Good Laws are Few

Laura Wood writes:

… it is precisely because this revolution [of homosexual “marriage”] is not the success it appears to be that it must be accompanied by tyrannical measures. That’s the way it must be. The more society diverges from the Natural Law, the more oppressive it must become.

Or – to turn raw naïve libertarianism on its head, and so distinguish it from tradition in such a way as to show whence it comes, and where it ought properly to tend – that government is least which governs best.

A sovereign cannot attain the sum of good government by recusing himself from all rule, for man is wayward and short-sighted, and so needs law to guide him more quickly and easily toward the destination whence nature and her God tend anyway to push him. But if his laws accord with Nature and her Laws, the sovereign won’t need very many of them to get the job done (or therefore many police, judges, or prisons), and nor will anyone feel particularly oppressed or troubled by them, because they will after all only help men discover that comfort of moral and practical agreement with reality which they naturally seek. A good law, that agrees with human nature, is no more troublesome to men, and no harder to enforce, than the convention that everyone should drive on the right side of the road. It is only bad law – law that tries to push men to act in ways that under Heaven they ought not to act, and which their natures therefore resist – that fails to govern them the way that it would, and so needs ever more laws, ever more police, and ever stiffer punishments. In the limit, you get persecution over microaggressions: utter totalitarian tyranny.

21 thoughts on “Good Laws are Few

  1. Pingback: Good Laws are Few | Neoreactive

  2. It’s not just the laws imposed by a bad civil authority that are germane to this. The howling mobs of social media are a part of this, as well. As things stand at the moment, it looks as though the bad guys have won the culture wars. That means that they own this mess. That means that they must make an account of the spread betwixt consensus reality and the evidence of our — and their — lying eyes.

    Hence, the social justice bullies on Twitter and Tumblr. Hence, the search for ever smaller, ever subtler, quanta of “bigotry.” They cannot give an inch lest they do to the Revolution what Mikhail Gorbachev did (though I doubt that they think of it in those terms). In this lies some hope for us.

    The Left is a coalition of factions united by the prospect of plundering their betters. They do not all adhere to the same set of unprincipled exceptions. Thus, the jockeying of the various otherkin and other groups on Tumblr, each demanding that their identities not be “erased.” As the Revolution progresses, the friction will grow.

    Take the case of Rachel Dolezal, for instance. This should be a hill for the Left to die on, which is why the media will probably shove the story down the memory hole as soon as they can. To the extent that we can, we should keep the story alive.

    The Cool People(tm) tell us that race and gender are social constructs; meaning that they are concepts with no necessary foundation outside of the human mind. Furthermore, the Left holds that these concepts are — depending on context — superfluous or pernicious for properly understanding or fairly dealing with people. Therefore, it is praiseworthy to “deconstruct” them; i.e., make brutal sport of customs and mores connected with race & sex in a way that would make their betters laugh or gag.

    It follows that Rachel Dolezal did nothing wrong. There is no principled objection to her desire to be black. If this be permitted, then white people will be able to take advantage of affirmative action and other set asides. Black people will not have this. If transracialism is valid, then the Leftist coalition cracks.

    But if transracialism is denied, then transgenderism must follow, for they proceed from the same principles. Now things get interesting.

    Transgenderism is the logical outgrowth of the acceptance of homosexuality. The acceptance of homosexuality is the logical outgrowth of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The sexual revolution of the 1960s is the logical outcome of egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is a core, non-negotiable tenet of the Enlightenment.

    The logic proceeds like a rip in nylon running up a woman’s (and Bruce Jenner’s) pantyhose. If the antecedent necessarily implies the consequent and the consequent be false, then the antecedent must be false. Logic has no pity. Therefore, the Enlightenment flies or falls on this issue.

    Therefore, the Cool People(tm) will try to bury it. This is not a debate; it’s a fight. Expert hate-poasters agree[1]: “The real reason why transracialism doesn’t exist but transgenderism does is that transracialism does nothing to normalize deviancy.”

    We should not let them bury it. We should make it a joke which we use to break the ice with strangers. We should make image macros out of it and send them to our friends and family on Facebook. It should be a talking point in debates.

    [1] http://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/8471-low-effort-transracialist-busted/page__st__100#entry208817

    • They do not all adhere to the same set of unprincipled exceptions.

      Nailed it!

      Your logic is unassailable, except to those, such as our adversaries, who do not recognize the suzerainty of logic – which is, you know, so *linear.*

      • It’s good to theorize and describe what the Left does and why it is wrong. We also need to come up with things to do. We need to come up with tactics and strategy with which to fight and defeat them. Home-schooling is the best weapon that we have, right now. We need more.

