Law and Justice from Antiquity to Enlightenment

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  1. History of Torture
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It is illogical — in fact, absurd — to assume otherwise. The Choice Before Us This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it: The few plunder the many. Everybody plunders everybody. Nobody plunders anybody. We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism. Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs which alas! Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined.

It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice. Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law force to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion.

The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose? It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free. Enforced Fraternity Destroys Liberty Mr. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.

At this point, I think that I should explain exactly what I mean by the word plunder. I use it in its scientific acceptance — as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed. I say that this act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere.

When the law itself commits this act that it is supposed to suppress, I say that plunder is still committed, and I add that from the point of view of society and welfare, this aggression against rights is even worse. In this case of legal plunder, however, the person who receives the benefits is not responsible for the act of plundering.

The responsibility for this legal plunder rests with the law, the legislator, and society itself. Therein lies the political danger. It is to be regretted that the word plunder is offensive. I have tried in vain to find an inoffensive word, for I would not at any time — especially now — wish to add an irritating word to our dissentions. Thus, whether I am believed or not, I declare that I do not mean to attack the intentions or the morality of anyone. Rather, I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of the suffering.

Three Systems of Plunder The sincerity of those who advocate protectionism, socialism, and communism is not here questioned. Any writer who would do that must be influenced by a political spirit or a political fear. It is to be pointed out, however, that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant in three different stages of its growth. All that can be said is that legal plunder is more visible in communism because it is complete plunder; and in protectionism because the plunder is limited to specific groups and industries.

But sincere or insincere, the intentions of persons are not here under question. In fact, I have already said that legal plunder is based partially on philanthropy, even though it is a false philanthropy. With this explanation, let us examine the value — the origin and the tendency — of this popular aspiration which claims to accomplish the general welfare by general plunder. Law Is Force Since the law organizes justice, the socialists ask why the law should not also organize labor, education, and religion. Why should not law be used for these purposes? Because it could not organize labor, education, and religion without destroying justice.

We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force. When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

Law Is a Negative Concept The harmlessness of the mission performed by law and lawful defense is self-evident; the usefulness is obvious; and the legitimacy cannot be disputed. As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign , is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice , instead of justice, that has an existence of its own.

Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent. But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed — then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills; the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare, to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.

Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice. The Political Approach When a politician views society from the seclusion of his office, he is struck by the spectacle of the inequality that he sees.

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History of Torture

He deplores the deprivations which are the lot of so many of our brothers, deprivations which appear to be even sadder when contrasted with luxury and wealth. Perhaps the politician should ask himself whether this state of affairs has not been caused by old conquests and lootings, and by more recent legal plunder.

Perhaps he should consider this proposition: Since all persons seek well-being and perfection, would not a condition of justice be sufficient to cause the greatest efforts toward progress, and the greatest possible equality that is compatible with individual responsibility? Would not this be in accord with the concept of individual responsibility which God has willed in order that mankind may have the choice between vice and virtue, and the resulting punishment and reward?

But the politician never gives this a thought. His mind turns to organizations, combinations, and arrangements — legal or apparently legal.


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He attempts to remedy the evil by increasing and perpetuating the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. We have seen that justice is a negative concept. Is there even one of these positive legal actions that does not contain the principle of plunder? The Law and Charity You say: "There are persons who have no money," and you turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with milk. Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from a source outside the society.

Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder. With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works.

You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice. The Law and Education You say: "There are persons who lack education," and you turn to the law. But the law is not, in itself, a torch of learning which shines its light abroad. The law extends over a society where some persons have knowledge and others do not; where some citizens need to learn, and others can teach.

In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this transaction of teaching-and-learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge.

Law and Justice from Antiquity to Enlightenment

But in this second case, the law commits legal plunder by violating liberty and property. The Law and Morals You say: "Here are persons who are lacking in morality or religion," and you turn to the law. But law is force. And need I point out what a violent and futile effort it is to use force in the matters of morality and religion?

It would seem that socialists, however self-complacent, could not avoid seeing this monstrous legal plunder that results from such systems and such efforts. But what do the socialists do? They cleverly disguise this legal plunder from others — and even from themselves — under the seductive names of fraternity, unity, organization, and association. Because we ask so little from the law — only justice — the socialists thereby assume that we reject fraternity, unity, organization, and association. The socialists brand us with the name individualist.

