John Zube

On Law




This is a selection of the many thoughts on law that John Zube has gathered along the years. Most of them are pure gems of wisdom that should be read and pondered in no hurry and in a condition of tranquillity. Then, if convinced by the wisdom of past and present scholars, everyone should act accordingly. The worst thing that could happen to us is to leave the matter in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats because, when we relinquish the law in those hands, no one is really free and safe.



Classical Quotations
Law and Morality
Natural/Rational Law
Law, Territorialism and Panarchy
Law and the State
The Multiplication of Laws
Law and Ignorance
Law as Organized Violence




LAWS: The conventions of an older generation. - Hippias

LAW: Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being. - Brooks Adams.

LAWS: "Laws are ... fishing nets in the hands of the government.” - Proudhon

LAW: “… law is the rule, principle, obligation or requirement of natural justice. Adopt this definition, and law becomes simple, intelligible, scientific; always consistent with itself; always harmonizing with morals, reason and truth.  Reject this definition, and law is no longer a science: but a chaos of crude, conflicting and arbitrary edicts, unknown perchance to either morals, justice, reason or truth, and fleeting and capricious as the impulses of will, interest and power,” - Lysander Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, page 14.

LAW: "The law is nothing but the statutory and often willful operation of the desires and often malevolent intents of a ruling community or a ruling individual ..." D.R,. Runes, Treasury of Thought, page 78.

LAW: Law is simply the continuance of war and tyranny by other means. - J.Z., 19.10.85.


LAWS: “True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, immutable and eternal. … We are not allowed to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by Senate or by people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an interpreter of it. There is not a different law for Rome and for Athens, or one for now and one for the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law valid for all nations and all times. … Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature.” - Cicero, De Re Publica, III 22

LAWS: Rigorous law is often rigorous injustice. - Terence, The Self-Tormentor (163 BC), 4-5-48, tr. Henry Thomas Riley

LAWS: No law is quite appropriate for all. Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, ( c. 29 B.C. )

LAWS & THREATS: Laws do not persuade because they threaten. - Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, c. 63.

LAWS: The precepts of the law are these: to live honorably, to injure no other man, to render to every man his due. - THE INSTITUTES OF JUSTINIAN, 533

LAW: "They have but few lawes. For to people so instructe and institute very fewe do suffice. Yea this thing they chiefely reprove among other nations, that innumerable bokes of laws and expositions upon the same be not sufficient. But they think it against right and justice that men shoulde be bound to those lawes, which either be in number more than be able to read, or els blinder and darker, then that anye man can well understande them." - Sir Thomas More: Utopia, Book II, 1516.

LAWS: Laws are maintained in credit, not because they are essentially just, but because they are laws. It is the mystical foundation of their authority; they have none other. They are often made by fools; more often by men who in hatred of equality have want of equity; but ever by men who are vain and irresolute. There is nothing so grossly and largely offensive, nor so ordinarily wrongful, as the laws. - Michel de Montaigne

LAWS & POWERFUL MEN: Laws go where kings want. ( Allá van leyes do quieren Reyes.) - Cervantes, Don Quixote, Pt. I, ch. 45.

LAW: Too many matters have been regulated by laws, which nature, long custom and general consent ought only to have governed. - William Petty - Political Arithmetic, pref., c. 1677

LAW & LOVE: A penny-weight of love is worth a pound of law. - James Kelly: Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs, 1721

LAW VS. JUSTICE: Much law, but little justice. - Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732.

LAW: "No laws are binding on the human subject which assault the body or violate the conscience. Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765. (Seldes.)

LAW & POWER: Law is but a heathen word for power. - Daniel Defoe: The History of the Kentish Petition, 1701

LAWS: What a people may not decide upon itself, a legislator may not decide for the people, either. - Kant: Ueber den Gemeinspruch: Da mag in der Theorie richtig sein, taugt aber nicht fuer die Praxis.”

LAWS: Without the protection of some law nothing can fool us for very long, not even the greatest nonsense. - Kant: Was heisst sich im Denken orientieren? ( “Ohne irgendein Gesetz kann gar nichts, selbst nicht der groesste Unsinn, sein Spiel lange treiben.” ) - In some remarks like this one he came close to anarchism. Alas, he did not advance from limited government notions towards panarchism. However, his advocacy of human rights and militias for their protection had set him on the right track. - If one expanded upon his statement in the context of his essay: “What Is Enlightenment”, where he quotes: “Sapere aude!” (Dare to use your own reasoning powers!), one would arrive at panarchism. - J.Z., 30.8.07.

LAWS: If one had to study all laws one would have no time left to break them. - Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, 207. - ( “Wenn man alle Gesetze studieren sollte, so haette man gar keine Zeit, sie zu uebertreten.” )

LAWS & TYRANNY: Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny. Edmund Burke, Speech, Bristol

LAWS: “… with respect to you, ye legislators, ye civilizers of mankind! Ye Orpheuses, Moseses, Minoses, Solons, Theseuses, Lycurguses, Numas’, with respect to you be it spoken, your regulations have done more mischief in cold blood, than all the rage of the fiercest animals in their greatest terror or furies, have ever done, or ever could do!” - Edmund Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society.

LAWS & LAWMAKING: Bismarck's Law. The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they sleep at night. - Otto von Bismarck

LAWS & TYRANNY, THE POWER URGE: Strange, that men, from age to age, should consent to hold their lives at the breath of another, merely that each in his turn may have a power of acting the tyrant according to law! - William Godwin, Caleb Williams, 211.

LAW, LEGISLATING FOR ONESELF, SELF-MADE LAWS OR CHOSING A BODY OF LAWS FOR ONESELF: Any laws but those men make for themselves are laughable. - Emerson.

LAW, DISOBEDIENCE VS. OBEDIENCE, ENLSAVING ACTS: By God, I will not obey this filthy enactment! - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-82, on the Fugitive Slave Act.

LAWS, LAUGHABLE, LAWS MADE BY MEN FOR THEMSELVES, PERSONAL LAWS: Any laws but those which men make for themselves, are laughable. - Emerson, “Politics”.

LAWS TROUBLE PEOPLE: Laws are made to throuble people an’ th’ mor throuble they make th’ longer they stay on th’ stachoo books. - Mr. Dooley, Tucker Catalogue 101.

LAW, LAWYERS, MAN, UNIVERSAL LAW, MIGHT, COMPULSION, JUSTICE, PRINCIPLES: Hemmed in by human law, the imperfect man loses sight of universal law; the standard of right is obscured by might and compulsion; and conduct is gauged by statute law instead of by the eternal principles of justice. - William A. Whittick, Bombs, 166.

LAW THE WILL OF THE STRONGEST: Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation. - Henry Books Adams, The Law of Civilization and Decay, 1895.

LAW: "When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect of the law." - Bastiat, 1850.

LAW: It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder. Bastiat, The Law, 1850.

LAWS: Any fool can make a rule. - Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862.

LAW: Law never made men a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the ; heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned, … - David Thoreau, On the Duty of civil disobedience. - On the contrary: Laws tend to make him much more ignorant, prejudiced, irresponsible, poor, warlike and otherwise unjust and unfree. - J.Z., 15.6.91, 28.8.07.

LAW: The more by law the less by right. - Danish proverb.

LAW & WRONGDOERS, CRIMINALS: The law is only there to protect the wrong-doer. - Common saying.

LAWS: The errors and wrongs of kings are buried with them but the wrongs of legislators last from generation to generation and their passions and weaknesses oppress the sacrificed future generation. - Pestalozzi, An die Unschuld, den Ernst und den Edelmut meines Zeitalters.

LAW, LAW & ORDER: Oh, law and order! I often think it is that that is at the bottom of all the misery in the world. - Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts, Act II.

LAW: The law is an adroit mixture of customs that are beneficial to society, and would be followed even if no law existed, and others that are of advantage to a ruling minority but harmful to the masses of men, and can be enforced on them only by terror. P.A. Kropotkin. Paroles d’un révolté, 1884

LAW: “… persons sometimes, unfortunately, are in a position to turn their opinions into law.” - W.G. Sumner, Selected Essays.

