The Law

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The Law

“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve… But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn’t belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay - No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.”
Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

This forums subsection "Our Orwellian World" may or may not be the best place to put this, however with the 'classic' manipulation of law, it seems so.

This thread relates to how we envision, enact, pervert and generally live with (and without) and follow law.

This is not the study of the subsets of law, for that you can read this (and a lot more), it is having a look at a couple of people’s thinking on what laws mean and how our very laws can be used for good and ill.

St. Thomas Aquinas in one area of law put it this way:

Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the one who is in charge of the community.

The "common good" seems reasonable as a cornerstone of law, however those two words can be used to plunder in its name.

At the end of this, I'll add a little on how to think of 'Regulations,' another form of law - tricky often, and also in cases does form the "common good" and can also work against it the form of bad regulations, for instance, regulations that result in oppressive orders such as we see today with Covid.

Of regulations, in the U.S. alone as of 1995, regulatory agencies have enacted 88,899 regulations that grew from a base, in 1995 numbers, of 4,713 regulations. These have resulted in an additional 4,312 laws.

Again using the U.S. on the subject of criminal laws, this article states:

The most recent attempt at an official estimate from the Justice Department, completed more than 35 years ago, found that the federal government had defined more than 3,000 crimes in statute, a number that may well have doubled since then. Thousands more acts are criminal under federal regulations.

Just to diverge for a few sentences, upon reading more on St. Paul and his letters (see Laura’s new book and this thread), one can see how divine laws were weaved into the Torah's 'guild,' as St Paul hints, as childminder laws. These are not the laws of an adult.

The thread link above spells out this thinking in Paul’s Necessary Sin (Timothy Ashworth), wherein chapter 3 looks to Freedom of Obedience:

The conclusion of the last chapter was that ‘the mediation of law is no longer required in those who have come to faith’.

Developed next to:

Paul describes what it means to live by faith. It reveals how Paul seeks to maintain that, while the life of faith is a way of freedom and does not involve the obligation which is present in the obedience to the law, it still involves a direction for living.

This is just a snip that Ashworth developed from Paul’s Greek translations, compared to that of others translations. So, suggest, if not already, have a read of the whole of his work.

To continue, the following highlights law categories, and there are a great many who write about each and how to think of them. This is a random version with some highlighting added. Citation on the link:

Divine Law:

the historical laws of Scripture given to us through God’s self-revelation. Divine law is divided into the Old Law and the New Law, which correspond to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible (q91, a5). The Old Law, revealed by God to Moses, “is the first stage of revealed Law. Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments” (CCC 1962). It has an extrinsic focus — motivated by fearand promises earthly rewards (such as social peace). It expresses immediate conclusions of the natural moral law.”

Natural Law:

“is “the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law” (ST I-II, Q. 91, A. 2.). “The highest norm of human life is the divine law — eternal, objective, and universal — whereby God governs us according to His wisdom and love. God makes Man a sharer in His law so Man can recognize the unchanging truth” (DH 3) The natural law “hinges upon the desire for God and submission to Him, as well as upon the sense that the other is one’s equal” (CCC 1955).

It is “natural” as it consists of Reason given to us by the “higher reason” of the divine Lawgiver. They are natural as they are objective principles which originate in human nature (GS 16; DH 14). The natural law is universal because it encompasses every person, of every epoch (cf. CCC 1956): “it is immutable and permanent throughout history; the rules that express it remain substantially valid” (CCC 1958).

Every man is bound to live by his rational nature, guided by reason. The natural law expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties (CCC 1956, 1978). The first principle of the natural law is “good is to be done and pursued, and evil avoided” (q94, a2, p. 47; CCC 1954). All other precepts of natural law rest upon this. The Church, through its Magisterium, is the authentic interpreter of the natural law (cf. CCC 2036). Since mankind is subject to sin, grace and Revelation are necessary for moral truths to be known “by everyone with facility, with certainty and no error.”

Human Law:

is the interpretation of natural law in different contexts (ST II.I.95–97). Natural law is a foundation for moral and civil law. Government laws are dictates of practical reason from the precepts of Natural Law.

Law is not about individual morality. Individual vices should be legislated against when they threaten harm to others. Rulers of the State should take the general moral precepts of nature and specify them into State laws, e.g., the repugnance of murder is legislated into punishments.

Hierarchy of Law

For Aquinas, human laws are derived from natural law which is a participation in the eternal law. Therefore, eternal law is at the top, followed by natural law, and then human law. Divine law is the revealed law of God to man, while natural law is the imprint of eternal law on the hearts of men.