But we assure the socialists that we repudiate only forced organization, not natural organization. We repudiate the forms of association that are forced upon us, not free association. We repudiate forced fraternity, not true fraternity. We repudiate the artificial unity that does nothing more than deprive persons of individual responsibility. We do not repudiate the natural unity of mankind under Providence. A Confusion of Terms Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society.

As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain. The Influence of Socialist Writers How did politicians ever come to believe this weird idea that the law could be made to produce what it does not contain — the wealth, science, and religion that, in a positive sense, constitute prosperity?

Is it due to the influence of our modern writers on public affairs? Present-day writers — especially those of the socialist school of thought — base their various theories upon one common hypothesis: They divide mankind into two parts. People in general — with the exception of the writer himself — form the first group.

The writer, all alone, forms the second and most important group. Surely this is the weirdest and most conceited notion that ever entered a human brain! In fact, these writers on public affairs begin by supposing that people have within themselves no means of discernment; no motivation to action. The writers assume that people are inert matter, passive particles, motionless atoms, at best a kind of vegetation indifferent to its own manner of existence. They assume that people are susceptible to being shaped — by the will and hand of another person — into an infinite variety of forms, more or less symmetrical, artistic, and perfected.

Moreover, not one of these writers on governmental affairs hesitates to imagine that he himself — under the title of organizer, discoverer, legislator, or founder — is this will and hand, this universal motivating force, this creative power whose sublime mission is to mold these scattered materials — persons — into a society. These socialist writers look upon people in the same manner that the gardener views his trees. Just as the gardener capriciously shapes the trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, vases, fans, and other forms, just so does the socialist writer whimsically shape human beings into groups, series, centers, sub-centers, honeycombs, labor-corps, and other variations.

And just as the gardener needs axes, pruning hooks, saws, and shears to shape his trees, just so does the socialist writer need the force that he can find only in law to shape human beings. For this purpose, he devises tariff laws, tax laws, relief laws, and school laws. The Socialists Wish to Play God Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations.

This is so true that, if by chance, the socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon. The popular idea of trying all systems is well known. And one socialist leader has been known seriously to demand that the Constituent Assembly give him a small district with all its inhabitants, to try his experiments upon. In the same manner, an inventor makes a model before he constructs the full-sized machine; the chemist wastes some chemicals — the farmer wastes some seeds and land — to try out an idea.

But what a difference there is between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his elements, between the farmer and his seeds! And in all sincerity, the socialist thinks that there is the same difference between him and mankind! It is no wonder that the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator's genius.

This idea — the fruit of classical education — has taken possession of all the intellectuals and famous writers of our country. To these intellectuals and writers, the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter. Moreover, even where they have consented to recognize a principle of action in the heart of man — and a principle of discernment in man's intellect — they have considered these gifts from God to be fatal gifts.

They have thought that persons, under the impulse of these two gifts, would fatally tend to ruin themselves. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange. The Socialists Despise Mankind According to these writers, it is indeed fortunate that Heaven has bestowed upon certain men — governors and legislators — the exact opposite inclinations, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the rest of the world!

While mankind tends toward evil, the legislators yearn for good; while mankind advances toward darkness, the legislators aspire for enlightenment; while mankind is drawn toward vice, the legislators are attracted toward virtue. Since they have decided that this is the true state of affairs, they then demand the use of force in order to substitute their own inclinations for those of the human race. Open at random any book on philosophy, politics, or history, and you will probably see how deeply rooted in our country is this idea — the child of classical studies, the mother of socialism.

In all of them, you will probably find this idea that mankind is merely inert matter, receiving life, organization, morality, and prosperity from the power of the state. And even worse, it will be stated that mankind tends toward degeneration, and is stopped from this downward course only by the mysterious hand of the legislator. Conventional classical thought everywhere says that behind passive society there is a concealed power called law or legislator or called by some other terminology that designates some unnamed person or persons of undisputed influence and authority which moves, controls, benefits, and improves mankind.

No one was permitted to be useless to the state. The law assigned to each one his work, which was handed down from father to son. No one was permitted to have two professions. Nor could a person change from one job to another But there was one task to which all were forced to conform: the study of the laws and of wisdom. Ignorance of religion and of the political regulations of the country was not excused under any circumstances. Moreover, each occupation was assigned by whom?