LAWS, LITIGATION, COURTS, JUSTICE: Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope or retaining his bones. - Ambrose Bierce

LAWS: No laws, however stringent, can make die idle industrious, die thriftless provident, or the drunken sober. - Samuel Smiles: Self-Help, I, 1859

LAWS, LIFE, LIBERTY & PROPERTY: “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frédéric Bastiat

LAW & NATURAL JUSTICE, HARMONY WITH MORALITY, REASON & TRUTH, ARBITRARY EDICTS: “… law is the rule, the principle, the obligation or the requirement of natural justice. Adopt this definition and law becomes simple, intelligible, scientific, always consistent with itself; always harmonizing with morals, reason and truth. Reject this definition and law is no longer a science but a chaos of crude, conflicting and arbitrary edicts …” - Lysander Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.

LAW: Spooner concluded that the law was really nothing other than the requirement of natural justice, then “it follows that government can have no powers except such as individuals may rightfully delegate to it; that no law, inconsistent with men’s natural rights, can arise out of any contract or compact of government; that constitutional law, under any form of government, consists only of those principles of the written constitution, that are consistent with natural law, and man’s natural rights, and that any other principles that may be expressed by the letter of any constitution, are void and not law, and all judicial tribunals are bound to declare them so. - Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.

LAW, CRIME, STATES & VIOLENCE: The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime." - Stirner: The Ego and His Own.

LAWS, GOOD LAWS? That law may be set down as good which is certain in meaning, just in precept, convenient in execution, agreeable to the form of government, and productive of virtue in those that live under it. - Francis Bacon: De augmentis scientiarum, VIII. 1623. - In short, there is not good law. J.Z. 19.10.85. At best such laws could only be passed by the members of voluntary communities for themselves. Laws imposed on peaceful dissenters among compulsory members can never have this effect. - J.Z., 3.9.07.


LAWS & CUSTOMS; “Once more we find the law leaning on customs. Horace’s sentence: “Leges sine moribus vanae.” (“Laws without customs are vain.”) - J. Ortega y Gasset, in “Concord and Liberty”

LAW: “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. ... Law never made a man a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.” - Thoreau, who was speaking out against slavery as well as against the American invasion of Mexico, which took place in 1846.

LAW: "The word 'law' or 'legality’ in no way implies justice, fairness or equity. Indeed, some of the most cruel, tyrannical precepts were and are masqueraded under the name “law”. Hitler's Nuremberg Law, the feudal just primae noctis that gave the lord of the manor the privilege of the first night with any and every bride in his realm, the Slave Acts of our Southern States, the laws of bondage that predominated as late as the eighteenth century, the laws of servitude of the serfs and villains - all these monstrous aggressive regulations paraded through history under the presumptive title of Laws." D.R. Runes, Treasury of Thought, page 77.

LAW & MORES OR CUSTOMS OR TRADITIONS: When the mores are adequate, laws are unnecessary; when the mores are inadequate, the laws are ineffective. - Edwin Sutherland, Sutherland & Cressy.

LAW: Indeed, the law, if reasonable and just, will not, in any significant way, impose prohibitions that a reasonably righteous people would not self-impose. - L.E. Read: The Coming Aristocracy, FEE, 107.

LAWS VS. ETHICS & MORALITY, LAWS OF NATURE, NATURAL LAW, LAW VS. TYRANNY: Now to my faith. I proudly profess to being a moralist or an ethicist. I subscribe to the proposition that there are laws of nature and the universe, of Creation, that should be discovered and respected. I believe that all man-made laws - legal edicts - which go beyond codifying and complementing the moral law serve not to bind men together but to spread them asunder, creating chaos rather than harmony, tyranny rather than peaceful order. Fundamental to my faith is the rejection of government as the sovereign power. This puts me on the side of the writers of the Declaration of Independence. - Leonard E. Read, Castles in the Air, 86/87.

LAW: We have too much law and too little justice. - George Howell, A Plea for Liberty, 141.

LAW OF THE JUNGLE, FITNESS, SOCIAL DARWINISM, SURVIVAL, FREE MARKET: In a free market, as elsewhere, the “fit” survive. But it is precisely in a free market that the “law of the jungle” does not apply, because only in a free market is cooperation rather than exploitation the standard of fitness. - George H. Smith.

LAW, DEFENCE, LAWS DESTROYING OUR OWN LIBERTIES, RATHER THAN “ENEMIES”: Against the background of my many years of service in the Navy, I make this declaration: I do not fear the Russian Army, or the atom bomb, or the hydrogen bomb, nearly so much as I fear this concept of using the law to relieve individuals of the responsibility for their own welfare and to deprive them of their freedom of choice. We can all see the danger of a military threat to our freedom. If we are attacked we will fight, and we will win! But few of us appear to understand this insidious process whereby we use our own laws and our own government to destroy our own liberties just as surely as if some foreign conqueror had power over us. - Admiral Ben Moreell, Log I, 28.

LAW, RESPECT FOR RIGHT VS. RESPECT FOR LAW: Politicians preach about respecting the law, but I must go along with Thoreau, who said, "It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." - Robert Ringer, American Dream, 313

LAW, RULE OF LAW, GOVERNMENT, PERSONAL LAW, CUSTOMS, RULES, SOCIETIES: Socrates conflates rule of law and the institution of government. It is clear that rules delineating rights and obligations are necessary to societal life. But such rules may be accepted as a matter of custom, habit or rational insight. They do not have to be political in the narrow sense of being authorized and imposed by a government. William M. Evers, JLS, Sum. 75, 185.

LAWS, FORMAL LAWS, BELIEVED TO BE MORAL RULES, VOTING ON “RIGHTS” AMOUNTS TO THE LEGALIZATION OF MANY WRONGS: “… an erroneous belief that political rights and moral rights are the same thing. We appear to have decided that "might makes right"; that the way to determine what is "right" is to vote on it; that if a thing is legal, it is automatically morally right; that if it is declared illegal it is morally wrong. - Admiral Ben Moreell, Log I/4.

LAWS TO DECIDE WHAT IS RIGHT & WHAT IS WRONG? "A second problem I wrestle with is in practical application of libertarian philosophy in a society so degraded that we must legislate the difference between right and wrong - and no one seems to recognize the ludicrousness of such a situation!!! … I will resolve these problems for myself - I must - and continue to ‘spread the word' that liberty is possible. - Charles F. Jones in LEFEVRE’S JOURNAL, Fall 77

LAWS & OBEDIENCE TO THEM: You must not obey most laws too well. Only those directed against genuine criminals, those with victims, ought to become enforced. - J.Z., 8.6.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS, SUBMISSION, OBEDIENCE, OPTIONAL LAWS, PERSONAL LAWS: Submission to laws given by others should be an individual option not an obligation. Only respect for the rights and liberties of others is obligatory. - J.Z., 14.3. 99.

LAWS, CONSTITUTIONS, LEGALITIES, REALITY, MORALITY, JUSTICE: I am more concerned with realities and morality than with legalities. - J.Z., 29.10.75.

LAW, MORALITY, RIGHTS, MAN: A moral man ignores the law as much as he can while respecting the rights and liberties of others as much as possible. - J.Z., 14.3. 99.

LAW, LEGALITY, MORALITY, RIGHTS: Laws merely make matters legal, not ethical, moral or right. - J.Z., 14.9.98.

LAW, THE LONG & BAD EXPERIENCE WITH THE LAW: If there is one thing that the experience with the Nazi regime should have taught the world then this is it: Morality is not determined by “positive” laws. All too often they do enforce what is positively immoral and outlaw that which is quite ethical. This happens even in democracies. - J.Z., 22.11.96, 28.8.07.

LAW VS. JUSTICE: I believe in justice in individual human rights and liberties. That’s why I don’t believe in the law. - J.Z., 29.12.88, 29.8.07.

LAW: To take the law into one's own hands, a term first used in the 17th century, according to Hyman, Quotations, 279. Still mainly used in a derogatory sense, rather than as an appreciation of Personal laws and of the right to resist any suppression of individual rights and liberties. - J.Z., 4.9.07.

LAWS, JUSTICE & RIGHTS: Most people, like many lawyers and judges, only know of some laws and all too little about justice and rights. - J.Z., 17.5.83, 30.8.07.

LAW: Place yourself outside the law - without coercing anyone! Just act morally! - J.Z., 2.75. - To the extent that you are still or already allowed to do so. Fully and freely you could only do so if you were already free to secede and to join or establish a community of volunteers that corresponds to your own ideals and that is only exterritorially autonomous. - J.Z., 31.8.07.


LAW VS. NATURAL LAW: “ … there is, and can be, correctly speaking, no law but natural law.” - Lysander Spooner, Letter to Grover Cleveland.