That is it in brief, with further context and interpretation notwithstanding.

One important word that comes up (and more so with the following historical author to keep in mind), encompasses person and property, such as in the above wherein "it encompasses every person, of every epoch" until the meaning in law, in this current epoch, was changed to include non-human.

There are therefore two kinds of legal entities: human and non-human. In law, a human person is called a natural person (sometimes also a physical person), and a non-human person is called a juridical person (sometimes also a juridic, juristic, artificial, legal, or fictitious person, Latin: persona ficta).

Juridical persons are entities such as corporations, firms (in some jurisdictions), and many government agencies. They are treated in law as if they were persons.

Nothing new here, it originated in ancient Rome and the cement started to dry (and continued in case law) around the law of "person" since (see Louisville, C. & C.R. Co. v. Letson, 2 How. 497, 558, 11 L.Ed. 353 (1844)), so it makes all the difference when looking at law and plunder, and it is a serious malfeasance in law that stands uncorrected.

Looking at this through the eyes, words and thoughts of FRÉDÉRIC BASTIAT is the next part, deals with the thread title The Law, the same name as his essay written in 1850.

Here is Bastiat’s background:

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Claude-Frédéric Bastiat (/bɑːstiˈɑː/; French: [klod fʁedeʁik bastja]; 30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French economist, writer and a prominent member of the French Liberal School.

A member of the French National Assembly, Bastiat developed the economic concept of opportunity cost and introduced the parable of the broken window.[2] He was described as “the most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived” by economic theorist Joseph Schumpeter.

As an advocate of classical economics and the economics of Adam Smith, his views favored a free market and influenced the Austrian School. He is best known for his book The Law where he argued that law must protect rights such as private property, not "plunder" others' property.

Biography​

Bastiat was born on 29 June 1801 in Bayonne, Aquitaine, a port town in the south of France on the Bay of Biscay. His father, Pierre Bastiat, was a prominent businessman in the town. His mother died in 1808 when Frédéric was seven years old. His father moved inland to the town of Mugron, with Frédéric following soon afterward. The Bastiat estate in Mugron had been acquired during the French Revolution and had previously belonged to the Marquis of Poyanne. Pierre Bastiat died in 1810, leaving Frédéric an orphan. He was fostered by his paternal grandfather and his unmarried aunt Justine Bastiat. He attended a school in Bayonne, but his aunt thought poorly of it and so enrolled him in the school Saint-Sever. At age 17, he left school at Sorèze to work for his uncle in his family's export business. It was the same firm where his father had been a partner.

Bastiat began to develop an intellectual interest as he no longer wished to work with his uncle and desired to go to Paris for formal studies. This hope was not realized as his grandfather was in poor health and wished to go to the Mugron estate. Bastiat accompanied him and cared for him. The next year when Bastiat was 24, his grandfather died, leaving him the family estate, thereby providing him with the means to further his theoretical inquiries. Bastiat developed intellectual interests in several areas including philosophy, history, politics, religion, travel, poetry, political economy and biography. After the middle-class Revolution of 1830, Bastiat became politically active and was elected justice of the peace of Mugron in 1831 and to the Council General (county-level assembly) of Landes in 1832. Bastiat was elected to the national legislative assembly after the French Revolution of 1848.

His public career as an economist began only in 1844, when his first article was published in the Journal des économistes during October of that year and it was ended by his untimely death in 1850. Bastiat contracted tuberculosis, probably during his tours throughout France to promote his ideas and that illness eventually prevented him from making further speeches (particularly at the legislative assembly to which he was elected in 1848 and 1849) and ended his life. In The Law, he wrote: "Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate)".

This last line is understood by translators to be a reference to the effects of his tuberculosis. During the autumn of 1850, he was sent to Italy by his doctors and he first traveled to Pisa, then to Rome. On 24 December 1850, Bastiat called those with him to approach his bed and murmured twice the words "the truth" before he died at the age of 49.

Works​

Bastiat was the author of many works on economics and political economy, generally characterized by their clear organization, forceful argumentation and acerbic wit. Economist Murray Rothbard wrote that "Bastiat was indeed a lucid and superb writer, whose brilliant and witty essays and fables to this day are remarkable and devastating demolitions of protectionism and of all forms of government subsidy and control. He was a truly scintillating advocate of an unrestricted free market". However, Bastiat himself declared that subsidy should be available, albeit limited under extraordinary circumstances, saying the following:

"Under extraordinary circumstances, for urgent cases, the State should set aside some resources to assist certain unfortunate people, to help them adjust to changing conditions".