Among the good laws, one of the best was that everyone was trained by whom? As a result of this, Egypt was filled with wonderful inventions, and nothing was neglected that could make life easy and quiet. Thus, according to Bossuet, persons derive nothing from themselves. Patriotism, prosperity, inventions, husbandry, science — all of these are given to the people by the operation of the laws, the rulers. All that the people have to do is to bow to leadership. A Defense of Paternal Government Bossuet carries this idea of the state as the source of all progress even so far as to defend the Egyptians against the charge that they rejected wrestling and music.

He said: How is that possible? These arts were invented by Trismegistus [who was alleged to have been Chancellor to the Egyptian god Osiris]. And again among the Persians, Bossuet claims that all comes from above: One of the first responsibilities of the prince was to encourage agriculture Just as there were offices established for the regulation of armies, just so were there offices for the direction of farm work The Persian people were inspired with an overwhelming respect for royal authority. And according to Bossuet, the Greek people, although exceedingly intelligent, had no sense of personal responsibility; like dogs and horses, they themselves could not have invented the most simple games: The Greeks, naturally intelligent and courageous, had been early cultivated by the kings and settlers who had come from Egypt.

From these Egyptian rulers, the Greek people had learned bodily exercises, foot races , and horse and chariot races But the best thing that the Egyptians had taught the Greeks was to become docile, and to permit themselves to be formed by the law for the public good. The Idea of Passive Mankind It cannot be disputed that these classical theories [advanced by these latter-day teachers, writers, legislators, economists, and philosophers] held that everything came to the people from a source outside themselves.

As another example, take Fenelon [archbishop, author, and instructor to the Duke of Burgundy]. He was a witness to the power of Louis XIV. This, plus the fact that he was nurtured in the classical studies and the admiration of antiquity, naturally caused Fenelon to accept the idea that mankind should be passive; that the misfortunes and the prosperity — vices and virtues — of people are caused by the external influence exercised upon them by the law and the legislators.

Thus, in his Utopia of Salentum , he puts men — with all their interests, faculties, desires, and possessions under the absolute discretion of the legislator. Whatever the issue may be, persons do not decide it for themselves; the prince decides for them. The prince is depicted as the soul of this shapeless mass of people who form the nation. In the prince resides the thought, the foresight, all progress, and the principle of all organization. Thus all responsibility rests with him. The whole of the tenth book of Fenelon's Telemachus proves this.

I refer the reader to it, and content myself with quoting at random from this celebrated work to which, in every other respect, I am the first to pay homage. Socialists Ignore Reason and Facts With the amazing credulity which is typical of the classicists, Fenelon ignores the authority of reason and facts when he attributes the general happiness of the Egyptians, not to their own wisdom but to the wisdom of their kings: We could not turn our eyes to either shore without seeing rich towns and country estates most agreeably located; fields, never fallowed, covered with golden crops every year; meadows full of flocks; workers bending under the weight of the fruit which the earth lavished upon its cultivators; shepherds who made the echoes resound with the soft notes from their pipes and flutes.

He admired the good police regulations in the cities; the justice rendered in favor of the poor against the rich; the sound education of the children in obedience, labor, sobriety, and the love of the arts and letters; the exactness with which all religious ceremonies were performed; the unselfishness, the high regard for honor, the faithfulness to men, and the fear of the gods which every father taught his children. He never stopped admiring the prosperity of the country. Mentor is made to say: All that you see in this wonderful island results from the laws of Minos.

The education which he ordained for the children makes their bodies strong and robust. From the very beginning, one accustoms the children to a life of frugality and labor, because one assumes that all pleasures of the senses weaken both body and mind. Thus one allows them no pleasure except that of becoming invincible by virtue, and of acquiring glory Here one punishes three vices that go unpunished among other people: ingratitude, hypocrisy, and greed.

There is no need to punish persons for pomp and dissipation, for they are unknown in Crete No costly furniture, no magnificent clothing, no delicious feasts, no gilded palaces are permitted. Thus does Mentor prepare his student to mold and to manipulate — doubtless with the best of intentions — the people of Ithaca.