LAW: “… cease saying 'there ought to be a law’ and begin thinking 'there must be a basic principle - let's find it.’" - Ralph Bradford, The Freeman, Aug. 75.

LAW: "Once it is conceded that any man or body of men have the powers to make laws, in contrast to the natural law of justice, and can compel other men to obey them, then every vestige of man's natural liberty is gone." - Carl Watner, on Lysander Spooner, “reason”, 3/73 No Treason, Vl/12.

LAW & ORDER: "Actually, we want law and order, and government is one of the least effective tools for providing it." - Robert LeFevre.

LAWS & COMMON LAW VS. POLITICAL OR POSITIVE LAW: “… with arrogant, presumptuous folly, the dealers in restrictive duties fly, fettering the inborn energies of man, and setting up their miserable legislation instead of the great standing laws of nature.” - Lord John Russell, 14.2.42, House of Commons.

LAW, ORDER & GOVERNMENT: When I am talking about government, I’m not talking about law and order. I think we need law and order. I think we get law and order out of our voluntary organizations. - Robert LeFevre, Good Government, 13/14.

LAW, LAWS OR PERSONAL LAWS? ANARCHISM, MAN, SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUALS: No less than Samuel Adams or any of the other fire-eaters of the revolution, Josiah Warren stood ready to break out of his shackles should government ever attempt to enslave him. Anarchism, as Josiah Warren defined the idea, aimed not so much at destroying the law as making every man "a law unto himself." Only thus, he maintained, might freedom be established on earth. - Reichert, Partisans of Freedom, 136. - Defending one’s individual rights and liberties should not only be left to individuals but also to cooperatives or free enterprises of individuals. Competing protective associations and competing panarchies or polyarchies, between them, would probably provide a much better service than territorial ones now provided by States. - J.Z., 5.9.07.

LAW, ORDER & ANARCHISM: It is to be noted in this regard that the opposite of government is not, as so many critics of anarchism erroneously suppose, social disorder or chaos. Anarchism for Proudhon, as for all anarchists, "is not inconsistent with association, but only with enforced association; not to rule, but only to obligatory rule. (29) Where men are encouraged to follow their own unaided understanding of the social relations of which they find themselves an integral part, law and order is as natural to them as the seasons of the year are compelling to birds and trees. This is why Proudhon was so insistent that we must not allow the distinction between state and society to become blurred in our thinking. As Professor Franz Oppenheimer was to point out years after Proudhon, the state is primarily the sum of the "privileges and dominating positions which are brought into being by extra economic power" enforced by the power of government. - J.L.S., Winter 80, p. 89. - Underlining by me. - J.Z.

LAW, VOLUNTARISM, LAW & ORDER, ANARCHISM, RECIPROCITY, FREE PERSONAL LAWS, AGREEMENTS, SOCIAL GROUPS, JUSTICE & THE STATE,: The assertion that all laws enacted by formal legislative bodies are illegitimate, as Proudhon and other anarchists would have it, not only sound harsh to the ear of the average person but appears to be irresponsible as well, so habituated are people to looking to the state for the outline of justice. But as world events again and again have demonstrated  in recent years, the ersatz system of justice maintained by modern states are rapidly falling apart, and lawlessness and violence are becoming widespread as a consequence. If anarchists are correct in their assessment of the situation, there is no remedy short of a total revision of our attitude toward jurisprudence. So long as we follow the Hobbesian dictum that law primarily originates from the commands of sovereign states, this lawlessness must persist. When enough people finally recognize that the only proper basis of law is the free agreements arrived at by social groups acting in the spirit of voluntarism, federalism, and reciprocity, the foundations will have been laid for a genuine social order in which justice will be possible. If Proudhon's writings suddenly have become convincing to more and more people, it is because his philosophy of law offers a meaningful solution to the social problems we face with the breakdown of law and order. - J.L.S., Winter 80, p. 90. - An essay on Proudhon. Underlinings by me. - J.Z., 5.9.07.

LAW, WELFARE STATE, TRANSFER SOCIETY, CHARITY, JUSTICE: "Never pass a law to help anyone at the expense of another." - Leonard E. Read, Meditations on Freedom, FEE, 28.

LAWS & DISAGREEMENTS: “We cannot all agree and think alike and be perfect, and therefore laws are necessary, or we shall have chaos.” - - It is because we cannot all agree that Anarchism becomes necessary. If we all thought alike it would not matter in the least if we had one common law to which we must all submit. But as many of us think differently, it becomes absurd to try to force us to act the same by means of the government which we are silly enough to call representative. - George Barrett in THE MATCH, July/August 1975.

LAWS & DIVERSITY VS. LAWMAKING: There have been no two occurrences which were precisely alike during all the cycling periods of time. No action, transaction, or set of circumstances whatsoever corresponded precisely to any other action, transaction, or set of circumstances. Had I a precise knowledge of all the occurrences which have ever taken place up to this hour, it would not suffice to enable me to make a law which would be applicable in all respects to the very next occurrence which shall take place, nor to any one of the infinite millions of events which shall hereafter occur,. This diversity reigns throughout every kingdom of nature, and mocks at all human attempts to make laws, or constitutions, or regulations, or governmental institutions of any sort, which shall work justly and harmoniously amidst the unforeseen contingencies of the future. S. P. Andrews, The Science of Society, 9.

LAWS & SOCIETY: Nature does not contradict herself; the laws which govern the movements of society are as regular and unchangeable as those which govern the movements of the stars. - Winwood Reade, The Martyrdom of Man, 25.

LAWS, BREAKING THE LAWS, CONSCIENCE & RESISTANCE:  All our liberties are due to men who, when their conscience has compelled them, have broken the laws of the land. - Dr. John Clifford.

LAW, LAWMAKERS & JUSTICE: The law of justice is the one and only law that does not violate “our liberty”? And that is not a law that was made by the lawmakers. It existed before they were born, and will exist after they are dead. It derives not one particle of its authority from any commands of theirs. It is, therefore, in no sense one of their laws. Only laws of their invention are their laws. And as it is naturally impossible that they can invent any law of their own, that shall not conflict with the law of justice, it is naturally impossible that they can make a law - that is, a law of their own invention - that shall not violate “our liberty”. - Lysander Spooner, Letter to Grover Cleveland, 26, in Works I. LAW

LAW, LAWMAKERS, GOVERNMENT, JUSTICE, NATURAL LAW & LIBERTY: Inasmuch, then, as every possible law that can be made by lawmakers, must either give to some one or more persons more “liberty” than the law of nature - or the law of justice - gives them, and more “liberty” than is consistent with the natural and equal “liberty” of all other persons (8); or else must take from some one or more persons some portion of that “liberty” which the law of nature - or the law of justice - gives to every human being, it is inevitable that every law, that can be made by lawmakers, must be a violation of the natural and rightful “liberty” of some one or more persons. - Therefore the very idea of a lawmaking government - a government that is to make laws of its own invention - is necessarily in direct and inevitable conflict with “our liberty”. In fact, the whole, sole, and only real purpose of any lawmaking government whatever is to take from some one or some persons their “liberty”. Consequently the only way in which all men can preserve their “liberty”, is not to have any lawmaking government at all. (**) - Lysander Spooner, Letter to Cleveland, 26, in Works I. - - (*) In voluntary communities the liberties and personal law rights of their members might, by their own individual choice, not be equal. Very many people are submissive rather than independently minded. That, also, is their right and part of the liberty, namely, not to be as free as they could be, by their own choice. - We see degrees of submissiveness even among some marriage partners, rather than insistence upon equal rights. - - (**) In voluntaristic and externally quote tolerant panarchies or polyarchies of volunteers they could have any kind of law-making arrangements and institutions that would suit their volunteers, without any outsiders having any right to complain about that. - Even Spooner, in some of his thoughts, remained stuck on the territorial model. - J.Z., 31.8.07. )

LAWS & LAWMAKING VS. JUSTICE & RIGHTS: What excuse, then, have you for attempting to enforce upon the people that great mass of superfluous or criminal laws (so-called) which ignorant and foolish, or impudent and criminal, men have, for so many years, been manufacturing, and promulgating, and enforcing, in violation of justice, and of all men's natural, inherent, and inalienable rights. - Lysander Spooner, Letter to Grover Cleveland, 5.

LAW, LAW BREAKING, HERETICS, FREEDOM: It is with the breaking of the law that the freedom of man began; the bills of rights were written with the blood of heretics and lawbreakers. - D. Runes, A Dictionary of Thought.

LAWS VS. RIGHTS: Laws ought to be “designed to respect rather than deny the right of every man to his own life…” - Karl Hess, The Lawless State.

LAWS: “… history and conduct are so much influenced by biological and social forces that their progress is increasingly out of control, as far as the legislators are concerned. Older laws to some extent crystallized the general public will - modern laws are less able to do so, since the public will is less definite, and the opportunities for expressing it socially are curtailed. For the first time in history laws are effectively ‘made’ by the state, without evoking any very marked response in the internal standards of the individual.” - Alex Comfort, Authority & Delinquency.

LAWS VS. JUSTICE: Too many laws, too little justice. - Civil rights campaign sticker issued by students of the University of Cape Town, as reported in THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD of 30.12.72. It also shows a scale, in which the side contains the laws is heavily overloaded and heaves the side containing justice - up in the air. - J.Z., 31.8.07.

LAW: The law of nature is the only law of laws truly and properly to all mankind fundamental; the beginning and the end of all government. - John Milton: The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, 1660. - With the full realization of natural law and individual rights and liberties, territorial governments would, indeed, be ended. Only societies of volunteers would remain. These would not be obliged but merely advised to respect natural law and individual rights and liberties, at least in the members of all other communities, to the extent that there they are claimed and practised by them. - J.Z., 31.8.07.

LAW: Paine developed again in splendid words his idea of the nature of government, and especially emphasized most incisively that the men of today have no right to prescribe the path for the men of tomorrow. Covenants that have passed into history can never impose on new generations the duty of accepting as legal and binding on themselves limitations set by their forebears. - Rudolf Rocker, Nationalism and Culture, 146.

LAWS: Thus Hippias of Elis declares that "the law has become man's tyrant, continually urging him to unnatural deeds.” - On the basis or this doctrine Alkidamas, Lykophron and others advocated the abolition of all social prerogatives, condemning especially the institution of slavery, as not founded upon the nature of man, but as arising from enactments of men who made a virtue of injustice. It was one of the great services of the much maligned Sophist school that its members surmounted all national frontiers and consciously allied themselves with the great racial community of mankind.” - Rocker, Nationalism and Culture, 128.

LAW: Law was not formed to give man his rights; on the contrary, it is because men have rights that law was conceived to protect those rights from the encroachments of others. - Jack Pemberton, The Freeman, 9/76, page 527. - And the attempt to thus protect human rights and liberties was an enormous and prolonged failure and still is. - J.Z., 31.8/07.

LAW & FREEDOM: Freedom comes from human beings, rather than from laws and institutions. - Clarence Darrow  - - Freedom derives from our moral and rational natures rather than from laws that were territorially imposed upon us, by centralized decision-makers whom we, personally, have not empowered to do so. - J.Z., 12.7.92, 1.9.07.

LAWS AS CONTRACTED FOR RULES: Laws should be no more than voluntarily contracted rules. - J.Z.? 1972.

LAWS AS STRAIGHTJACKEST, THE RIGHT OF INDIVIDUALS TO OPT OUT FROM UNDER THEM & FROM THEIR LEGISLATORS & THEIR INSTITUTIONS: The constitutional authority or, rather, natural right of opting out of laws and even out of constitutions, is the only way for individu8als to get rid of their worst straitjackets. - J.Z., 1.6.73.

LAW, JUSTICE & PANARCHISM: Panarchism offers any kind of law to the ones who do want it for themselves - any kind of justice for all those more concerned with justice than with law and wanting to realize what they consider to be the most just system among themselves. - J.Z., 18.1.86.

LAWS: Laws are valid only to the extent that they do fully correspond to natural justice. Otherwise they are arbitrary impositions, like e.g. the prohibition laws against alcohol and other narcotic drugs. Personal laws, as contracts of individuals, with communities of volunteers, are exceptions from this rule. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS & MORAL OBLIGATION: Only self-given or self-chosen laws have any obligation for moral and rational individuals. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS VS. JUSTICE, LIBERTIES & RIGHTS: The further and longer you travel on the legal path the more you remove yourself from justice, liberties and rights. - J.Z., 14.3. 99.

LAWS VS. NATURAL LAW, NATURAL JUSTICE & NATURAL LIBERTY: Laws are the man-made pollution of natural justice. - J.Z., 14.3.99.

LAW, TAKING IT INTO ONE’S OWN HANDS: “You can’t take the law into your own hands!” - When the law is in your own hands then it is in the only place where it can be safe in. - J.Z., 4.1.97. However, this applies only to personal laws, not to territorial ones. No one, not even formal legislators for a territory, do have the right to lay down the law for all others. Only in communities of volunteers, under personal laws and, consequently, voluntary taxation, may they be permitted to pass personal laws for the other and like-minded volunteers. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAWS & REGULATIONS, PERSONAL LAW, PANARCHISM, POLYARCHY, VOLUNTARISM: All regulations and laws should be like games rules: Agreed upon and applied only among those wanting to play a particular game. - J.Z., 20.5.81.


LAW, ORDER, DISORDER & NATURAL LAW: After the law: disorder! Or: Disorder follows the law. Natural order and harmony can only follow the natural laws, not the man-made laws. Unless the man-made laws are only made, applied or chosen for themselves by volunteers, in their own exterritorially autonomous protective communities. - J.Z., 19.7.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS, TERRITORIAL, UNIFORM, MONOPOLISTICK IMPOSED: No uniform, monopolistic, territorial and imposed laws! - J.Z., n.d..

LAWS, PERSONAL VS. TERRITORIAL LAWS: All territorial laws ought to become replaced by personal laws, applied only among volunteers, in their own exterritorially autonomous communities. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAWS, TERRITORIAL ONES: Territorial laws try to enforce popular errors and prejudices upon the lives of all the people living in a territory. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS, PERSECUTION, EXPLOITATION & SUPPRESSION: All too many of our territorial laws merely legalize persecution, exploitation and suppression. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAW: "In fact, the government is no more qualified to develop and apply law than it is to provide any other service; and just as religion has been separated from the state, and the economy can be separated from the state, so can every other state function, including police, courts and the law itself." - Rothbard, New Liberty, 235. - However, people should be free to subscribe to rather comprehensive package deals of services for themselves, in their own exterritorially autonomous communities of volunteers, living under their own personal laws. M.N. Rothbard had not taken this possibility sufficiently into his considerations, in spite of the strong tendency of many people to live in communities of like-minded people and under the same laws and institutions, not necessarily territorial ones. All attempts to achieve this territorially, apart from relatively small private or cooperatively owned real estate, have failed so far to satisfy the majority as well as numerous minorities. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAWS VS. PANARCHISM & PERSONAL LAWS & EXTERRITORIAL AUTONOMY: As long as laws perpetuate and allow false, prejudicial and incomplete arguments and opinions to rule, reasonable and factual arguments have little chance against them. Progress needs exemptions from territorially imposed and upheld laws and institutions, especially for dissenters prepared to experiments with alternative approaches at their own risk and expense. - J.Z., 2.10.88, 29.8.07.

LAW, TERRITORIALLY IMPOSED: To the extent that law is territorially imposed rather than personally chosen for oneself, it amounts to a dictatorial edict contrary to many natural rights and liberties and genuine individual human rights. - J.Z., 6.10.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS, TERRITORIAL VS. EXTERRITORIAL OR PERSONAL LAWS, PANARCHISM: All territorial legislative measures force their mistakes upon all people in a territory - instead of, like contracts, only upon those, who subscribed to them and did not opt out from under them. - J.Z., 2.6.86, 29.8.07.

LAWS & LEGISLATION: “But you can’t have citizens taking the law into their own hands!” - The law gets into a great many hands, most of them less safe than those of the average citizen! - Ian Stewart, Billy the Kid, “Analog”, Jan 87. Only legislative power over peaceful dissenters is wrong. Legislative power over people who unanimously granted that power is quite a different matter.