Among his better known works is Economic Sophisms, a series of essays (originally published in the Journal des économistes) which contain a defence of free trade. Bastiat wrote the work while living in England to advise the shapers of the French Republic on perils to avoid. Economic Sophisms was translated and adapted for an American readership in 1867 by the economist and historian of money Alexander del Mar, writing under the pseudonym Emile Walter.

More can be read here.

The Parable of the Broken Window was first mentioned above and is included below (deals with economics accounting and bears also on laws):
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Parable of the broken window

When a child accidentally smashes a window, and then it has to be replaced, does this accident constitute a benefit to society, due to the economic activity of repairing and replacing the window?

“The parable seeks to show how opportunity costs, as well as the law of unintended consequences, affect economic activity in ways that are unseen or ignored. The belief that destruction is good for for the economy is consequently known as the broken window fallacy or glazier's fallacy.”

There is a tie, I think, with how we like to use the term GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in economics, which in my thinking takes up the same “fallacy” based on destruction/ills (social destruction, medical, environmental, criminal etc.) as in many cases, it is deemed as a positive economic health measure (feel good index). This needs to be thought about in the context of the broken window parable.

Here is how Bastiat describes this parable in his writing:

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

As an economist, some have said that Bastiac did not cut the mustard (his detractors), however here is a counter to their opinions by Mark Thorton titled FRÉDÉRIC BASTIAT’S VIEWS ON THE NATURE OF MONEY. Here is a snip by both the author and Bastiat:

Bastiat begins his detailed analysis of the nature of money with a stunning statement when he calls “drafts on the Bank of Exchange” a “deceitful substitute” for money. This clearly implies that banknotes and deposit accounts are fraudulent when they do not represent commodity money in the same way warehouse receipts represent the titles to nonmonetary commodities. Bastiat therefore begins his dialogue by labeling fractional reserve banking practices as a fraud on the general public.

Bastiat goes on to explain that the confusion of money and riches or wealth is the “cause of errors and calamities without number” (p. 176). Money is genuinely beneficial—indeed, it plays a critical role as the medium of exchange—but people confuse money with wealth. This is not a problem for the deluded individual who readily ignores this mistaken belief every time he gets hungry or thirsty and converts money into goods. However, when this mistaken belief becomes acceptable public policy all manner of destruction can be unleashed:

Because, when a man, instead of acting for himself, decides for others, personal interest, that ever watchful and sensible sentinel, is no longer present to cry out, “Stop! the responsibility is misplaced.” It is Peter who is deceived, and John suffers; the false system of the legislator necessarily becomes the rule of action of whole populations. (p. 179)

Continued on the next post that directly reflects Bastiac's essay The Law...
 

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Continued from the above.

The Law

Working from two copies. The first has an introduction by Thomas J. DiLorenzo (May 2007).

From the introduction:

Thomas DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and a member of the senior faculty of the Mises Institute.

The book cover plate picture is described a:

Prise de la Bastille (“The Storming of the Bastille”);
1789. Painting by Jean-Pierre Hoüel (1735–1813). Permission
was obtained from the Bibliothèque nationale de France for its
use.

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Thomas J. DiLorenzo, in his short introduction (which most is added), opens with;

“Bastiat believed that all human beings possessed the God-given, natural rights of “individuality, liberty, property.” “This is man,” he wrote. These “three gifts from God precede all human legislation.” But even in his time—writing in the late 1840s—Bastiat was alarmed over how the law had been “perverted” into an instrument of what he called legal plunder. Far from protecting individual rights, the law was increasingly used to deprive one group of citizens of those rights for the benefit of another group, and especially for the benefit of the state itself. He condemned the legal plunder of protectionist tariffs, government subsidies of all kinds, progressive taxation, public schools, government “jobs” programs, minimum wage laws, welfare, usury laws, and more.

Bastiat’s warnings of the dire effects of legal plunder are as relevant today as they were the day he first issued them. The system of legal plunder (which many now celebrate as “democracy”) will erase from everyone’s conscience, he wrote, the distinction between justice and injustice. The plundered classes will eventually figure out how to enter the political game and plunder their fellow man. Legislation will never be guided by any principles of justice, but only by brute political force.

