Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Law

"Law" is everywhere in this modern world, and yet I find that people have little to no understanding 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 the absence of substantive meaning conveyed by 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 these definitions, thus far, describe positive facts only, failing to give us a normative specification that includes the irreducible and principled basis for its construction and acceptance as valid and universally applicable.  A properly constructed 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 authoritative statement of right and wrong is a judicial sentence 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 that would better serve even justice for all.  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, administrative, and enforcement latitude.

Continuing,'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.'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.

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, who would otherwise also be the unwilling.

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, actual, provable law; law as nearly no man understands it and the legal institutions of the world would have it never be understood.

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, let us list what law is not: Law cannot be arbitrary.  Arbitrary law is mere statute, decree, fiat, etc., which in turn is nothing more authoritative than an expression of the capricious will of one man over that of another, thereby dictating that some behavior shall now be required of people, or prohibited of them.  Mere statute has no demonstrable 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 of whose rights they have sworn an oath to protect.  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 valid principle.  Otherwise, it is by definition arbitrary and, therefore 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 and capably enter into the agreement and discharge the duties and obligations, as well as reap the benefits, set forth and embodied therein.

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

"Consideration" is comprised of the list of those things to be exchanged between the parties as the substantive benefits of the agreement.  It is worthwhile 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 lop-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 may not contract with another man to have my neighbor murdered.  That would be unLawful.

The point here is that "contract" has a more or less rigorous definition that is narrow and clear; certainly far more so than the various definitions of "law" as are commonly known.  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.  It may be fact that these sorts of outlier cases cannot be entirely avoided.  We can, however, apply our good wits pursuant to contriving a definition that greatly narrows the possibilities for injustices, accidental or otherwise.

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 in all of the definitions I have seen to date, 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 places, 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 without rightful authority
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 the case law as the application of the practical application of these principles.  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 he 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.  I reiterate my opinion that this is not the case as the result of the 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 has been 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 freedoms 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 at least one immutable and provenly valid principle 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. A Law must be demonstrably clear
  6. A Law must be provably correct
  7. A Law must be complete as to applicability
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 to its stated purpose and the principles it defends.

Note how this architecture for Law provides at least the beginnings of a framework for 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 them 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.  Just cause for the taking of life includes:

  1. Defense of property against trespass or other unjust violation
  2. As a matter of contract between taker and he from whom life is taken
  3. Under circumstances of dire emergency where injury, the resulting suffering, and no reasonable prospect for recovery render killing of injured parties as a gift of mercy in the face of unbearable agony and, likely, inevitable death.

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 rightful 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, though in practice would have to be referenced more explicitly and explanations given as to how and why the Law in question defends the principles so 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, given the eventual and proper fleshing out of all the specifications.
  6. While not proven, it appears at first blush to be on good track toward meeting the standard
  7. 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 so meet it 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 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. Appears valid on this point,
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, which is all the more the reason for having a rigorous definition of "Law" that includes such a checklist by which candidate bills could be readily judged as to whether they meet the standard.


This general specification for Law as presented here is likely not complete and correct; but if not,  I believe it is 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 greatly objectionable.  It might meet similar, if less violent opposition from other quarters, practitioners of Law (or law) included.

False-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.

1 comment: