Un­der­stand­ing Lib­erty

So­lu­tion to Amer­ica’s Over-Leg­is­la­tion and Over-Crim­i­nal­iza­tion

Serve Daily - - LIBERTY SHALL BE MAINTAINED - By Casey Beres

Last month we ex­plored over- leg­is­la­tion and over- crim­i­nal­iza­tion in Amer­ica and their ad­verse af­fects. This month, we will in­ves­ti­gate a so­lu­tion to these prob­lems. As part of the so­lu­tion, we will also ex­am­ine what law ac­tu­ally is, what true crime is, and what rights are.

The so­lu­tion to the prob­lems of over- leg­is­la­tion and over- crim­i­nal­iza­tion and the un­just ef­fects that re­sult is rel­a­tively sim­ple. The so­lu­tion is merely to stop mak­ing so many laws, to stop mak­ing any­thing and ev­ery­thing a crime, and to ed­u­cate one’s self on what rights are. In ad­di­tion, what laws we do make should be writ­ten in the com­mon ver­nac­u­lar, ex­plained us­ing words even the most un­e­d­u­cated per­son could un­der­stand. In or­der to do these things, we must first look at what law ac­tu­ally is, what its pur­pose is, what a true crime is and is not, and what one’s rights ac­tu­ally are.

First, what is law and what is its pur­pose? Laws are eter­nal truths, eter­nal pat­terns if you will, which may at times be over­rid­den by higher laws, but which are never de­stroyed. They may be dis­cov­ered and abided by, but never de­stroyed. Such eter­nal laws are the laws of jus­tice and mercy, nei­ther rob­bing the other; the sanc­tity of life, lib­erty, and prop­erty, all of which are re­quired to pur­sue one’s hap­pi­ness; the law of grav­ity, which may be over­rid­den by the laws of aero­dy­nam­ics, etc. And then there are hu­man laws, which may do noth­ing but reaf­firm the laws of na­ture. These laws of na­ture are eter­nal truths that we can ob­serve and dis­cover via rea­son, logic, and ob­ser­va­tion. And man’s laws sim­ply state these laws of na­ture as be­ing ap­pli­ca­ble to a par­tic­u­lar so­ci­ety who agree to live un­der them, at­tach­ing cer­tain pun­ish­ments equal to the crime of vi­o­lat­ing cer­tain of these nat­u­ral laws. One such ex­am­ple of a man made law that reaf­firms a law of na­ture is the law against mur­der, which car­ries a pun­ish­ment or con­se­quence af­fixed to it for the safety of so­ci­ety and all the in­di­vid­u­als who com­pose it.

What of the pur­poses of man- made laws and govern­ment? The Lev­ellers, John Locke, and the Found­ing Fa­thers, who were influenced heav­ily by the for­mer two, all be­lieved that the end of govern­ment and laws is to pro­tect the rights, lib­erty, and prop­erty of all in­di­vid­u­als agree­ing to live in that so­ci­ety, and to bring to jus­tice the vi­o­la­tors of those rights. They be­lieved that laws, in or­der to be con­sid­ered a law, must be in­her­ently just, and that any un­just law is no law to be­gin with. Thus, any laws that vi­o­late the rights, lib­erty, or prop­erty of in­di­vid­u­als in that so­ci­ety without due process (mean­ing a jury trial prov­ing be­yond a rea­son­able doubt that the in­di­vid­ual is guilty of the crime and thus should be pun­ished) are in­her­ently un­just, and are not in fact laws. Con­sider again the law pro­hibit­ing and pu­n­ish­ing mur­der. It’s an eter­nal truth that each per­son born on earth has a right to not have his life un­justly taken. Thus, the law against mur­der is merely a reaf­fir­ma­tion of this nat­u­ral truth and law, and thus pro­tects the right of men to live. There­fore, such a law is just and there­fore truly a law, fit­ting the ex­press and sole pur­pose of law and govern­ment.

Man can­not create or de­stroy the laws of na­ture. He can only ob­serve, dis­cover, and live by them. Be­cause of this, man can­not ac­tu­ally create new laws. Just be­cause a leg­is­la­ture passes leg­is­la­tion doesn’t mean it is law. The leg­is­la­tion must have the pur­pose of se­cur­ing to each and ev­ery in­di­vid­ual, equally, his/ her equal rights, equal lib­erty, and his/ her hon­estly and justly ac­quired prop­erty. The leg­is­la­tion must not un­justly vi­o­late the rights of in­di­vid­u­als. It can also pun­ish crime, mean­ing the in­ten­tional vi­o­la­tion of the rights of an­other per­son. If the leg­is­la­tion meets these re­quire­ments, it is just, and is there­fore a law. As soon as it be­comes un­just in any­way by vi­o­lat­ing the rights and prop­erty of in­di­vid­u­als, it ceases to be law, and is of no force or effect.

Fi­nally, what is a right? A right is any­thing that a per­son my think, be­lieve, or do that does not vi­o­late the equal rights of an­other hu­man be­ing. It should also be re­mem­bered that ev­ery right has a cor­re­spond­ing duty or re­spon­si­bil­ity in­sep­a­ra­bly con­nected to it, in the very least the re­spon­si­bil­ity of en­sur­ing the pro­tec­tion of the same right to all other peo­ple.

Hav­ing a bet­ter idea of law and its pur­pose, what true crime is, and what rights are, the so­lu­tion to Amer­ica’s prob­lem of over- leg­is­la­tion and over- crim­i­nal­iza­tion is sim­ple: re­duce the laws of a city, county, state, or na­tion, by look­ing at all the laws on the books and de­ter­min­ing whether the laws are ac­tu­ally laws, mean­ing they are in­her­ently just be­cause they pro­tect the rights, lib­erty, and prop­erty of all in­di­vid­u­als equally, en­hanc­ing in­stead of re­strain­ing free­dom. If any law goes against these things, then it must be taken off the law books and no longer be en­forced. When pass­ing a crim­i­nal law, stop and think, is this law pu­n­ish­ing an ac­tual crime, or just an ac­tion or be­lief I don’t like? Is the ac­tion ac­tu­ally crim­i­nal, mean­ing does it pun­ish and pro­hibit an in­ten­tional ac­tion that ac­tu­ally vi­o­lates the rights of oth­ers? If any of these re­quire­ments are miss­ing, it is no crime, and there­fore must not be passed by the leg­is­la­ture. A true crime is an ac­tual, in­ten­tional ac­tion that harms the true rights of oth­ers, or the at­tempt thereof.

We must stop mak­ing laws and declar­ing ac­tions to be crimes willy-nilly, based upon mere likes and dis­likes. This alone will solve the prob­lem of both over- leg­is­la­tion and over- crim­i­nal­iza­tion. Ev­ery­thing else merely per­pet­u­ates or adds to the prob­lem.

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