        Since the Leftists do not all adhere to the same set of unprincipled exceptions, then it should be possible to set different factions of the Leftist coalition against each other. The press will seek to counter-act this. We need to take that into account, too. It will take them some time to come up with a narrative that papers over the contradictions, so we need to be fast. We have to work inside of their OODA loop. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop

        Spreading memes (i.e., Internet fads & jokes) is something that will make issues stick in people’s minds. Trolling is another. In my previous comment, I made a link to My Posting Career. That forum is crass, obscene, and filthy, at times (it’s a descendant of Something Awful, the same website that spawned 4chan), but they have successfully trolled Leftists to the point of giving them fits. Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev) is a white nationalist who, no doubt, disagrees with us on several issues, but he is a master troll whose exploits against Leftists are so good that it would take a heart of stone not to laugh and cheer him on.

        The enemy will give us no rest. Therefore, the enemy deserves no rest.

        Here’s another idea: just as we have home-schooling as an alternative to public schools, we should come up with a parallel health care system as an alternative to Obamacare. I’m sure that there are plenty of doctors who’d be open to the idea. I’m just putting this idea out there, for discussion.

        It’s time to act.

      • Check out Medi-Share: health care cost sharing (essentially a mutual insurance company) for Christians. No coverage for abortion, sex change, or the like. Because Christians live more upright lives than average, the pool of insureds is healthier than average, so costs are much lower than at a normal insurer. Still legal under Obamacare – for the time being.

    • “That means that they own this mess. That means that they must make an account…”

      It means that only to you. You and they are not alike. They will legalize gay marriage but will not legalize polygamy. There is no slippery slope for them because they do not follow slopes. Slopes are linear, or at least ordered/relative according to the laws of friction, gravity, and space. Their ways are disordered and not according of such natural laws.

      There is no slippery slope with their laws because there are no laws with them. There are only judges. And those judges use nothing more than fashions in personal opinion.

      There will be no accounting with them. They will do as they please and then blame whoever they please.

  3. Pingback: Good Laws are Few | Reaction Times

  4. Another great article. The distinction between Traditional dictators and Modern dictators is a good way to make a Conservative think. It is a historical fact that dictators interested in an all-expansive state only arose in the wake of the Enlightenment. The governments of the last 100 years, themselves a product of the Enlightenment’s inevitable outcomes, have dwarfed those of any monarch in history.

    The laws of the past were ‘restrictive’ and ‘oppressive’, and yet today we have more laws than ever before! What the entire span of human history shows is that if you really want a small, effective government, your best bet is an absolute monarch. Better my tax dollars go to the construction of a grand palace than go to something like the DOE which has its sole purpose, indoctrinating children against Tradition.

  5. Channeling Rene Girard, I have written a number of times at The Orthosphere and elsewhere that there is no horizon beyond Christianity and that a polity that thinks it can transcend Christianity (and the Natural Law) into a fancy utopia will invariably regress – not progress – into pre-Christian social forms, especially sacrifice. The cake-makers recently singled out and then hounded into poverty by two LGBT bullies are sacrificial victims. The teenagers humiliated into despondency are sacrificial victims. The only purpose of 2000-page laws (Obamacare) and secret laws (the Trade Agreement) is to set traps to make victims. Liberalism, like its ally Islam, requires endless victims; it has an Aztec appetite for victims.

  6. “The more society diverges from the Natural Law, the more oppressive it must become.”

    This sounds like one of Auster’s laws, like his majority-minority relations law.

  7. Another one the Left appears to have fits with is the woman MMA fighter. On one hand, women can & should do the same things men do and people can obviously change gender since we’re all self-defining and gender is a social construct anyway. At the same time it’s really horrible to see what they know in their hearts is a man beating women half-to-death especially since men have always been little more than abusers with women their victims.
    It would be fun to watch the Left self-implode if they weren’t dragging us to hell with them.

    • Yes, Fallon Fox is his name. Rhonda Rousey (female fighter) and Joe Rogan (comedian) tried to make some claims as to the unfairness of it all, but avoided the true reasoning required to send Fallon Fox where he belongs: the looney bin. They claimed that Fox’s bone density is too high to fight with girls. Fox responded that black women have a higher bone density as well, therefore their desire to segregate transgender fighters is identical to a desire to segregate black women in fighting!

      • Little surprise that Fallon Fox is an atheist. I read up on his story – he appeared to be a more productive individual before his breasts and hair implants. His story said that pressure from his religious conservative family – to be hetero – made him marry, have a kid and then join the military. After he dropped out of college after his service he was a truck driver. Now? A Transgendered MMA fighter. Yep, definitely preferred the old Fox.

  8. I think making the discussion about “tyranny” still plays too much into the liberal narrative. A traditionalist order would not necessarily mean less laws. One can look at the Visigoth Code laws on marriage-http://libro.uca.edu/vcode/visigoths.htm

    Even by most modern standards, the Code is long and intricate.

    Similarly, I would imagine a traditional order would have many rules regulating the family, perhaps many more than are on the books today. Ideally these laws and rules would be dispersed among such bodies as the local municipalities, guilds and the Church. Some would be customary with the end result being that most of the laws effecting the average family would not emanate solely from the state.

