Thursday, July 29, 2010
Rule of Law
The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that the rule of law is necessary to preserve freedom, not the whims of men. When a law is established, it states the rights and duties of every person. Each person then knows what is expected. This brings a sense of security to all. In comparison, when people are governed by the whims of men, the rights and responsibilities of the people depend upon whoever happens to be in power. Nothing is fixed, predictable, or secure. Individual families as well as society as a whole need a set of fixed and enforceable laws in order to be civilized. John Lock wrote, "The end of the law is not to abolish or restrain but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be where there is no law." (Second Essay Concerning Civil Government, p 37, par. 57.) Laws also need to be written in such a way that they are understandable and stable. Modern lawmakers could learn much from our Founding Fathers. The Declaration of Independence AND the United States Constitution are contained in less than fifty pages. The national health care bill took more than a thousand pages! The laws and regulations of our nation need to be less voluminous and less incoherent while also being more understandable and more supportable by the people. Ideas and quotes for this post came from W. Cleon Skousen, The Five Thousand Year Leap, pp 173-176.