Un-Seen Monopolies: Law
Chapter 1: Law (Social Contracts VS State Legislation)
For as long as I can remember, I have been keen to write about the un-seen monopolies that facilitate the grinding of the machines of the system that rules over us. I shall explore into the epistemology (belief, truth & justification) of each of these and shine light on the inefficiencies caused by the coercive monopolization of these services by the State. My busy schedule however has prevented me from achieving this goal, up till now.
I got inspired to pen this first part after an interesting, but short lived, dialogue with a close friend of mine, a lawyer by profession, on the concepts of natural law (social contracts) versus perverted law (State legislation) and the impact of coercive monopolization of legislative and judicial services on the societal standards of humanity itself.
The Conversation That Started It All
It all began after a short conversation on how my prior weeks were completely filled up by one of the many bureaucratic processes involving the State. Way too many back and forths’ to even count.
I claimed it was a lot of un-necessary work while she assured me otherwise claiming that these protocols are essential and indeed standard and are to be perceived as “part of my job”. I agreed that it is to be perceived as “part of my job” only because of the threat of violence for non-compliance, but still surely they served no real purpose except to be completely useless regulatory protocols, conjured up by exceptionally worthless bureaucrats, that do nothing more than to waste the time of actually productive individuals with real value that may benefit humanity if used otherwise. The great debacle, that the “drivers license” (permission to hold a piece of plastic) is, is one fine example.
The initial conversation was loosely based around the concept of anti money laundering audits and it started with her proclaiming, “but if we don’t have these systems in place the chances of sham and fraud increases! Of course the State has to ensure that proper checks are in place!”.
This has absolutely nothing to do with sham or fraud, these are anti money laundering regulations – to ensure that the State gets its extortioners’ fee by means of plunder, nothing more I retort. Companies have their own fraud protection protocols and polices in place and that that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the anti money laundering regulations – two very separate issues. I also pointed out that fraud and consumer protection is usually ensured upon the consumers by the self-regulating industry itself usually based on the concepts of game theory – NOT the State.
“What do you mean by extortioners’ fee by means of plunder?” asks the naive lawyer, “Audits are standard procedure and are important!”.
I explain, “By extortioners’ fee I mean taxes, and by plunder robbery at gun point!”. She laughs.
“Slavery was also considered standard procedure,” I continued, “it doesn’t mean that it was moral or righteous. And it wasn’t too long ago either! You do know it was legal and approved and even encouraged by the State – yes?”
She declares, “but that was in Country X, not mine. You mean to say because it is not specifically made illegal it is implied to be legal? Concepts evolve over time and people get more sophisticated, the law has to ensure it keeps up as well. Whilst law and injustice may not be synonymous in other countries (though I won’t be able to comment on that) in my country that is not the case – we have legal aid for people who cannot afford a lawyer so they can get access to the justice system. There are plenty of lawyers who gladly give their time to help in such cases when honestly we don’t really have to”.
I interpose, “the imaginary lines drawn on paper by the political class of occupiers indicating separation matter not. The systems in place are based on the same concepts. I’m implying that the monopolized “legal” system is a waste of time and it merely serves the political class to further their Statist agenda. The problem you point out with the affordability is the very effect of that monopoly! If it were a free market there would be competing services and prices will drop based on the supply/demand balance. In such a system, lawyers wouldn’t have to grant pro bono services. The coercive monopoly of this service is the very cause of this problem, it reduces the options available for the defendant, representation wise and price wise, and forces you to exchange your time for free and not be able to get compensated for it – a lose/lose situation”
“Slavery was legal, in fact it was illegal to hide or assist a slave who was pursuing liberty. The same, for the Jews, during the Nazi era (who by the way were democratically elected – says a lot about the “freedoms” that the democratic political system promises). Both acts of liberty based on morality were considered illegal. Point being, legal is not equal to lawful, two very different words usually and unfortunately, confused by many”, I continue.
She cuts in, “I don’t understand what you are saying, how does the legal system serve only the political class? And the terms lawful and legal – explain the difference if you will please”.
My explanation to her was simple: The judiciary (i.e. The Courts) and the executive legislature (i.e. Parliament) are nothing more than services forcefully monopolized by the State under threat of violence. The problem is the monopoly itself – the State. Natural law and justice are synonymous but perverted law (legislation) and justice, are not.
