At the time that Locke wrote, natural law was about to become customary law, because the state was disarmed and the people armed. For the most part the common law of Locke's time was already consistent with natural law, but on some matters judges had to perform contortions to render the form of common law consistent with the substance of natural law. Much common law came from Roman law, and the law of the late roman empire was often quite contrary to natural law. Freedom of association is a right under natural law, a crime under Roman law. Under the law of the roman empire any association not compulsory was forbidden. In order to avoid repudiating roman law without violating natural law, the English courts had to perform elaborate contortions, and today the 59th sole prerogative of the holy roman emperor still lives on in America, in the form of the concession theory, which holds that a corporation is a part of the state, a portion of state power in private hands. This bizarre and convoluted legal fiction is highly inconvenient for businessmen, vastly lucrative for lawyers, and is a dangerously potent weapon in the hands of irresponsible bureaucrats and lawless judges.
In the west, for the last four hundred years, society been shaped by ideas, with a lag of roughly one human lifetime between the idea and the social order. Today statism continues to grow at an ever accelerating rate, but the rationalizations that justified statism are no longer believed. The professors can fail students who disagree with them, but they can no longer convince. One can now endorse facts that tend to support natural law in a university without facing physical danger, which was not the case ten years ago. E.O. Wilson was physically attacked because his work could imply that some social orders were natural and some unnatural. Tooby and Cosmides were not attacked. The professors still summon the mob to attack the unbelievers, but the mob no longer comes.
The Commonwealth and Malaysia Essay Examples
The Soviet Union used the religion of communism to give their state cohesion, while the state obliterated civil society and physically exterminated the kulaks (the Russian equivalent of the English yeoman). When the rulers had faith, they were a danger to their neighbors. When they lost their faith their empire eventually fell, and their statist society is collapsing as I write, showing that democracy without economic liberty is worthless and unworkable, whilst Chile, Taiwan, and Thailand show that economic liberty eventually leads to all other liberties, because most natural rights are derived from the right to property. A civil society can only exist if there is a reasonable degree of economic freedom, if property rights are respected.