The great French champion of liberty also forecast the corruption of education by the state. Those who held “government-endowed teaching positions,” he wrote, would rarely criticize legal plunder lest their government endowments be ended.

The system of legal plunder would also greatly exaggerate the importance of politics in society. That would be a most unhealthy development as it would encourage even more citizens to seek to improve their own well-being not by producing goods and services for the marketplace but by plundering their fellow citizens through politics.

Bastiat was also wise enough to anticipate what modern economists call “rent seeking” and “rent avoidance” behavior. These two clumsy phrases refer, respectively, to the phenomena of lobbying for political favors (legal plunder), and of engaging in political activity directed at protecting oneself from being the victim of plunder seekers. (For example, the steel manufacturing industry lobbies for high tariffs on steel, whereas steel-using industries, like the automobile industry, can be expected to lobby against high tariffs on steel).

The reason why modern economists are concerned about “rent seeking” is the opportunity cost involved: the more time, effort and money that is spent by businesses on conniving to manipulate politics—merely transferring wealth—the less time is spent on producing goods and services, which increases wealth. Thus, legal plunder impoverishes the entire society despite the fact that a small (but politically influential) part of the society benefits from it.

It is remarkable, in reading “The Law,” how perfectly accurate Bastiat was in describing the statists of his day which, it turns out, were not much different from the statists of today or any other day. The French “socialists” of Bastiat’s day espoused doctrines that perverted charity, education, and morals, for one thing. True charity does not begin with the robbery of taxation, he pointed out. Government schooling is inevitably an exercise in statist brainwashing, not genuine education; and it is hardly “moral” for a large gang (government) to (legally) rob one segment of the population, keep most of the loot, and share a little of it with various “needy” individuals.

Socialists want “to play God,” Bastiat observed, anticipating all the future tyrants and despots of the world who would try to remake the world in their image, whether that image would be communism, fascism, the “glorious union,” or “global democracy.” Bastiat also observed that socialists wanted forced conformity; rigid regimentation of the population through pervasive regulation; forced equality of wealth; and dictatorship. As such, they were the mortal enemies of liberty.

“Dictatorship” need not involve an actual dictator. All that was needed, said Bastiat, was “the laws,” enacted by a Congress or a Parliament, that would achieve the same effect: forced conformity.

Bastiat was also wise to point out that the world has far too many “great men,” “fathers of their countries,” etc., who in reality are usually nothing but petty tyrants with a sick and compulsive desire to rule over others. The defenders of the free society should have a healthy disrespect for all such men.

Bastiat admired America and pointed to the America of 1850 as being as close as any society in the world to his ideal of a government that protected individual rights to life, liberty, and property. There were two major exeptions, however: the twin evils of slavery and protectionist tariffs.

Frédéric Bastiat died on Christmas Eve, 1850, and did not live to observe the convulsions that the America he admired so much would go through in the next fifteen years (and longer). It is unlikely that he would have considered the U.S. government’s military invasion of the Southern states in 1861, the killing of some 300,000 citizens, and the bombing, burning, and plundering of the region’s cities, towns, farms, and businesses as being consistent in any way with the protection of the lives, liberties and properties of those citizens as promised by the Declaration of Independence. Had he lived to see all of this, he most likely would have added “legal murder” to “legal plunder” as one of the two great sins of government. He would likely have viewed the post-war Republican Party, with its 50 percent average tariff rates, its massive corporate welfare schemes, and its 25-year campaign of genocide against the Plains Indians as first-rate plunderers and traitors to the American ideal.

In the latter pages of “The Law” Bastiat offers the sage advice that what was really needed was “a science of economics” that would explain the harmony (or lack thereof) of a free society (as opposed to socialism). He made a major contribution to this end himself with the publication of his book, Economic Harmonies, which can be construed as a precursor to the modern literature of the Austrian School of economics. There is no substitute for a solid understanding of the market order (and of the realities of politics) when it comes to combating the kinds of destructive socialistic schemes that plagued Bastiat’s day as well as ours. Anyone who reads this great essay along with other free-market classics, such as Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson and Murray Rothbard’s Power and Market, will possess enough intellectual ammunition to debunk the socialist fantasies of this or any other day.

The Law

Bastiat opens with:

The law perverted! The law—and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation—the law, I say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish! Truly, this is a serious fact, if it exists, and one to which I feel bound to call the attention of my fellow citizens.