Panarchism would provide a safe and institutionalized system in which all people could take the law into their own hands, i.e. make laws to suit themselves, at their own expense and risk or choose communities of volunteers for themselves, that are already providing the kind of laws and community that they want for themselves. These communities would be exterritorially autonomous and have only “personal laws”, applying only to these volunteers. They would not permit, like the territorial States do, to lay down the law for peaceful dissenters and much against their wishes and aims. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAW: Either one law or no law? No! Either one law imposed upon all in a territory or to each his own and personal law and panarchistic or polyarchic voluntary community that is exterritorially quite autonomous. - There are many slogans which try to frighten us into submission to territorial States. Nowhere are they so far systematically refuted, at least not according to my all to limited knowledge. - J.Z., 19.5.82, 30.8.07.

LAW, PERSONAL LAW, VS. TERRITORIAL LEGISLATION, FREEDOM, MAN, TOLERANCE VS. DOMINATION: A free man is one capable of noninterference in the affairs of his neighbor, while the legally conscious man is consumed with a desire to control or dominate his neighbor. When a man says "there ought to be a law," he confesses his incapacity for freedom. - Frank Chodorov, Fugitive Essays, 397.

LAW, TERRITORIAL LAW, A KIND OF PERMANENT CIVIL WAR: Your system is a legal civil war, where men gang up on one another and struggle for possession of the law, which they use as a club over rivals, till another gang wrests it from their clutch and clubs them with it in their turn, all of them clamoring protestations of service to an unnamed public's unspecified good. - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 990.

LAWS & SELF-INFLICTED INJURIES: As to the second lesson, the law should be confined to codifying the taboos and intervening to prohibit any person's injury to others. It is none of government's business how or to what extent an individual injures himself. Injury to others is the societal problem, and this is the business of society's governmental agency. (*) Injury to self, be it drug addiction or suicide, is strictly a personal problem and its remedy is to be achieved solely by self-correction. - (**) Leonard E. Read, Having My Way, FEE, 119.

(*) Rather the business of numerous diverse panarchies and of their federations, than of any single and however limited territorial government for all inhabitants and their federations. Read, to my knowledge, never sufficiently examined this rightful alternative in his numerous writings, although in every other sphere he favored voluntary self-help organizations or the free market.
(**) Or asked for and given good advice. - J.Z., 3.9.07.

LAWS: I did not initiate, vote for or consent by signature to the existing territorial laws, nor did I vote for the lawmakers nor could I have rightfully “inherited” the existing laws. They are not my laws. They are imposed upon me and thus cannot morally exact any more obedience from me than can, quite immorally, be enforced from me. I would approve of them only to the extent that they do fully agree with natural law and individual rights and liberties in their best formulations, but believe, that this is only very rarely the case. For the time being I cannot think of a single instance. Can you? - J.Z., 28.3.83, 30.8.07.

LAWS, CONSENT, VOTING, ENFORCING LAWS, POLITICAL PROCESS, ADMINISTRATION OF LAW: There are basically three groups with regard to “positive” law: 1.) Law makers (politicians), 2.) the interpreters and enforcers of laws: policemen, bureaucrats, judges, prison officers, 3.) subjected citizens, the victims or supposed beneficiaries of the laws and the ones who pay for them in every way. - - Most are acting under the assumption that they would thus be ruled quite lawfully, ethically and morally, by good enough or ideal laws and their executors, especially when they have given what they still consider to be “the vote”, although this is, probably, the most insignificant and most restricted vote that they could have on their own rightful affairs. It is, usually, only one territorial vote among millions and it wrongfully accords them a vote on the fate of millions of others and concedes, quite wrongfully, a vote to millions of others on the own affairs, which should be completely one’s own business and responsibility. That this is still widely considered to be “the” vote does indicate, how misleading our language usage can be for our opinions and ideas. - J.Z., 1.12.82, 30.8.07.

LAWS, AN IMPERTINENCE: The sheer impertinence of any human beings or group of human beings to try to lay down the law for all others living in a territory. - J.Z., 13.7.82, 30.8.07. - It is quite another matter to attempt to draft the few and much better laws which a community of like-minded volunteers would want for itself, and which would still have to get, ultimately, the consent of every of the voluntary members. The dissenters, unable to persuade the others, fast enough, would then simply tend to secede from such a community. - J.Z., 30.8.07.

LAWS, UNIFORMITY, TERRITORIAL & IMPOSED VIA PESONAL LAWS & TOLERANCE EVEN IN THIS SPHERE, PANARCHISM POLYARCHY, EXTERRITORIAL AUTONOMY, SECESSIONISM, ONE LAW FOR ALL? EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW? Not one law for all but: to each his own! In practice, mostly: numerous diverse communities of volunteers, each exterritorially fully autonomous and under personal laws, peacefully coexisting with each other in the same territory, precisely because they would then have all the rights and liberties that they want for themselves and this at their own expense and risk only. - J.Z., 7.10.78, 31.8.07.

LAWS: With territorial laws the ignorance, greed and prejudices of some are imposed upon all others. - J.Z., 20.4.93, 31.8.07.

LAWS: Not even the territorial governments themselves treat their laws as their holy cows - but, rather, change them all too frequently, to suit themselves even more, under the pretence of serving and representing the general public. - J.Z., 12.7.95.

LAW and the STATE (^)

LAW: A year ago, if I had $ 100 in gold in my pocket, I was a law-abiding citizen; if I perchance had a pint of whiskey I was a criminal. Today, if I have the whiskey, I am a law-abiding citizen, but if I have the gold I am a criminal violating the-law. - I.J. Dickingson, Speech at Cleveland, O., Jan. 5, 1934.

LAWS & LIMITED, LAISSEZ-FAIRE GOVERNMENT & THE STATE COMPETING JURIDICAL SYTEMS, COMMON LAW: “But there are other fatal flaws and inconsistencies in the concept of limited, laissez-faire government. In the first place, it is generally accepted, by limited-government and by other political philosophers, that the State is necessary for the creation and development of law. But this is historically incorrect. For most law, especially the most libertarian parts of the law, emerged not from the State but out of non-State institutions; tribal custom, common law judges and courts, the law merchant in mercantile courts, admiralty law in tribunals set up by shippers themselves. In the case of competing common law judges as well as elders of tribes, the judges were not engaged in making law, but in finding the law in existing and generally accepted principles, and then applying that law to specific cases or to new technological or institutional conditions. (3) The same was true in private Roman law. Moreover, in ancient Ireland, a society existing for a thousand years until the conquest by Cromwell, ‘there was no trace of State-administered justice’, competing schools of professional jurists interpreted and applied the common body of customary law, with enforcement undertaken by competing and voluntarily supported tuatha, or insurance agencies. Furthermore, these customary rules were not haphazard or arbitrary, but consciously rooted in natural law, discoverable by man’s reason. (4) - But in addition to the historical inaccuracy of the view that the State is needed for the development of law, Randy Barnett has brilliantly pointed out that the State by its very nature cannot obey its own legal rules. But if the State cannot obey its own legal rules, then it is necessarily deficient and self-contradictory as a maker of law. …” - Murray N. Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty, 178.

LAWS, PARLIAMENT, & SLAVERY, ABOLITION, PROTECTIONISM & FREE TRADE, NATURAL LAWS.: Patrick Edward Dove, a very much neglected British economist, summed up the position when he pointed out that the British Parliament did not free the slaves and did not free trade. They merely abolished their own laws which had made slaves and had enslaved trade. Once the law was abolished, the slave became free by nature and trade became free by nature. - Dr. H.G. Pearce, “Value”, page 272.

LAWS & TROUBLES, PROBLEM: The laws of the land, dreamed up by ideologues, utopians, bureaucrats and other power mongers, push us into one kind after the other of very costly problems and troubles, that are not natural but man-made, by these very laws. Instances: All the territorial legislation, the laws upholding monetary despotism, the constitutions monopolizing war and peace-making powers in the hands of a few, the gun laws and the drug laws. - Not only totalitarians but also democrats and republicans passed and enforced numerous quite wrongful laws. - J.Z., 25.7.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS, GOVERNMENTS & LEGALIZED CRIMES: Governments are in the habit of premeditatively legalizing their crimes in advance of committing them. - J.Z., 20.7.91. - Common instance: Tax laws, immigration laws, monetary laws. - J.Z., 28.8.07.

LAW, POLITICIANS & ADDICTION TO POWER: The law is just as prejudiced, stupid, misinformed, misdirected and power-hungry as most of the politicians are, who make it. - J.Z., 5.7.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS & LEGISLATORS: The legislators themselves, especially in their legislative actions, ought to be under the strictest laws, namely those of individual rights and liberties, which they should not be given any authority or excuse to infringe, neither by any constitutions nor by any supreme court or by their own laws. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 28.8.07.