And to convince the student of the wisdom of these ideas, Mentor recites to him the example of Salentum. It is from this sort of philosophy that we receive our first political ideas! We are taught to treat persons much as an instructor in agriculture teaches farmers to prepare and tend the soil.

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A Famous Name and an Evil Idea Now listen to the great Montesquieu on this same subject: To maintain the spirit of commerce, it is necessary that all the laws must favor it. These laws, by proportionately dividing up the fortunes as they are made in commerce, should provide every poor citizen with sufficiently easy circumstances to enable him to work like the others.

These same laws should put every rich citizen in such lowered circumstances as to force him to work in order to keep or to gain. Thus the laws are to dispose of all fortunes! Although real equality is the soul of the state in a democracy, yet this is so difficult to establish that an extreme precision in this matter would not always be desirable.

It is sufficient that there be established a census to reduce or fix these differences in wealth within a certain limit. After this is done, it remains for specific laws to equalize inequality by imposing burdens upon the rich and granting relief to the poor. Here again we find the idea of equalizing fortunes by law, by force.

In Greece, there were two kinds of republics. One, Sparta, was military; the other, Athens, was commercial. In the former, it was desired that the citizens be idle; in the latter, love of labor was encouraged. Note the marvelous genius of these legislators: By debasing all established customs — by mixing the usual concepts of all virtues — they knew in advance that the world would admire their wisdom.

Lycurgus gave stability to his city of Sparta by combining petty thievery with the soul of justice; by combining the most complete bondage with the most extreme liberty; by combining the most atrocious beliefs with the greatest moderation. He appeared to deprive his city of all its resources, arts, commerce, money, and defenses. In Sparta, ambition went without the hope of material reward. Natural affection found no outlet because a man was neither son, husband, nor father. Even chastity was no longer considered becoming. By this road, Lycurgus led Sparta on to greatness and glory.

This boldness which was to be found in the institutions of Greece has been repeated in the midst of the degeneracy and corruption of our modern times. An occasional honest legislator has molded a people in whom integrity appears as natural as courage in the Spartans. William Penn, for example, is a true Lycurgus. Even though Mr. Penn had peace as his objectivity — while Lycurgus had war as his objective they resemble each other in that their moral prestige over free men allowed them to overcome prejudices, to subdue passions, and to lead their respective peoples into new paths.

The country of Paraguay furnishes us with another example [of a people who, for their own good, are molded by their legislators]. Those who desire to establish similar institutions must do as follows: Establish common ownership of property as in the republic of Plato; revere the gods as Plato commanded; prevent foreigners from mingling with the people, in order to preserve the customs; let the state, instead of the citizens, establish commerce. The legislators should supply arts instead of luxuries; they should satisfy needs instead of desires. A Frightful Idea Those who are subject to vulgar infatuation may exclaim: "Montesquieu has said this!

So it's magnificent! It's sublime! I say: What! You have the nerve to call that fine? It is frightful! It is abominable! These random selections from the writings of Montesquieu show that he considers persons, liberties, property — mankind itself — to be nothing but materials for legislators to exercise their wisdom upon. The Leader of the Democrats Now let us examine Rousseau on this subject. This writer on public affairs is the supreme authority of the democrats. And although he bases the social structure upon the will of the people , he has, to a greater extent than anyone else, completely accepted the theory of the total inertness of mankind in the presence of the legislators: If it is true that a great prince is rare, then is it not true that a great legislator is even more rare?

The prince has only to follow the pattern that the legislator creates. The legislator is the mechanic who invents the machine; the prince is merely the workman who sets it in motion. And what part do persons play in all this? They are merely the machine that is set in motion. In fact, are they not merely considered to be the raw material of which the machine is made?

Thus the same relationship exists between the legislator and the prince as exists between the agricultural expert and the farmer; and the relationship between the prince and his subjects is the same as that between the farmer and his land. How high above mankind, then, has this writer on public affairs been placed? Rousseau rules over legislators themselves, and teaches them their trade in these imperious terms: Would you give stability to the state? Then bring the extremes as closely together as possible. Tolerate neither wealthy persons nor beggars.

