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The Law, by Frédéric Bastiat

By Patrick following x   2019 Apr 7, 10:48am 222 views   3 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


Published in 1850 in France. Too long to suitably quote, but short enough to read in an hour.

The idea is this: the function of the law is simply to ensure justice, nothing more. The worst abominations are to use the law to ensure private profits, or to take away legitimately earned money from one and give it to another who did not earn it.
1   Ceffer   ignore (1)   2019 Apr 7, 11:59am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

"Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds."

Pretty much the status of our legal system. The legal system is an organ of the State, and the purpose of the State is to draw power and resources from the people and give back as little as possible, accruing power to the few who control it.

Throw in the lottery system to keep it crass and fake populist.
2   Patrick   ignore (1)   2019 Apr 7, 2:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Good summary @Ceffer
3   Patrick   ignore (1)   2019 Apr 9, 6:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

From a reader:

>> the problem with this kind of credulous misanalysis, so prevalent amongst the poorly educated (in other words, pretty much lacking any serious liberal arts, sociology, history, humanities education, etc) Silicon Valley crowd, is that they never look at several questions that mainly old Left analysts DO look at:
>> 1) what is the historical course of development and emergence of the state in the course of homo sapien evolution? (this is a historical question which is not fully resolved, but on which there exists scholarly work which fundamentally shows that the State has never existed without grounding in certain class-determinate modes of production (specific to the ownership and control of the means of production), whether it be (in early types), nomadism, early agriculture emerging into classic polis citizens/slavery MP, or hydraulic-control orientalist MPs, or militarist/expansive/tributary social formations etc.
>> 2) in the course of this evolution (and coming into being of society beyond the prehistorical period), were there classes in society? (developmentally and tendentially, yes, but, no, not all at once or suddenly)
>> 3) if so, were any of these classes intertwined and causally important (if not indispensible) in the emergence of the state?
>> (yes. Probably emerged out of the existence of alpha apes with coteries of their supporters lording it over the other primates, as we see in Chimpanzee groups. With human evolution, these probably developed into classes once tool-making and production (as opposed to scavaging/collecting resources, because prevalent -- in other words, with the emergence of a mode of production)
>> 4) can the State of this type or ANY type even exist without its very foundation and essence (structures, offices, institutions, and powers) being class-determined, class-controlled, and class-embedded in a given mode of production?
>> (simply stated, NO) (I part with Marxists on this point, there will never be a "classless society" with a "withering away of the State". But I also note the the libertarian analogue of this simplistic belief is that the CAN BE or SHOULD BE a "state-less society" in which everything will run "perfectly" under the impetus of the "market", while completely ignoring the historically proven fact that the market has NEVER existed, nor, by its very terms of operation, CAN exist, without capitalist control or hegemony over the State of the particular social formation in which it functions)
>> 5) Are there, or have there EVER been, any examples of the "puristic" "state-free" "laissez-faire" social formations dreamed-up/cooked up/bullshitted up by "libertarians" (no, there are not. There may have periodically been short-lived communes or religious communitarian governments, and there were in fact governments which allowed greater or lesser degrees of freedom popularly or to given classes under certain phases of various modes of production, but no pure types
>> this type of thread is, while in some respects obviously true, is also extremely shallow and misleading as to any prescription for realistic action, and is like discussing whether perfect recreational sex without accidental pregnancies or STDs is utopianly "possible" under the implementation of some "perfect" prophylactic system
>> Such a discussion would be manifestly "silly", just as a discussion of "perfectly just legal social orders without a state" are nonsensical.
>> Except in the deluded minds of Austrian economists, Randroids and von Mises kooks, etc, anyone grounded in the real world KNOWS TO A DEAD CERTAINTY that no perfected "just" body of law or law-governed state has ever existed or will ever exist, because the existence of classes (rutted in particular interests shared by the collective class-agents constituting a given class) will ALWAYS premandate "unjust" governance, whether through the "rule of law" or otherwise
>> As far as Henry George goes, George is largely correct, but his model only applies to rentier societies based in landlordism, and is therefore inadequate as an overarching analysis of exploitative societies. As such, it should be incorporated into some more holistic and corrected version of neo-Marxism/related types of analysis, which -- if correctly conceived and developed -- cover most possible exploitative modes of production, although themselves unable to produce a "perfected" or "pure" viable solution in the REAL WORLD. If such incorporation were done, George's ideas are of considerable merit and insight.

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