LAWS, VOTING, REPRESENTATION: By means of laws we have voted, represented and legislated ourselves into tight corners from which we no longer see and can practice the solutions of natural justice, rights and liberties. - J.Z., 14.3.99.

LAWS, PUBLICATION: If all laws were published in full by the mass media, a great revulsion against most of them would occur. As it is, they are largely buried in government gazettes, which almost no one has the time and energy to study. - Even in parliaments they are not fully read out and discussed. - Instead, each parliament adds more and more of the output of its law draft committees to the already huge stack of laws passed in the past. - If there ever was any overproduction then it is that of wrongful, useless and harmful laws. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAW: Congress makes the law, so the law is whatever Congress says. But Congress is composed of men and women who may do good & evil. - Orson Scott Card, Xenocide, page 72.

LAW: He who says: There should be a law concerning this matter, means: The armed men of the government should force people to do what they do not want to do, or not to do what they like. - Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, 47.

LAWS & THE RULE OF LAW, POLITICIANS, SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: The rule of law is no help while politicians and other special interest groups rule the law. - J.Z., 30.9.88.

LAW: Most people accept law as their guide to conduct; they find it to be more profitable than following the rules of justice. They are always asking, "What is the law?" "Can I do that and not be arrested?" To them anything within the law is right; yet we know that the greatest injustices are committed within the law. They would see nothing wrong in murder, if it was lawful. - T. Sprading, Freedom and its Fundamentals, quoted in The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations, P. 28

LAWS & GOVERNMENT: "Government of laws" sounds almost religious, as if the laws came from some Higher Power. Who do you think makes the laws? - “Diagonal Relationship”, No. 9.

LAWS & GOVERNMENTS, POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS, TERRITORIAL POLITICS AS USUAL: The robberies and wrongs thus committed by these men, in conformity with the laws, - that is, their own laws, - are as mountains to molehills, compared with the crimes committed by all other criminals, in violation of the laws. - Lysander Spooner, VICES ARE NOT CRIMES, 133/134

LAWS & LAWLESS GOVERNMENTS, FAVORITISM & MAJORITY RULE: But to call "law" everything that the elected representatives of the majority resolve, and to describe as "Government under the Law" all the directives issued by them, however discriminating in favour of, or to the detriment of, some groups of individuals, is of course a bad joke. It is in truth lawless government. To maintain that, so long as acts of government are approved by a majority, the rule of law is preserved, is to play with words - Hayek, Whither Democracy, QUADRANT, 11/76.

LAWS, DISSENT, REVOLUTION, ILLEGALITY, LEGALITY, COERCION, LEGAL CHANNELS, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS & LIBERTIES VS. STATISM, STATE AUTHORITARIANISM: But there comes the time when coercion becomes unbearable. The argument that dissent through "legal" channels is the only acceptable means of rebelling is statist nonsense by which perpetrators of state authoritarianism are able to cow the public  into submission. The Boston Tea Party was "illegal" and so was the American Revolution itself. The state can pass any laws it wants for the purpose of suppressing the individual. In many countries it is "illegal" to express or publish certain opinions. In sections of the United States it is "illegal" to kiss on the streets, and "illegal" for members of different races to join in matrimony. The fact that the state no longer bothers to enforce such laws does not make these laws less immoral and despicable. "Legality" was the excuse used by Nazis to defend their own cooperation with the state in the slaughter of Jews. - Tuccille, Radical Libertarianism, 98.

LAWS, INDUSTRIAL LAWS, LABOR LAWS & LAWS AGAINST INDUSTRY & IN FAVOR OF UNION OR EMPLOYER PRIVILEGES, INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS OR ANTI-INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS LEGALLY IMPOSED: You can't obtain good industrial relations by passing a law. You may as well say you can pass a law and make a man love his wife. - Hr. Clyde Cameron, quoted in “The Sydney Morning Herald”, 9.12.72.

LAWS, LAWYERS, JUDGES: Nevertheless, the image of the law held by millions of human beings throughout history has been of an institution shrouded by hocus-pocus, defended by mumbo-jumbo, and sustaining the unjust; and both lawyers and judges have been seen very much as they are portrayed by Charles Dickens in his great novel Bleak House. (1) (!) in Bleak House, the equity case Jarndyce v. Jarndyce drags on for a generation, enriching lawyers and depleting the estate which was the subject of the litigation. - Mulford Q. Sibley, The Obligation to Disobey, 29.

LAWS, LEGISLATION AGAINST EVILS, STATISM: One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils of this world can be cured by legislation. - S.T.B. Reed, 1839-1902, in A. Andrews, Quotations, 331.

LAWS, RIDICULOUS OLD LAWS, FORMALLY STILL IN FORCE BUT, NORMALLY, NOT APPLIED: Here are but a few of many examples of things now out of bounds for American citizens: (1) It is against the law to grow as much wheat or cotton or peanuts or tobacco as you choose on your own land. (2) It is against the law, regardless of where you live, to refuse to finance thousands upon thousands of local fancies such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis or the Fresno Mall. (3) It is against the law to refuse to finance the rebuilding of urban centers deserted in favor of new and more preferable centers. (4) It is against the law to refuse to finance putting men on the moon. (5) It is against the law to refuse to finance socialistic governments the world over. (6) It is against the law to be self-responsible exclusively, that is, to refuse to be responsible for the welfare, security, and prosperity of anybody and everybody, no matter who or what they are. - Leonard E. Read, Let Freedom Reign, 62.

LAWS ON ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIPS: Most government laws on economic relationships are Acts in restraint of Trade. - J.Z., 16.5.75, 10/76.

LAWS, LAWMAKING & VOTING: Spooner eventually concluded that no one should have the right to vote or make laws. "No human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right to make laws, and compel other human beings to obey them. To say that they have is to say that they are masters and owners of those from whom they require obedience."

LAW: As Spooner grew older, he grew more radical and became more than ever opposed to government lawmaking. His conclusion was that lawmaking was contrary to the recognition of natural rights and natural law. No natural liberty would be left to any one if government lawmaking were to continue. "From the moment that it is conceded that any man, or body of men, whatever, under any pretence whatever, have the right to make laws of their own invention, and compel other men to obey them, every vestige of man's natural and rightful liberty is denied him.” - Lysander Spooner, A Letter to Grover Cleveland

LAWS, SUBSIDIES, PRIVILEGES, MONOPOLIES TO BE ABOLISHED AS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY: “The Price of Liberty. This price which we must pay is the abolition of all special laws for all special groups and interests. (*) Subsidies to businessmen as well as to farmers must stop. Special privileges and preferences for able-bodied veterans must be ended. There must be an end to special laws which exempt labor groups from the consequences of their actions. The special tax privileges for producers and consumer cooperatives must be repealed, or extended to all corporate business. The law which gives tenants special treatment at the expense of home owners must be abolished. - - Whatever the sacrifice, … Then each person will be free to do as he pleases so long as he does not interfere with the right of any other person to do as he pleases. …” Admiral Ben Moreell, SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES, in THE FREEMAN, July 1978, page 419


LAWS, MULTITUDE & CRIME: "The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be. - Lao-Tzu, China 604-531 B.C.

LAW, STATE & CORRUPTION, MULTITUDE OF LAWS: The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. - Tacitus, History, III, c. 100.

LAW & CHAOS, SNARES FOR THE PEOPLE: For this continuous heaping up of laws, without digesting them, makes but a chaos and a confusion or turneth the laws many times to become but snares for the people. - Francis Bacon.

LAWS & LAWLESSNESS, SURVIVAL: A large degree ignorance of law and of lawless actions has become a sheer survival requirement, for no one has the dozens of lifetimes required to read and study, remember, obey and apply all the laws passed.. This is so well known that no one ever even tries to do so. Not even lawyers and judges, legislators and policemen and bureaucratic administrators do know and can know all of them. Our world is so full of laws that it has, as a result, become a lawless society, a society that habitually ignores most laws and at best abides only by those, which happen to correspond to natural laws or individual rights and liberties. - J.Z., 8.6.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS, LARGELY UNKNOWN & UNKNOWABLE AS WELL AS UNREADABLE: The law is unknowable - seeing the mountain of legislation in force, the heaps added to it every year and also the disagreements of the lawyers about it. - J.Z., 16.10.75. - And the limited quantity of literature anyone can read during his lifetime. - J.Z., 8/77. Moreover, most laws are just about as readable as are telephone books. - J.Z., 28.8.07.

