Cooked this up earlier today, aimed at getting people to think about how screwed up are the very fundaments of the political framework of our lives. This applies gloabally and not just to Americans, though to us most shamefully of all.

With regard to so-called “law”, I find it most curious to note that nowhere have I been able to find a definition of the term that did not possess the following three objectionable qualities:

  1. Arbitrariness, save in the otherwise lacking definitions of “natural” law.
  2. Overbearingly self-serving to those in positions of power.
  3. An utter absence of anything that might be remotely seen as rigor.

I have examined many dictionaries, including several purporting to specifically address “law”, Black’s and Bouvier’s being but two examples, and have been surprised at the wholesale inadequacies to be found in those sources, which should set any man of good intellect and character to deep disturbance.

In a sense, this short treatise is given in backward order, for it is not my purpose here to deal with the matter aforementioned, but rather to discuss the fallacies that include but do not limit to the fact that statute and Law are rarely the same things. The question and issue of what it is that defines “Law” is of greater complexity, far greater import, and shall be addressed in another work.

For now it shall suffice to shed some light on the juxtaposition of Law and statute, an understanding of the distinction between the two being one of great importance to Freemen. Without such an understanding, it becomes verily difficult to know how to assess any rule that is laid down as “law”, where one stands normatively with respect to such rules, and how to at least begin to formulate arguments against those who have no proper authority over the prerogatives and Rights of the free man.

It shall serve well to notice that “Law” and “law” are not perforce the same things. The capitalized form refers to actual Law, whereas the uncapitalized form is essentially synonymous to “statute”. I will therefore begin with two postulates that state: “A: law != Law” and “B: Law >> law”. For the purposes of this work I shall neglect to convey any rigor to the meaning of these postulates and allow for a far less formal use of them as I believe the points shall be made sufficiently clear even in this more casual manner.

As to the definition of terms - once again I will dispense with formal rigor, which shall have to come in a subsequent treatment of Law, and rely on the sufficiency of intuition and common sense to carry the day in this work. In so doing, we now turn to somewhat informal definitions of “Law” and “statute”, to wit:

Law: A rule of conduct which may forbid, or compel behavior based on that which is deduced from the nature of those things to which it refers, as well as any principles that derive therefrom. Note that Law never allows, for to do so is to imply that it may also forbid the very thing at another time, which further implies the authority to grant privilege. Law is not in the business of granting anything, but only of recognizing the principles of proper human relations, the consequent rights that follow therefrom, and codifying a very sparse set of rules based upon those principles, specifying the correspondingly few requirements of human conduct pursuant to that which those principles imply.

Statute: A codified expression of the arbitrary and, most often, capricious will of a legislative body which presumes the authority to enact and expect enforcement of such expressions.

With respect to Law, the definition hints strongly at what most dictionaries refer to as “natural law”. While I agree with the general notions regarding natural law, I am loathe to employ that term for two reasons. Firstly, the usual absence of sufficient rigor to make the term useful and ironclad in its resistance to “interpretation”. Secondly, the term itself has been greatly abused to the point that it carries far too much historical baggage such that a vast plurality of people automatically dismiss the notion as unworthy of credit and consideration. So far as I am able to determine, this sad circumstance is the result of a concerted effort on the part of some to disparage the idea, the implication most often being that it is the quaint notion of bumpkins lacking the intellectual chops to understand the real nature of law. To such people I say hogwash, for either it is they who lack the power of mind to apprehend the truth of natural law, have been ignorant of that truth, or are pushing an unpublished agenda.

I have therefore come to spell “Law” in capitalized form (though I have have also considered and retain “Lawe” as a possible alternate) as an indication of the respect that true and actual (natural) law merits, thus making the unequivocal distinction between itself and mere and perforce-invalid statute.

In order for written law to correctly reflect Law, it must be demonstrably based in immutable truth and principle, the truest indication of this being that it in no manner violates or in any other way thwarts the inherent freedoms and the consequent rights of the individual. Absent any one of those qualities, a given written law stands null and void, with no individual responsibility of compliance. This very assessment was given by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison, 1803. To wit:

" act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void."
In the dictionaries, “statute” is sometimes equated with “arbitrary law”, if only by implication. Nothing could be more true, this being readily verified by a direct examination of the manifold statutory enactments currently in positive effect.

For example, this from

"LAW, ARBITRARY. An arbitrary law is one made by the legislator simply because he wills it, and is not founded in the nature of things; such law, for example, as the tariff law, which may be high or low. This term is used in opposition to immutable."
Statutes criminalizing acts such as the manufacture, possession, sale, and use of certain chemical compounds and herbs, the securing of the services of prostitutes, or the individual possession and bearing of arms are prime examples of the unprincipled and arbitrary will of so-called “legislatures”, which have no demonstrable authority to issue such proscriptions, much less punishments pursuant to “violation”.

