Thursday, July 30, 2009

Laws derived from the nature of government

From The Spirit Of Laws, Book 2

...indeed it is important to regulate in a republic, in what manner, by whom, to whom, and concerning what suffrages are to be given...
(a quote from Declam, 17 and18) Libanius says that at "Athens a stranger who intermeddled in the assemblies of the people was punished with death."
The constitutions of Rome and Athens were excellent- the decress of the senate had the force of laws for the space of a year, but did not become perpetual till they were ratified by the consent of the people.
...but in a republic, where a private citizen has obtained an exorbitant power, the abuse of this power is much greater, because the laws foresaw it not, and consequently made no provision against it.
But the most imperfect of all (types of aristocracies) is that in which the part of the people that obeys is in a state of civil servitude to those who command, as the artistocracy of Poland, where the peasants are slaves to the nobility.
The notion of interfering with domestic politics being a capital offense is rather novel. Surely with China and Arab nations, practical enemies to our way of life, owning so much of our national debt, we are at great risk to rule ourselves. We ought to at least cast off foreign debt!
I especially am fond of the idea that all laws ought to have a short expiration date, unless they are approved by the people. This brings them under constant review and keeps the policians busy digging holes and filling them up again. The actual idea behind this was to allow for a 'proving time' for laws, which is something we lack. They are hardly ever repealed, and then only with great effort. Gridlock is good.

1 comment:

The Unabashed Blogger said...

I like the idea of expiration dates on laws.