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The Rule Of Law And Progress

31 July 2010 @ 14:55

A few days ago over at Western Hero, Silverfiddle published a very informative posting on the Rule Of Law and what the breakdown of it means [very timely, eh, considering La Cosa Obama is running the country?] for a nation.

At one point, he quotes this spot-on bit of wisdom from Hayek and offers an equally spot-on bit of analysis:

Hayek gives us the classical definition:

“Government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand–rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan ones individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge.”

He explains that the Rule of Law should not be ad hoc, but it should be “the rules of the game,” predictable and understandable, allowing free people to exercise their rights while refraining from violating the rights of others. No exemptions for government or for special groups. No leeway for arbitrary exercise of power by bureaucratic fiefdoms. The tax code alone violates this principle.

I would urge you to click here and read the whole thing — the truths it conveys are very succinct and thus more rememberable.

This posting got me thinking…

One of the reasons it is very important to maintain the Rule Of Law is because it provides certainty, which breeds confidence, which allows for the mind to concentrate on things like bettering the human condition instead of having to direct our attentions to base survival.

Rip away this certitude and man stagnates.  So, in addition to providing order and protecting the natural rights of man, the Rule Of Law also is the engine that produces reasoned and temperate progress and guards against Chaos and Old Night, as Russell Kirk put it.

4 Comments
  1. 31 July 2010 @ 15:47 15:47

    this reminded me of that dust up in the House the other day when Anthony Wiener had his temper tantrum when he didn’t get his juicebox..

    Peter King made the comment about how it needed to go through the rules of the committee or something and Tony Weener had his conniption fit.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      31 July 2010 @ 16:13 16:13

      Dave: Just to show you how old I am, I would have worded it: Anthony Wiener had his temper tantrum when he didn’t get his Tang.

  2. 31 July 2010 @ 16:16 16:16

    Hmmm, Tang..

    I use to drink it hot when I was in Boy Scouts camping in the winter..

    Good times, good times..

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      31 July 2010 @ 19:00 19:00

      Dave: I ate it with a spoon, dry.

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