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The rule of law

30 September, 2015 - 16:38

If all political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, this can only heighten our concerns about how that power is organized and employed. Government is a system for keeping the lid on problems posed by private-involuntary associations. Government-as-bandit can be seen as a problem of the solution. Government-as-bandit imposes sanctions on people in an unprincipled way, and all of the arguments against private-involuntary associations apply even more strongly when the bandit is government itself. There can be no assurance, when government can single out some people and impose sanctions on them, that the power will not be abused. Good government, therefore, requires elimination of government-as-bandit.

It follows that the only generally defensible involuntary associations are the public ones created by government-as-legislator. The classical formulation of this said that we should have "the rule of law". A more specific modern way of putting it is: Laws, si; pseudo-laws, no!