LAWS & LEGISLATION, AVALANCHES OF THEM: Legislators now pass more laws than anybody can find time and energy to read or to intentionally break or even to take notice of. I doubt that even the current lot of legislators themselves have actually read more than a tiny fraction of the full texts of the laws they voted for under the rules of party whips. Nor would I expect them to know more than a tiny fraction of the flawed premises and wrongful and harmful consequences of their laws. - J.Z., 5.8.91.

LAW, AVALANCHES OF LEGISLATION, STATE SLAVERY, TOTALITARIANISM: The avalanches of legislation tend to turn all of us into State slaves of a totalitarian State and do not permit any of us to practise the right to opt out. - J.Z., 15.6.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS & LEGISLATION VS. RIGHTS, LIBERTY, JUSTICE, WEALTH, PROGRESS & NATURAL LIVING: The more you legislate the more you suppress liberty, rights, justice, security, wealth, progress and natural living, as well as all the conditions required for a just peace through sufficient freedom, as much as individuals do want for themselves. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 28.8.07.

LAW, RULE OF LAW: For a thorough critique of the generality, equal applicability, and predictability criteria of Hayek’s rule of law, as well as of Hayek’s admitted departure from his own criteria, see Hamowy, “Freedom and the Rule of Law”, pp 3498-376. This includes Bruno Leoni’s fundamental criticism that given the existence (which Hayek accepts) of a legislature changing laws daily, no given law can be more than predictable or “certain” at any given moment, there is no certainty over time. See Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law (Princeton, New Jersey: Van Nostrand, 1961), p. 76. (*) - Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty, 228. - (*) To that extent the avalanche of legislation is quite lawless and arbitrary. - J.Z., 18.6.92.

LAWS, MULTITUDE: The American government creates 150 000 new laws each year, and over 2 million new regulations. Then we are told by the courts that “Ignorance of the law is no excuse!” - Strider Commentary, July 86.

LAW, LEGISLATION, PARLIAMENT: “It is the shame of our age that a legislature takes pride in the number of bills it has passed to clutter the books and reduce human freedom. - Perry E. Gresham, The Freeman, 6/73.

LAWS: The more and faster legislators make “laws”, the more and extensively production and exchange are slowed down and reduced and progress and wealth increase is held up. - J.Z., 8.11.92, 29.8.07.

LAWS & LEGISLATION: If legislation could improve the world then the ten-thousands of parliamentary laws should already have performed their miracles. But whatever progress has already been achieved has not come from them, in most instances. - J.Z., 15.2.86.

LAW: No one knows, no one can know, this miscellaneous jumble called the law of the land, which everyone is assumed to know. - J.C. Spence, The Conscience of the King.

LAW & LAWYERS: The best thing you can say for some of our laws is that they make work for a great many lawyers. - Frank Clark, Reader’s Digest, 12/80. - That is also one of their many bad features. - J.Z., 30.8.07.

LAWS: If laws could help us, then the more laws are passed and the longer and more detailed they are, the better and more extensive their help would be as a result of the legislative avalanches experienced in all territorial States, descending upon us every year, unfailingly. According to the belief in the rightfulness and helpfulness of laws we should by now live in a veritable paradise. Do we? - J.Z., 24.7.85, 30.8.07.

LAWS VS. VOLUNTARISM, SOCIAL PROBLEMS, SOCIAL LEGISLATION, PROGRESS, ENLIGHTENMENT, FREE EXPERIMENTATION: No amount of state education will make a really intelligent nation; no amount of Poor Laws will place a nation above want; no amount of Factory Acts will make us better parents. These great wants which we are now vainly trying to deal with by acts of Parliament, by prohibitions and penalties, are in truth the great occasions of progress, if only we surmount them by developing in ourselves more active desires, by putting forth greater efforts, by calling new moral forces into existence, and by perfecting our natural ability for acting together in voluntary associations. - Auberon Herbert, in Mack: A.H., 179.

LAWS, MUCH MORE VERBAL THAN JUST: The Lord's Prayer contains 56 words; the Ten Commandments 297 words; the American Declaration of Independence 300 words and the Common Market regulations on the import of caramel 126,911 words! R.F.A. Vogel, Amsterdam, Libertarian Review, March 77, p. 21.


LAWS, IGNORANCE & PREJUDICES: Mostly laws simply petrify the current ignorance, prejudices and stupidities into more or less enforced rules for all. - J.Z., 11.7.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS & FOLLY, PREJUDICES, IGNORANCE VS. WISDOM, PRINCIPLES, RIGHTS, DUTIES & LIBERTIES: Laws perpetuate the follies and ignorance of the masses of voters and legislators. They are mostly not based upon facts, sound principles, rights and liberties. And to the extent that they are not so based they do not deserve respect and obedience but only resistance and abolition. - J.Z., 7.6.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS AS MODERN RITUALS: Most laws are modern and imposed rituals and just as wrong and senseless as most of the old and ancient rituals were. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 28.8.07.

LAWS & EMANCIPATION: We need to become emancipated (liberated) from the laws imposed upon us by our supposed representatives. - J.Z., 14.3.99.

LAWS A MAGICAL CURE? The law is like the sing-song of magical words and the dancing of the medicine men of primitives and just about as inefficient in most cases. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAW. A MIRACLE WORKER? The law, the supposed miracle workers, is a great failure in most cases, equivalent to quackery medicine. It neither diagnoses the real causes of social problems properly nor does it provides efficient cures. Nevertheless, its rituals and practices are considered to be somewhat holy. - J.Z., 30.8.07.

LAWS, RITUALS, TABOOS VS. NATURAL JUSTICE, RIGHTS & LIBERTIES: If laws could assure us justice, rights and liberties, then we could fully enjoy them by now, since there exists an abundance of laws. Instead, they have become enormous obstacles to the full realization of natural justice, rights and liberties, just like the ancient religious rituals and taboos once were. - J.Z., 14.3.99 & 29.8.07.

LAWS, IGNORANCE, PREJUDICES & VESTED INTERESTS: Laws reveal the ignorance, prejudices and vested interest of legislators and vested interests and of those, who do believe in their legalized system. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS: Laws petrify nonsense into a lasting system. - J.Z., 8.6.82.

LAW & LEGISLATION: One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils of this world can be cured by legislation. - Thomas B. Reed.

LAW & DELUSIONS: Oh, the delusions and self-deceptions and frauds of the law makers & of their voluntary victims. - J.Z., 4.11.92.

LAW, LAW & ORDER: Of the many current fallacies about government, the belief that law and order can be established by Acts of Parliament and the establishment of police forces is surely one of the most pernicious." - Betty Noble, Good Government, June 73.

LAWS: The history of protectionism, prohibition, drug-, vice-, gambling-, marriage & divorce laws and the monetary legislation, to name only a few major examples, proves that one should not expect legislators to make moral, rational and informed enough decisions in such spheres. They really either do not know or do not care what they are doing to us with such and much other legislation. - J.Z., 23.10.92, 29.8.07.

LAW & FREEDOM: Freedom above the law works. Freedom under the law does not. - J.Z., 9.7.92.

LAWS & PREJUDICES: Most people have an unjustified prejudice in favor of existing laws - in fact, according to John Campbell, laws are the petrification of existing prejudices. - J.Z., 7.8.75, commenting on Analog editorial Dec. 60.

LAWS & THE ARROGANCE OF POWER: "In a reductio ad absurdum of the arrogance of power, the Indiana legislature once passed a bill declaring the value of pi ( normally 3.14 …. ) to be 4.2 - Southern Libertarian Messenger, 9/75

LAWS, ABSURD OLD LAWS, STILL ON THE STATUTE BOOKS: "In Charlotte, NC, it is illegal for a woman to go on the streets wearing less than 16 yards of cloth. … When was the last time you saw anyone wearing that much? ... And twin beds in NC motels must be at least 2 feet apart ..." - Southern Libertarian Messenger, 9/75

LAWS, ABSURD OLD LAWS, STILL ON THE STATUTE BOOKS: "In Kentucky it is illegal to shoot clay pigeons during breeding season. Whenever that is!" - Southern Libertarian Messenger, 9/75

LAWS, ABSURD OLD LAWS, STILL ON THE STATUTE BOOKS: "In Spartanburg, SC it is illegal to eat watermelon in the Magnolia St. Cemetery. ... And hip pockets are forbidden, because they furnish a place to put hip flasks ..." - Southern Libertarian Messenger, 9/75

LAWS, ABSURD OLD LAWS, STILL ON THE STATUTE BOOKS: “In Norton, VA it is illegal to tickle a girl." Southern Libertarian Messenger 9/75

LAWS & LEGISLATION VS. COMMON SENSE, WORK, PRODUCTION, STANDARD OF LIVING, EARNINGS, WAGES, PROFITS: It is time we used our common sense. Hard work, not legislation, makes production. - Rae. C. Heiple II, “Progress”, 6/77.


