because they find their deepest roots in accord with our most basic humanity, as well as reason and logic.

Prohibition against Murder

Any man taking from another his life without just cause shall be guilty of the crime of murder.

Basis:  All Men are equally endowed with Life.  Born into each Man is the inner drive to preserve and perpetuate his Life, which constitutes the materially observable manifestation of each Man's innate Claim to Life, also known as his Right to Life.

A Man's life is, therefore, his unalienable Property in all contexts where his actions pose no immediate existential threat, or an immediate threat of great destruction or other harm to the Life or other Property of another because beyond such circumstances, no Man may take from another that which is demonstrably the Property of the other.  

Contrary to what any other principle or aspect of Law may otherwise assert, a Man's immediate inability to defend his Claim to Life renders no nullity upon said Claim.

Murder is a crime with a perpetrator and one or more victims.  The perpetrator is he who takes life without the just causes as have been herein defined.  A Victim is one whose life has been taken from him by a perpetrator.

For the purposes of this Law, the following definitions shall apply:


  1. Property
  2. Claim
  3. Right
  4. Crime
  5. ...


This, of course, is a good representative case of a Law Mala In Sé.  Let us now test to see whether this specification rises to the standard of Law.


  1. It is explicit in its protections of all Rights of Men
  2. Addresses a crime, and defines both perpetrator and victim
  3. The valid Principles of Proper Human Relations are cited
  4. The semantic structure is clear, with explicit definitions of terms provided
  5. The Law is without any ambiguity that I can readily detect
  6. While not proven, it appears at first blush to meet the standard
  7. Similar to point 6, however, being well founded in principle and of a brief and fundamentally simple construction, it would seem likely to pass this smell test.
While I have failed to put this specification through the complete program of rigor for the sake of the mercy of brevity to you, the reader, I am confident that it either meets the standard, or would with only minor modification.

Example of Invalid Specification Resulting in Non-Law


Prohibition against possession, use, and sale of Cannabis Sativa

Anyone found to be in possession of cannabis sativa shall be guilty of a capital crime and shall be sentenced to death.


Clearly this specification fails to rise to the standard of Law.  It is a clear case of a law mala prohibita, which is perhaps by that virtue not Law.  That potential argument aside, let us go through the list:


  1. It fails to establish a non-arbitrary basis for the prohibition
  2. It fails to establish a crime, much less a valid victim
  3. There is no principle, valid or otherwise, to which any reference direct or oblique in evidence
  4. Semantics are clear enough
  5. The specification is ambiguous as it fails to make explicit the meaning of "possession"
  6. Not apparently valid
  7. Not applicable for the purposes of this example.
Furthermore, it fails to meet the standard of the Caveat of Applicability as it is far too broadly expressed.

This example is, of course, one of a glaring nature, chosen for the purpose of providing a clear representation of non-Law.  In reality, non-Law is at times likely to be far more subtle in its failings.


Conclusion

This general specification for Law as presented here is possibly not be quite complete and correct, but if not,  I believe it is very close.  

It is, in any event, a good and necessary start not only toward bringing men finally into the possession of a proper definition and specification standard for Law, but also as an instrument of generating awareness of the need for such an objective standard. 

Such a standard promises to meet with vigorous opposition in circles of political power, for it would bind the hands of legislators in ways they are certain to find violently objectionable.  It might meet similar, if less violent opposition from other quarters, practitioners of Law (or law) included.

Law has become one of the most pervasive and dangerous scams in existence.  It purports to protect the freedoms of men, while in point of fact it does more to deny and demolish the rights of men than any other nameable factor in our lives.

Take it in and let it roll around in the back of your thoughts awhile.  The propriety of this idea should resonate with all freedom-minded men.  Imagine a nation where legislators were greatly or even wholly limited in their powers to step on the rights of those whose rights they swore to uphold and protect.  That is the potential of this idea.

Until next time, please accept my best wishes.