    Along with Kristor, I would also distinguish this from some libertarian theories that talk about such nonsense as “private” or “market-based” law. In the ideal order most families would not “contract into” adopting these rules.

    • Oh, indeed. I did some cursory research into lex talionis in ancient Babylon and among the Saxons a few years ago, and I was amazed at how complex the law codes were. Part of this amazement was of course due to my own temporal parochialism. We think of the Saxons and the Babylonians as simple compared to us, but in fact they were every bit as intelligent and complex as we are, if not more so, and their legal systems had been evolving for a thousand years by the time any part of them was written down for us to read; so that it would be odd indeed if their codes were not every bit as ramified and volute as our own.

      Most of the ancient law codes actually seem to be records of juridical decisions – of, i.e., judicial precedent such as gave organic genesis to the Common Law – rather than formal edicts.

      It is an interesting question then how many of these laws are just records of the common sentiment among the Babylonians and the Saxons about what is right, derived from ancient custom – and, ergo, the Tao – that then informed the wise old heads that generally had to do the adjudication. The same question could apply to our laws. Many of them certainly *do* accord with the Natural Law.

      But the difference is that most of our laws *are* formal edicts, devised in the ivory tower of a legislature that looks to some utopia or other – or to warring utopias – rather than arising from the hurly burly of judges doing their best to apply the precedents that all the actors who come before them have presumably been relying upon in disparate or contradictory fashion.

      I did not in any case mean to make the post about tyranny so much as about bad law, which as ill-fitted to reality is bound to metastasize disordinately, taking over more and more of quotidian life, and queering even its tiniest, most intimate details. When people object to tyranny, it is not I think the sheer number of laws that irks them so much as the discomfiture of the laws to life as lived.

      Nevertheless it is plain to me that true laws, that resonate and harmonize with the Natural Law, will simply work better than false laws, and that their greater efficiency will find formal expression in much slimmer law books than we now suffer today. One needs less of what works better.

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  13. Hi Kristor,

    I think laws largely evolved out of personal revenge systems. I look at it from a secular angle, but I think from the Christian angle Rene Girard is saying something similar with his mimetic violence theory. It is largely the state taking over the role of the vengeance enactor in order to break the chain.

    This would predict a largely libertarian state – do what you want except not harm others. To a certain extent even traditional sexual mores can fit into this – one could say it is largely about preventing fathers from enacting revenge on the seducers of their daughters.

    Yet if you look at the whole of what Christians consider natural law, you will see a fairly big gap between that and vengeance theory / libertarian state. And precisely this is the gap that is difficult to enforce.

    As long as young people live independently and separate from their parents, having an income, and having random sex with each other, gay or straight, trying to enforce anything about that would be like the proverbial putting the worms back into the can.

    It would only work if you could engineer a society where individuals cannot practically live individually, where they always live with their parents family or their own family.

    I think straight sexuality could only be controlled where women were always dependents. And gay sexuality not even then.

    How exactly would a society make it easy to enforce a ban on gay males who live an independent life, earn an income, and spend their free time together? You can make women dependents of families, but men surely not, young men are far too adventurous to accept not taking a few years of independence between being a boy and being a husband.

    I think your easy-to-enforce-means-natural-law seriously breaks at precisely this point: i.e. what young males do with each other.

    Let me put it differently. I think your theory means if your law is close to natural law, everybody who is a law-breaker is generally loathed, excommunicated and outcast by society more or less automatically, even if the society is not Christian. This is precisely what is not happening with this.

    • Good points, all. One of the problems we now face is that we are saddled with hundreds of regulations and laws that make it illegal for us to discriminate between people, when society cannot proceed in the first place except on the basis of such discriminations. Discrimination is a sine qua non of human existence. This is to say that it is Natural and Lawful for humans to discriminate amongst each other. The Left is adamantly against discrimination. To quash it they need tyranny.

      If we were allowed to discriminate ad libitum, then many social and sexual pathologies would find themselves discriminated against, because people naturally find them revolting – or, at least, not preferable (does anyone *like* divorce?). So they would occur less, at the margin. Year by year, their incidence would decline, by just a bit. And this process would compound, to their detriment.

      Pathologies would also tend to cluster. Some would refuse to discriminate against x. Those who found x disgusting would then discriminate against x, but also against those who tolerate x. Those who tolerate x, and those who indulge in x, would then cluster together. This tends to happen anyway: people naturally sort themselves into clusters of like mind and body, like cult and culture. Discrimination would speed and intensify this sorting. And then the polities where pathologies were popular would tend more and more to pathology, so that they would more and more falter and fail, riddled with disease and disorder of one sort or another. Provided they were allowed to fail by supersidiary political institutions, pathological polities would tend to wither and die. Over time, only the most robust polities, that were most congruent with reality and her laws, would prevail, and preponderate.

      The whole process would be automatic, if we just allowed people to sort themselves as they wished.

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