Thursday, March 03, 2011

Legislators need to rethink laws

Legislators need to rethink laws
(As originally written; not as published)

The poll which appeared in this paper, concerning "The Portales Ten"- the individuals charged with the "crime" of gambling at the Portales Country Club- gives me hope. It showed that a substantial percentage of those who took the poll recognize that laws can be wrong.

A third of the respondents took a libertarian view. Perhaps it was the soft libertarian view, which even the early Supreme Court agreed with, that "laws" which are not based upon specific Constitutional authority are already null and void without further action. That is encouraging. Perhaps some of those respondents even thought more deeply and recognized that if the "law" violates the basic human right to live as you see fit, as long as you don't cause actual harm to any innocent individual, the "law" is illegitimate.

The people who voted that the "law" needs to be changed so that travesties like this don't occur in the future are at least pointing in the right direction. Perhaps they actually agree more with libertarians, while still wishing to remove the specter of arrest for those who dare cross the misguided "law". Perhaps they still feel an obligation to obey "laws" even in cases where the "law" is obviously wrong, until they are able to convince The State to agree with them. As more and more things get criminalized, this feeling will fade.

The only ones I really pity are those who voted "Yes. The law is the law" and those who violate it should be charged. This is the position that is completely devoid of any ethical compass whatsoever.

"Laws" are suggested, written, passed, and enforced by fallible individuals and are wrong-headed as often as not, even in the best of circumstances. In recent decades the balance has shifted so that the vast majority of "laws" are now counterfeit "laws"- they are written in "legalese" so they look like a real law, and they are enforced against people with force up to, and including, deadly force- yet they are not based upon the necessary foundation- the protection of an individual or his property from coercion- that underlies all real law. Counterfeit "laws" are an attempt to regulate or control something other than aggression or theft/fraud.

Everything that is actually wrong, and a great many things that are not, was already illegal centuries ago. New legislation is just a jobs program for people who can't do anything constructive. Society needs no new "laws"; it just needs to get rid of, or ignore, the bad ones. The only thing, if any, that a legislative body should be doing nowdays, rather than passing new "laws" or trying to patch bad "laws" to make them less bad, is abolishing counterfeit "laws". That would keep them busy for decades.

1 comment:

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