Natural Law & Perverted Law
As Lysander Spooner coined it, Natural Law – or the “Science of Justice” – wherein acts of initiatory coercion against individuals and their property are unlawful while the so-called “criminal acts” that violated only man-made State legislation are not. The original concept of natural law in society is to prevent injustice and the only acceptable use of force to be in self-defense to prevent injustice – a far cry from what we have today.
A natural law society is basically individuals entering into voluntary social contracts with each other. Perverted law, or coercively monopolized legal societies (what we have presently), is when there is a legislation shoved upon you by the State to abide by regardless of whether you engaged in a voluntary contract or not.
As Frédéric Bastiat so eloquently put it, “It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense”. Legislation has been perverted to serve only the State and its agenda while punishing individuals for no crime whatsoever. Worse still, even lawyers are not aware of this difference between natural law and perverted law. Natural law is always uniform to all bodies (Ie. The law of Thermodynamics)
Everyone is subjected to it, from kingmakers & kings to politicians & law enforcement. May we say that of the perverted law we have today? To put things in perspective I shall quote Johann Kaspar Schmidt, more famously known as Max Stirner:
‘The state calls its own violence “law”, but that of individuals crime. This double standard is the perversion of natural law.’
She defends her point by saying, “It has always been my belief that if you don’t want to get in trouble, don’t break the law. It is really that simple. We must have checks and balances in place for everything or else people can do as they please! I think raising checks and balances on the State is a very good thing and I welcome it”
She continues, “As for your point on the courts being monopolized – I agree. Whilst the judiciary is a function of the state – in the sense that their role is to enforce it as it is stated – the judiciary is also separate from the executive in the sense that the decisions are independent of any extrinsic influence. We take pride in the legal system here in Country X on this very basis. At the end though every department must work hand in hand”
She noted that at the end of the day it’s easy to sit back and criticize the system but it is harder to be the one introducing and implementing measures for the country. Rather than criticizing, people should step up and do more to help shape the system.
WHAT, THEN, IS LAW?
“If you don’t want to get in trouble then stop breaking the law” – the question then is: What is the law and what is getting in trouble? Is challenging the monopoly getting in trouble? When discussing concepts, lets not limit the ideas to one specific State, lets look at the system as a whole.
What exactly is so wrong with individuals doing as they please? Why is that perceived as such a bad thing? The purpose of the law is to prevent individuals from being as we would like to be? My friend was way off on the assumption that the “one who introduces and implements the measures” is the one who bring about changes. On the contrary, it is the thinkers and the writers who do. The “regulators” read, the ignorant don’t – they vote.
Contrary to her belief, the judiciary mediation process is not a function of the State, it’s a fundamental societal service that is crucial to keep injustice at bay. Monopolizing that service has been one of the great achievements of the leviathan State . And yes, Statism itself is a fairly new concept – we neither always had governments nor will we always have them. What is the actual reason for its existence? What purpose does it serve? It is merely a service that is forced upon individuals by its sword of force & shield of law, and not that of natural but of perverted law that is.
The judiciary (also known as the judicial system or court system) is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary generally does not make law (that is, in a plenary fashion, which is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case. This branch of the state is often tasked with ensuring equal justice under law. It usually consists of a court of final appeal (called the “Supreme court” or “Constitutional court”), together with lower courts – lifted straight from Wiki. The judiciary appears to be there to protect the State, not to uphold natural law.
In Rothbards’ model of a non-hierarchic (anarchic) society, a system of enforcement agencies compete in a free market and are voluntarily supported by consumers who choose to use their protective and judicial services. Capitalism would mean the end of the State monopoly on law.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi,
“the State evil is not the cause but the effect of social evil, just as the sea-waves are the effect not the cause of the storm. The only way of curing the disease is by removing the cause itself. The way to achieve such a state of total nonviolence (ahimsa) is to start by changing the people’s minds rather than changing the State which governs people. Self-governance (swaraj) is the principle behind his theory of satyagraha. This swaraj starts from the individual, then moves outward to the village level, and then to the national level; the basic principle is the moral autonomy of the individual is above all other considerations”.
Ignorance of The Law is no excuse, ‘The Law’ by Frédéric Bastiat.
Political Philosophy, Economic Philosopy, Technology (Bitcoin)