[…]

Unhappily, law is by no means confined to its own sphere. Nor is it merely in some ambiguous and debatable views that it has left its proper sphere. It has done more than this. It has acted in direct opposition to its proper end; it has destroyed its own object; it has been employed in annihilating that justice which it ought to have established, in effacing amongst Rights, that limit which it was its true mission to respect; it has placed the collective force in the service of those who wish to traffic, without risk and without scruple, in the persons, the liberty, and the property of others; it has converted plunder into a right, that it may protect it, and lawful defense into a crime, that it may punish it.

How has this perversion of law been accomplished? And what has resulted from it?

The law has been perverted through the influence of two very different causes—naked greed and misconceived philanthropy.
{these two aspects are operating today on steroids.}

Let us speak of the former. Self-preservation and development is the common aspiration of all men, in such a way that if every one enjoyed the free exercise of his faculties and the free disposition of their fruits, social progress would be incessant, uninterrupted, inevitable.

But there is also another disposition which is common to them. This is to live and to develop, when they can, at the expense of one another. This is no rash imputation, emanating from a gloomy, uncharitable spirit. History bears witness to the truth of it, by the incessant wars, the

migrations of races, sectarian oppressions, the universality of slavery, the frauds in trade, and the monopolies with which its annals abound
. This fatal disposition has its origin in the very constitution of man—in that primitive, and universal, and invincible sentiment that urges it towards its well-being, and makes it seek to escape pain.

Man can only derive life and enjoyment from a perpetual search and appropriation; that is, from a perpetual application of his faculties to objects, or from labor. This is the origin of property.

But also he may live and enjoy, by seizing and appropriating the productions of the faculties of his fellow men. This is the origin of plunder.

Now, labor being in itself a pain, and man being naturally inclined to avoid pain, it follows, and history proves it, that wherever plunder is less burdensome than labor, it prevails; and neither religion nor morality can, in this case, prevent it from prevailing.

When does plunder cease, then? When it becomes more burdensome and more dangerous than labor. It is very evident that the proper aim of law is to oppose the fatal tendency to plunder with the powerful obstacle of collective force; that all its measures should be in favor of property, and against plunder.

Without citing the whole book, which is short and has some gems in it, another more modern talk looks to that of law and regulations:

What Does It Mean to Comply with the Law?

Jonathan Price, M.A., Ph.D.

As the saying goes, some things are easier said than done. Compliance with law, however, is normally the other way around: it is easier done than said. I am complying with all sorts of laws as I sit here typing this article: physical, natural, moral, and even positive laws are all being perfectly complied with. In a sense I am also “obeying” all those laws. However, obedience shades the meaning differently than “complying,” so that compliance would seem in many cases to require little or no willing effort (an ironical fact, as we shall see below, given what compliance tends to entail legally). It also carries much less moral weight than “obedience.” Compare the two questions: Is it just to obey an immoral law? Is it just to comply with an immoral law? Both involve morality. However, the former seems to touch on it more directly, since “obedience,” in this sense, involve a direct choice; whereas compliance seems to slip through without being examined as to choice. The grammatical constructions of the two phrases even indicate the directness of obliqueness of the purported relation, “to comply with” being less direct than ‘to obey.”

[…]

Regulation, however, has a different character from ordinary positive law, in that regulations can be meticulously detailed, change with little notice, apply only to certain industries or activities, and require expert guidance to be understood. Regulations can also require special apparatus or best practices in order to be complied with, such as book-keeping that allows various types of audits or digitization of data. Sometimes there are running standards that adapt and are adaptable, and thus, must be adapted to on the fly. Finally, regulations need not be “good” in order to be, per definition, regulations, unless “good” is limited to meaning “effective” to some practical end (which it is not regarding the law, cf. moral goodness, which is the ordinary sense of a “good law” as compared to a “good regulation”).

[…]

Re: Lon Fuller from The Morality of Law:

There must be law existing over time so that adjudication does not become arbitrary. Just how long a law must exist is not clear, but minutes or days would seem to be insufficient as a rule. Law cannot be just the current pronouncements of somebody or some organization that dispenses rules on an ad hoc basis.