There are those instances where statute and Law intersect. Statutes against actual crimes such as murder, robbery, battery, rape, destruction of property, and so forth, are prime examples. In such cases, statute manages by happy coincidence to be tantamount to Law. These cases, however, tend to be few and far between, the remaining bulk of written statute being naught more than the arbitrary and most often capricious will of a vanishingly small minority imposed by the sword upon the rest.

As an aside, mention of “actual crimes” leads to another terrible inadequacy of every “law” dictionary on which I have been able to place my hands. In every single instance I have discovered that of all the terms a law dictionary might address, “crime” stands shoulder to shoulder with “law” as the two most singularly important examples. And yet, in not a single case was the definition of “crime” anywhere nearing sufficiency. The so-called “definitions” were, in fact, so horribly devoid of specific meaning as to defy credulity. We should all be considering why this might be the case, always asking who might stand to benefit from such a circumstance. After all, “law” and politics are intimately interlocked.

As to arbitrariness, some might wonder what is the big deal. Were men generally cut from a better cloth in terms of individual integrity and trustworthiness, the corruptions of which run along a vast number of lines, it might not be so big a deal. In the case of the occasional errant statute, we might then be able to count on the smarts and solid ethic of those who have made wrong to correct their mistake. But that is clearly not the case with any legislative body one might care to name. At least in America it appears to be very much the opposite such that the more egregiously "government" officials violate the rights of those to whom they have sworn oaths of good faith and service, the more intransigent they become in the face of just complaint.

In America, the Congress and the manifold state legislatures, not to mention the countless municipalities, are constantly and without much exception of which I am aware, analyzing their various legislative machinations not so much out of a concern and respect for the natural and inherent Rights of their fellows, but to best determine how much it is with which they can get away. Analysis for “constitutionality” most often has nothing to do with a heartfelt regard for the rights of men, but of pushing the boundaries of power as far as someone thinks they can.

This all at once it leaves us in a terrible position, and with a priceless opportunity. On the one hand, we can now see that there is something deeply amiss in terms of the most basic and foundational notions relating to so-called “law”. The two most fundamentally key concepts, “Law” and “crime” remain ill-defined to the point of making one’s hair stand on end in alarm and disbelief. The path to the good result begins with awareness, which in its own turn brings the opportunity to correct that which has run so wildly from prudence, truth, justice, and good reason.

We now have at least the seeds of a better definition of Law. Law derives from the nature of things and the principles and other consequents of that nature, this in stark contrast to the arbitrary nature of statute. This knowledge in itself is of endless value, for it is the very clue we need to lead ourselves to a clear, correct, and complete definition of sufficient rigor by which we may then make our forceful arguments and demands for the constraint of those who would enact “law” in the form of arbitrary statute against the sovereign rights of those whom they ostensibly serve. The same stands equally so for “crime”, for Law that prohibits, perforce addresses crime either directly, or otherwise.

Due to its arbitrary nature, owing mainly to the absence of definitional restrictions to the contrary, statute represents one of the most dangerous evils in the world of men. Consider the countless lives that have been destroyed in the so-called “drug war”, the declaration of which could only have come about in the wake of statutory prohibitions and the draconian punishments that attach thereto. Consider the waves of crime to which false prohibition has given rise with huge numbers of lives lost in the attendant violence. Now consider that those items represent but two points of fact in demonstration of the ironically felonious nature of the very statutes that have been set into effect by those with zero authority to do so. And yet, Congress does just that in bald-faced violation of the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, which clearly recognizes in catch-all fashion the broad right of every man to do as he pleases, so long as he refrains from violating the equal rights of his fellows.

Awareness is the dawn of change. Knowledge lends us the tools to bring forth demonstrably just and right improvement to our dolorous circumstance. The only other factor is our will to make it happen, something that we must provide for ourselves. To establish rigorous definitions of what may be the two most centrally significant terms in the human vocabulary, thereby clarifying the concepts themselves, stands every man to profit, save perhaps those already in the legal profession, whom I suspect would fight such change tooth and nail as the status quo keeps them well able to pay their bills with plenty left over for their weekends.

Such an effort speaks to the very foundations of a culture, without which sound, prosperous, and free life cannot hope to attain. We stand lost at this moment in our history precisely because our foundations are nowhere nearly sufficient for the establishment and long-term cultivation of freedom. Our house is built on a poor underpinning and until we correct that, the very structure of our lives as political creatures stands to decay even further. Is that what you want for your own life; those whom you love; your children?

Be bold, but work not in vain. Toil to good fruit with smarts and the will to see it through to an end, starting at the bottom and working your way up, for if everything you do is undermined by lousy and inadequate basics, then you work to no good avail. Be smart. Be efficient. Be determined. Learn and become expert in knowing that which is right between men, and work to see it made real. Freedom is the answer and force against liberty is always the work of evil, any good intentions notwithstanding.

May we all find our paths to the better outcome.

Until next time, please accept my best wishes.

† Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137, 01 February 1803, line 401