Principles, or laws, cannot be established until AFTER men are observed to have “violated them” (in quotes because I know this looks contradictory).
Let me explain:
A law which has never been violated is irrelevant. In which case, it isn’t a law at all. Because an abstract concept, like “law”, which is irrelevant can serve no purpose. And an abstract concept which serves no purpose cannot legitimately be defined. Thus, a law which has never been broken does not exist in any relevant or practical sense.
Now, before I go any further let me state that it is not a violation of LAW to violate another individual…and by “violate” I mean theft, violence, murder, exploitation, and fraud….the usual criteria for men who destroy other men for personal gain of any kind. That is, violation of another individual is a moral, not a legal violation. And this violation is the kind that matters, for it violates that Thing which serves as the primary reference for ALL ethics–man’s Self–and not an irrelevant abstract concept like “law”, or “rules”. More on this later in the article.
This being true (that laws which are not broken do not exist, which means that laws themselves are an arbitrary fabrication), then laws are established on this arbitrary basis:
Someone observes someone else doing something of which they do not approve. In order to compel that person into “right” behavior (which is a subjective moral standard), they establish a “law”‘or “rule” and threaten violence (usually by the “authority” of a centralized coercive Authority, like the State) if this law or rule is violated…law which until someone’s subjective sensibilities were offended, did not exist. And still doesn’t, except, again, as an arbitrary extension of one’s subjective sensibilities.
Once you draw the rational line from this fact to the “metaphysical” or “ontological” nature of law, it is revealed that laws, at their root, are necessarily a purely subjective and arguably artificial means of restricting human behavior, and for no purpose other than to serve as a purely abstract ethical standard to satisfy subjective opinions and ideals and which ultimately can only be enforced by threat and violence at the hands of a centralized “authority” established to assert them.
Now, at this point I am certain that some of you are thinking that laws are not in fact subjective, and not fundamentally irrational or abstract because they, when “legitimately” leveled, are established to affirm and protect the individual. But this is a fallacy, and is not rationally consistent in the least. Rather, it is a sophist assertion designed to lull individuals into voluntarily accepting limitations to their own right to self and self-ownership, and (arguably most importantly) economic autonomy.
My argument is this: laws do not and cannot exist FOR man. First, because man PRECEDES them; second, because man is NOT abstract but IS; and third, because man can only (and is ALWAYS) be compelled by force or artifice/fraud (including sophism) to obey them.
To point number three, here’s why:
If man obeys laws because they are fundamentally good for him–that is, the entirety of their moral and rational value is that they affirm the existence and life of man and his right to self-ownership and economic autonomy–then HE is the ethical standard, not the law. And thus, the law is necessarily subordinated to HIM. And this then renders laws pointless with respect to man–which is to say, with respect to reality, since it is only in the context of man’s existence that laws have any relevancy, even in the subjective and abstract sense of which they are applied in society today. Violations of MAN, then, not the law, are ethical and moral offenses, since the law categorically receives value as a direct function of man’s life. Violations of law are not moral violations. Thus, only violations of people can objectively be declared wrong. Violations of law cannot be declared objectively anything because they are abstract, and most of all, utterly irrelevant within the context for which they are intended. In other words, “law”, again, is a useless concept.
Let’s take “speeding” for an example.
A person cannot break a law of speeding because a “speed limit” does not exist–it is an abstraction. And yet, the government is granted power to bind all men to the “law” of “speed limits” which doesn’t and don’t actually exist, in which case it cannot actually bind men at all. So the LAW is nothing. It is government which forces people not to the law, but to the opinions of others–those who have decided that there must be a sanction on the speed of others. And yet, even the opinions of these others is ultimately irrelevant. Because the law is affirmed by the violence of the State, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks at any given moment. Once government claims or is granted authority to compel humanity by violence, the notion of “law” as a function of the “people’s will” or “people’s good” is moot. Violence, by definition, always trumps the will of those upon whom it is leveled. And so law enforced by the State is merely the State compelling behavior for the State’s sake. Period. And the idea that the State-an abstraction in its own right–can legitimately, or can somehow rationally and morally use violence to compel the behavior of men, makes men existentially (ontologically/metaphysically) subordinate to it.
And thus, if we extend this rationale to man’s metaphysical context, man must be by nature immoral, since the State is that which is established to force man into moral, or lawful, behavior. Man alone, on his own, left to himself, cannot obey the law, since it is a function of the State, and if man could obey he law he would not need to be forced to it, which means that it, and force, and the State, would be irrelevant and pointless and could never practically manifest. Thus, as soon as we establish the law we must establish the State…not as an extension of man in order to ensure his freedom, but because man needs governing. He needs governing because he is, by nature, NOT a law-maker but a law breaker.
Am I suggesting that we become a “lawless” society? Am I advising people to no longer recognize the law in a practical sense? Not at all. For it is preferable in a very practical sense to obey the State than to resist it, and I by far recommend this course of action when doing so is not a direct violation of another individual, which, in the U.S., where I am, thankfully remains the case.
However, I am suggesting that we re-examine the popular metaphysical assumptions about man and then re-evaluate our ideas about how he should be left to live his life; and an examination of the relevancy, legitimacy, and morality of “law” is a substantive part of this process.