LAWS, RULERS, DISOBEDIENCE & VIOLENCE: Laws are rules made by people who govern by means of organized violence, for non-compliance with which the non-complier is subjected to blows, to loss of liberty, or even to being murdered. - Tolstoy, quoted in Sprading, Liberty and the Great Libertarians, page 330.

LAW & ORDER: But it is foolishness for the party of law and order to imagine that these forces of public authority created to preserve order are always going to be content to preserve the order that that party desires. Inevitably they will end by themselves defining and deciding on the order they are going to impose - which, naturally, will be that which suits them best. - José Ortega y Gasset.

LAWS: Under current law, it is a crime for a private citizen to lie to a government official, but not for the government official to lie to the people. - Donald M. Fraser

LAWS & VIOLENCE, LEGALIZATION, MEDDLING, FRAUD, THEFT: Legalized violence, theft, robbery, invasions, meddling, fraud are still violence, theft, robbery, invasions, meddling and fraud. - J.Z., 14.9.91.

LAWS, RIGHTS, LIBERTIES, PRINCIPLES, MORALITY: Most laws are not passed to uphold quite sound rights, liberties, principles and moral rules but, on the contrary, are greatly infringing them. - J.Z., 14.9.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS & THE STATE, JUSTICE, RIGHT & WRONG: Neither is everything right that the State has legally imposed nor is everything wrong which it has outlawed and prosecutes. The laws depend all too much on the ignorance, prejudices and stupidity of the legislators and their voters. - J.Z., 13.8.91, 28.8.07.

LAWS DECEIVE & VICTIMIZE BUT DON’T SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS: Most laws merely coerce, deceive or victimize. They do not solve anything. But they are great in creating, unintentionally, many new problems and costs. - J.Z., 5.8.91.

LAWS & FREEDOM: Did you ever need any laws, legal clauses or juridical decision to become free? Have they ever helped you to become free? At most they repealed some other laws or some other juridical decision which had wrongfully restrained you. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS VS. RIGHTS & LIBERTIES, LAW BREAKING, LIBERATION: The more man-made laws you can freely break or ignore the more free you are. But the more natural rights and liberties you break or ignore the more unfree will you and others become. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS VS. RIGHTS & LIBERTIES: Laws are, largely, infringements upon natural justice, rights and liberties and to that extent they ought to be either ignored, broken, resisted or repealed. - J.Z., 14.3.99, 29.8.07.

LAWS, PROTECTIONISM VS. FREE ENTERPRISE & FREE TRADE: Laws passed in favor of particular labor or business interests restrict the rights of most producers and consumers. - J.Z., 1.9.97, 29.8.07.

LAWS: "...  law after law after law, ... laws that are aimed at controlling every facet of our lives, laws that are paternalistic in nature, laws that circumscribe individual initiative and individual creativity rather than assure equal justice and equal opportunity, laws that prescribe individual action, laws that nullify private property." - Miller Upton, The Freeman, 9/74.

LAW, POSITIVE & SCOUNDRELS: Positive law: One of the first refuges or excuses of scoundrels - in all too many cases. - J.Z., 28.12.94, 30.7.07.

LAW & HONESTY: Open theft is more honest than legalized theft. - J.Z., 13.2.87. Instance: Compulsory taxation. The “take” via taxes or tributes is also much larger than the take of all the private criminals. - J.Z., 29.8.07.

LAWS, MOST LAWS ARE PART OF AN OPEN “CONSPIRACY” AGAINST BASIC RIGHTS & LIBERTIES: Most laws are the result of an “open” and legalized conspiracy against the kind of justice that is based on voluntarism, tolerance, individual rights and liberties. - J.Z., 16.1.96, 30.8.07.

LAWS, VICTIMIZING OR NOT SUFFICIENTLY PROTECTING AGAINST CRIMINALS: “We enact many laws that manufacture criminals and then a few that punish them. - Allen Tucker, quoted in “Analog”, 12/92. - Too many laws are carelessly “manufactured” that are actually victimizing innocents or producing “criminals” without victims, while there are too few laws and institutions that are effectively helping to prevent or reduce crimes with victims, and to achieve just punishment for those still committed and a just and sufficient indemnification as well, at the expense of the criminals only. - J.Z., 30.8.07.

LAWS & THEIR ENFORCEMENT: If all laws could be and were strictly enforced, we would almost all be in prison. To the extent that they are enforced, they turn national territories into prisons. For of millions of legal rules, unread by us and thus unknown to us, we would unknowingly breach at least a few. - J.Z., 14.3.99.

LAWS & LEGISLATION AMOUNT TO DOMINATION OR POWER OVER OTHER MEN: “What then is legislation? It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of absolute, irresponsible domination over all others men whom they can subject to their power." (Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, 1882) (J.Z.: At least temporarily, after winning, seemingly, the majority in a territorial election. - Majorities? If 2/3rds of the people are entitled to vote, 2/3rds cast their vote, the elected represent 2/3rds of the votes cast and make their new laws with a 2/3rd majority, then 2/3 x 2/3 x 2/3 x 2/3 re really represented in making the new laws, i.e., only 16/81, or, roughly, a 1/5th minority! - That fact is usually ignored. - Damaschke pointed such calculation out in his book on land reform) J.Z., 30.8.07.

LAWS, PROPERY: “… and if the rights of person and property depend no longer upon aristocratic caprice, but upon laws, still these laws are nothing but another sort of teeth with which the aristocratic brood seizes its prey, and another sort of daggers wherewith it assassinates the people.” - H. Heine, The Liberation, an essay.

LAWS, AGGRESSIVE ONES, CREATE DISCORD, THEIR MINDLESS CONFORMITY, REQUIREMENT, FREEDOM, DISOBEDIENCE NOT A STEP TOWARDS CHAOS, VICTIMLESS CRIMES: “… aggressive laws create discord where there was none before and set men at each other’s throats. - The willful and principled disobedience to aggressive laws is thus not a step toward social chaos, but a blow for freedom and human dignity. - The mindless conformity to all laws would rob us of the very humanity that law should seek to preserve.” - Jarret B. Wollstein, in a leaflet: The Case Against Victimless Crimes.

LAW & CRIME: More genuine crime and more barbarous cruelty have probably been committed by the law than by all other criminals put together. - J.C. Spence, The Conscience of the King.

LAWS VS. JUSTICE, LAWMAKERS, STATISM, WAR AS MURDER BY LAW: When we know the source of law, we cease to wonder at the conduct of those who accept law as a guiding principle; we understand why they conduct themselves so badly from the standpoint of justice and still keep out of jail; we also understand why some who have violated no rule of justice go to jail. Most people accept law as their guide to conduct; they find it to be more profitable than following the rules of justice. They are always asking "What is the law?" "Can I do that and not be arrested?" To them anything within the law is right; yet we know that the greatest injustices are committed within the law. They would see nothing wrong in murder, if it was lawful; but murder is lawful only to the makers of law, to the State or the Government, which indulges its own murderous inclinations, legitimately, by capital punishment and by war. - Sprading, Liberty & the Great Libertarians, Introduction, 19. - Underlining by me. - J.Z.

LAWS, CONFLICT OF INTERESTS ESPECIALLY UNDER TERRITORIAL LAWS, VIOLENCE INSTEAD OF JUSTICE, POWER VS. RIGHTS: It is a general principle, then, that conflicts of interest between men are settled by the use of violence ... The justice of the community then becomes an expression of the unequal degrees of power obtaining within it; the laws are made by and for the ruling members and find little room for the rights of those in subjection. - Freud, in letter to Einstein, Sept. 32, quoted in: B.D. Shaffer in “Violence as a Product of Imposed Order”, 22.


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