2. Law must be promulgated. It must be published, known or knowable. It cannot be kept secret or only remain the province of the initiated.
3. Law must be prospective; it cannot be retroactive. This satisfies an old natural law condition that a crime cannot be committed unless there was a prior law against it, exemplified in the Latin expressions of legal principle ‘nu;;um crimen sine lege / no crime without a law,” and nulla poena sine lege / no penalty without a law .
4. Law must be understandable; namely, not unintelligible or needlessly difficult or impossible to understand, and not obscure; neither can its content be so great that one could scarcely hope to learn it (a single law of 500 pages would similarly seem to fail on this account).
5. Law cannot be illogical, contradictory, or present internal legal dilemmas. Laws allowing and forbidding marriage, or requiring and forbidding payment of certain taxes, would fail this test. In the latter case, it would be impossible not to break the law; in the former case, what is permitted is forbidden.
6. Law cannot require impossible things, be they physical, material or psychological. For example, a law that forbade coughing in public, required taxes that are beyond the means of any known citizen, or required each person to speak a personal language. There is another old natural law principle standing here: Ou ght implies can.”
7. Law must be stable over time, so that laws cannot be altered too rapidly. One can imagine a weekly revision of law that fails this test.
8. Laws must be enforced, and enforced as promulgated, rather than ignored or inconsistently enforced. There should not be much divergence between adjudication or administration of law and the law as promulgated.

Will leave it here for further thoughts/discussion, with the closing remark that what can readably be seen today is that the drafters of plunderous laws are revising at a furious rate; pronouns, terms for the individual as example, and rolling out new regulatory laws from the presses that boggle the mind.

Lastly, here are a few direct Bastiac quotes:

Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.”

The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protected and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.
Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.”

One of the strangest phenomena of our time, and one that will probably be a matter of astonishment to our descendants, is the doctrine which is founded upon this triple hypothesis: the radical passiveness of mankind,— the omnipotence of the law,—the infallibility of the legislator: this is the sacred symbol of the party that proclaims itself exclusively democratic.

Oh, sublime writers! Please remember sometimes that this clay, this sand, and this manure which you so arbitrarily dispose of, are men! They are your equals! They are intelligent and free human beings like yourselves! As you have, they too have received from God the faculty to observe, to plan ahead, to think, and to judge for themselves!
― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
 

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The international group of Police for Freedom outline that at law, all true crimes according to natural law involve theft:

HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN A RULE, ACT, STATUTE, MANDATE OR LAW IS A BREACH OF OBJECTIVE MORALITY?

How do we define what is right and what is wrong? The written law has validity and veracity only when it is in alignment with the principles of Natural Law — the laws that govern the realm of morality and consciousness that are inherent in Nature.

According to Natural Law, all true crimes are based on a theft of a right, and all rights are based on ownership. One can only govern that which is rightfully theirs.

To put it simply, a “right” is an act that does not cause loss or harm to the rights, property, wellbeing or life of another. A “wrong” is an act that causes loss or harm to the rights, property, wellbeing or life of another.

FOR A TRUE CRIME TO TAKE PLACE, THERE MUST ALSO BE A VICTIM.
THERE ARE SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL TRANSGRESSIONS ACCORDING TO NATURAL LAW,
ALL OF THEM BASED ON THEFT:

Trespass is the theft of security -
an unwarranted or uninvited incursion, a breach to one’s private boundaries.

Theft is the theft of physical property -
the unlawful removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.
Theft of agency is the arbitrary restriction of speech, press or information; arbitrary restriction of conscience or assembly; arbitrary restriction of opportunity or movement; arbitrary restriction of access to due process.

Coercion is the theft of consent -
an unwarranted act of dominance based on force, threat or restraint.

Rape is the theft of sexual choice -
unlawful sexual act carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will.

Assault is the theft of wellbeing -
a violent physical or verbal attack as defamation or slander.

Murder is the theft of life -
the crime of unlawfully killing a person.
ACCORDING TO NATURAL LAW, WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN OUR RIGHTS.

As members of the security forces, we must deeply consider the morality of our actions. Although we wear a uniform and armour, this does not shield us from personal responsibility as human beings. Nor does our work as agents of social justice warrant us more rights than our civilian sisters and brothers.

WHO HAS MORE MORAL RESPONSIBILITY, THE ONE WHO GIVES THE ORDER, OR THE ONE WHO PERFORMS THE ACT?

It is the act that brings the order from an idea to reality. Therefore, the one who performs the action is the one with more moral culpability.

Tyranny is not created by the tyrants, it is created by those who follow tyrannical orders.

definition of tyranny
n. tyr·an·ny | \ ˈtir-ə-nē
1. : oppressive power
especially : oppressive power exerted by government
“the tyranny of a police state”

The above is interesting with free will in mind and perhaps gives rudimentary guidance to it.
 
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