Friday, September 23, 2005

To Be or Not to Be....Illegal

A day late and a buck short, so-to-speak. Been busy. Why are we discussing illegality today? If you don't understand what illegality results in, you cannot truly understand the consequences of your government's actions. Let's try to understand the concept of legislation and I'm going to then post about economics in government later today.

So, what do we know about laws? We know that the laws are what the government uses to control our actions. In our case, the Constitution controls what actions the government can and cannot control. We know that the government can (and has) make lots of different laws about all sorts of things, most of which are related to Interstate commerce. How does the government enforce laws? Through force. In fact, the word 'enforce' has the word force in it. Fascinating how, over time, the definition has been politically corrected to:

en·force - To compel observance of or obedience to

Sure, this is accurate. It just doesn't explain that such compulsion involves force. If you don't obey the laws, the government puts you in jail. Compelling as it may be, the government enforces them by threatening one of your three Natural Rights. If you steal, they take away your property and/or liberty. If you rape, they take away your liberty. If you kill, they take away your liberty and/or life.

Today, we ask the question, what makes a good law? The ones above are surely good. They protect our three Natural Rights, but are there any bad laws? Well, clearly, good laws are where the government uses force to protect someone's life, liberty, or property. Because, in its own nature, it is forced to take one of the three from you. Ok, we're gonna stay away from touchy subjects like drug legislation and abortion for now, and simply address the government in this simple context.

Let's consider, when we make something illegal, is it not done? Are there still murderers? Murder is illegal. Are there still rapists? Rape is illegal. Are there still thieves? Theft is illegal. We have to come to the terms with an understanding that, by making something illegal, does not stop its occurence. Let me repeat that:

Just because something is illegal, does not mean it stops occuring.

What should and shouldn't be illegal then? Obviously, if your actions harm someone, take away their freedom, or steal from them, such actions should be illegal because the government can forcefully return such to you. However, what if your actions do none of the above? That needn't be legislated. In fact, by legislating it, the government is taking away your freedom to do it. Not only is it a bad law because it takes away our Natural Right to freedom, but it is ignorant on the government's part, because not all legislation is followed. Therefore, something should only be illegal if it takes away someone's life, liberty, or property.


Useless laws weaken the necessary laws. – Montesquieu

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