Tag Archives: Philosophy

The People’s Law

J.W.

Malcolm's Corner

Law

Nothing is more obvious than the fact that U.S. laws are made by Congress, and that these laws are needed to maintain social order. But, are these statements actually true? Human beings are social animals that have needed rules and laws to regulate their social relations since the origin of the species and certainly long before the 19th century nation-state came into being. It’s simply not true that laws have to come solely from judges and legislators. If the law is considered as “the enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules,” then this enterprise is also being carried out by, for example, everyone who drafts and administers rules governing the internal affairs of organizations such as clubs, churches, schools, labor unions or professional associations.

As Nobel prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek noted, laws evolve spontaneously and the most successful laws (for example, those pertaining to private property) have a tendency to spread because they…

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