Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the rule of law

The rule of law is usually understood in contrast to the state of nature, or the arbitrary punishments and rewards doled out by whimsical despots. However, what if the laws themselves are whimsical or arbitrary in nature? And, furthermore, what if said laws are designed such that all are always de facto guilty of violating some such, the enforcement of which is then whimsical or arbitrary? In such a situation, the virtues of the rule of law evaporate, and the chaotic and irrational structure of the state of nature or the whimsical despot is reproduced in the "law-governed" society.

Such is the case with most developed nations in the modern world. We have come full circle, replacing the chaos of nature with the rationality of law, with the whimsy of irrational dicta arbitrarily enforced.

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