The Rule of Law?

Posted by Wonky 7 years, 11 months ago to Philosophy
8 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

I have no qualifications through which to establish the value or relevance of my thoughts on this subject, and as such present them not as a teacher to a student, but rather, as an idiot to my betters who may vet them in accordance with their own patience and/or determination.

In my line of work, the word "proxy" has an explicit meaning. A "proxy" server hides the identity of 2 interacting parties from one another, while sometimes, (secondarily) logging those interactions. There is nothing to stop a given proxy server from altering the format or meaning of a given stream of information, but many proxy servers are selective in the information and/or the sources of information that they allow or block.

We live under a form of government (a republic), where conflict is resolved by proxy. Those directly engaged in conflict or disagreement do not determine one another's fate through their own judgement, but rather, submit their judgements to a judicial body, which may include a jury, for the consideration of an ostensibly impartial individual or group of individuals. The simplest justification for this "judgement by proxy" is that we all inherently understand that our emotional investment in a given conflict is detrimental to our ability to argue our case; and we also understand that consistency (fairness) in the judgement represents the last bastion of defense against frivolous prosecution. Simply put, we submit to the rule of law (judgement by proxy) as much to defend ourselves from the emotional whims of those whom we offend, and if we are honest, to defend others from our own emotional whims.

I would wager that the vast majority of users of this site understand that "our" form of government was not intended to be democracy. The whims (yes, whims) of the majority are well known to us. We look at fad, fashion, and tradition and see that the whims of the majority are no less emotional (even arguably more emotional) than the whims of individuals. A democracy attempting to enact the will of the majority is, at best, always behind the blazing fast speed of fashion, and at worst, still murdering the individuals that were unpopular yesterday and yet popular today. It is a common belief that democracy ultimately leads to oligarchy (the rule of a few individuals) in some form or other.

Even in the most comprehensive delivery of the philosophy of Objectivism (which IMHO is "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" by Leonard Peikoff), if memory serves, no explicit endorsement is given to republicanism. We are presented with the philosophical conclusion that men (rational animals) thrive under capitalism and self-restrained government limited to explicit functions.

Does anyone disagree that republicanism as I have defined it (the rule of law resulting in judgement by proxy) and capitalism are the optimal conditions under which men thrive? If so, why?

Add Comment


All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by MattFranke 7 years, 11 months ago
    I recently finished Objectivism, and I would agree with your statement, that Rand's definition of capitalism could only flourish under a strictly limited government, with no power other than to PROTECT property and rights. She says herself that her definition of Capitalism has never existed in history, though it could still be possible. I have no doubt that it is.
    Democracy is nothing more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. It is code for collectivism in America. People that use the term are either ignorant or willfully misleading.
    For that sake of brevity, let's refer to the proper system of government as a Capitalist Republic; and I supposed I think it would be a superior condition for men to thrive primarily because it allows men to think and to act freely. Their are only two means that men have to deal with each other, reason and force. Force can be best described as anything which one entity uses against another to prevent the use of his mind, his reason, from determining what is in his best self-interest. By removing the element of force, man's mind is free to live up to its potential.
    While to most of us the term "republic" means "rule of law", it should be noted with caution the most of the 'republics' in the world today are commie crap-holes, and therefore the term is by no means synonymous with good law.
    If a true Capitalist Republic came into existence anywhere in the world, you can bet your last dollar that I will be packing and on my way ASAP, as would a tidal wave of people, I'm sure.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by Lucky 7 years, 11 months ago
      I like this post, but,
      " only two means that men have to deal with each other,"
      surely not as there is emotion, a very powerful method -I think for the most part unfortunate but there it is.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by MattFranke 7 years, 11 months ago
        Attempting to manipulate a persons reasoning; whether through lying, or though emotional arm twisting, is seeking to negate their mind and is simply another form of force in my opinion. It's nobodies fault but my own if I let my emotions (or someone else's) run over my reason.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
    • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 11 months ago
      While I agree that every successful nation must have capitalism as its foundation, I do not believe that the system Ayn Rand described would be a workable or effective way of maintaining freedom or prosperity.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by MattFranke 7 years, 11 months ago
        So what do you propose that a nation would build on top of a capitalistic foundation that is not capitalism? Do you mean some kind of mixed-economy with capitalism used to hold up collectivist society of sorts? I believe that is what we have now; basically the opposite approach of the Chinese using a capitalistic framework with which to hoist collectivism from the muck.
        That dog just won't hunt. Neither system can stand for long; and even if it did, I don't want nothing to do with it either way. Yet I am forced.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
        • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 11 months ago
          I actually don't have a huge problem with the current structure of government. There are some policies I would like to see change, but I don't think I would change the system itself. But here's what I would like to see happen:

          * Eliminate government welfare.
          * Eliminate the minimum wage.
          * Eliminate the Federal Reserve.
          * Put the U.S. dollar back on the gold standard.
          * Legalize all drugs, and treat drug abuse as a medical problem rather than a crime.
          * Legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, and implement anti-discrimination legislation.
          * Eliminate outcome based education in schools and go back to traditional education.

          Other than that, I don't think I would really change much about the current system. There is a great deal of concern about the issue of healthcare, but I don't see a simple solution to that, so I'm not sure what I would change there.

          Overall, I think we really do have an excellent system, and it would be a shame to throw that system away when it's really just some bad policies that are causing all the trouble, especially when there's no guarantee that a new system would be any better or that it would prevent bad policies from being implemented.

          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 11 months ago
    Wonky, I find a lot to agree with your post and interest in your composition, but I have some question or doubt with the following:
    >>"Simply put, we submit to the rule of law (judgement by proxy)"<<
    I find myself much more comfortable with a more normal definition of the term, rule of law, which in general is that all men are subject to the law equally as opposed to divine law of kings or rulers. I agree that our judicial system in our republic is well described as 'judgement by proxy' but only if under 'the rule of law' as an ideal, but there's more to it IMHO.

    I'm also uncomfortable with the phrase 'we submit to.' In my mind it's the government, including the judicial, which submits to 'the rule of law.' We as individuals MAY choose to submit our conflicts, which arise from voluntary interaction in business or personally, to 'judgement by proxy,' or the government, representing the interest of all the people may require that the individual submit to 'judgement by proxy,' but only if approached and arrived at under 'the rule of law.'

    Nest, we need to decide how to arrive at 'the rule of law,' and how to enforce the same on the government. I think that step then moves us into the area of republicanism vs something else.

    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  


  • Comment hidden. Undo