If the soil is poor or barren, or the country too small for its inhabitants, then turn to industry and arts, and trade these products for the foods that you need On a fertile soil — if you are short of inhabitants — devote all your attention to agriculture, because this multiplies people; banish the arts, because they only serve to depopulate the nation If you have extensive and accessible coast lines, then cover the sea with merchant ships; you will have a brilliant but short existence.

If your seas wash only inaccessible cliffs, let the people be barbarous and eat fish; they will live more quietly — perhaps better — and, most certainly, they will live more happily. In short, and in addition to the maxims that are common to all, every people has its own particular circumstances. And this fact in itself will cause legislation appropriate to the circumstances.

This is the reason why the Hebrews formerly — and, more recently, the Arabs — had religion as their principle objective. The objective of the Athenians was literature; of Carthage and Tyre, commerce; of Rhodes, naval affairs; of Sparta, war; and of Rome, virtue. The author of The Spirit of Laws has shown by what art the legislator should direct his institutions toward each of these objectives But suppose that the legislator mistakes his proper objective, and acts on a principle different from that indicated by the nature of things? Suppose that the selected principle sometimes creates slavery, and sometimes liberty; sometimes wealth, and sometimes population; sometimes peace, and sometimes conquest?

This confusion of objective will slowly enfeeble the law and impair the constitution. The state will be subjected to ceaseless agitations until it is destroyed or changed, and invincible nature regains her empire. But if nature is sufficiently invincible to regain its empire, why does not Rousseau admit that it did not need the legislator to gain it in the first place?

Why does he not see that men, by obeying their own instincts, would turn to farming on fertile soil, and to commerce on an extensive and easily accessible coast, without the interference of a Lycurgus or a Solon or a Rousseau who might easily be mistaken. Socialists Want Forced Conformity Be that as it may, Rousseau invests the creators, organizers, directors, legislators, and controllers of society with a terrible responsibility. He is, therefore, most exacting with them: He who would dare to undertake the political creation of a people ought to believe that he can, in a manner of speaking, transform human nature; transform each individual — who, by himself, is a solitary and perfect whole — into a mere part of a greater whole from which the individual will henceforth receive his life and being.

Thus the person who would undertake the political creation of a people should believe in his ability to alter man's constitution; to strengthen it; to substitute for the physical and independent existence received from nature, an existence which is partial and moral. Poor human nature!

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What would become of a person's dignity if it were entrusted to the followers of Rousseau? Legislators Desire to Mold Mankind Now let us examine Raynal on this subject of mankind being molded by the legislator: The legislator must first consider the climate, the air, and the soil. The resources at his disposal determine his duties. He must first consider his locality.

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A population living on maritime shores must have laws designed for navigation If it is an inland settlement, the legislator must make his plans according to the nature and fertility of the soil It is especially in the distribution of property that the genius of the legislator will be found. As a general rule, when a new colony is established in any country, sufficient land should be given to each man to support his family On an uncultivated island that you are populating with children, you need do nothing but let the seeds of truth germinate along with the development of reason But when you resettle a nation with a past into a new country, the skill of the legislator rests in the policy of permitting the people to retain no injurious opinions and customs which can possibly be cured and corrected.

If you desire to prevent these opinions and customs from becoming permanent, you will secure the second generation by a general system of public education for the children. A prince or a legislator should never establish a colony without first arranging to send wise men along to instruct the youth In a new colony, ample opportunity is open to the careful legislator who desires to purify the customs and manners of the people. If he has virtue and genius, the land and the people at his disposal will inspire his soul with a plan for society.

A writer can only vaguely trace the plan in advance because it is necessarily subject to the instability of all hypotheses; the problem has many forms, complications, and circumstances that are difficult to foresee and settle in detail. Legislators Told How to Manage Men Raynal's instructions to the legislators on how to manage people may be compared to a professor of agriculture lecturing his students: "The climate is the first rule for the farmer. His resources determine his procedure. If his soil is clay, he must do so and so. If his soil is sand, he must act in another manner.

Every facility is open to the farmer who wishes to clear and improve his soil. If he is skillful enough, the manure at his disposal will suggest to him a plan of operation. A professor can only vaguely trace this plan in advance because it is necessarily subject to the instability of all hypotheses; the problem has many forms, complications, and circumstances that are difficult to foresee and settle in detail. Please remember sometimes that this clay, this sand, and this manure which you so arbitrarily dispose of, are men!

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