Outwardly the immaturity of Public Law can most easily be recognized perhaps in the fact that it has lagged behind Private Law in systematization. International Law is still more backward. Intercourse between nations still recognizes arbitrary violence as a solution permissible under certain conditions whereas, on the remaining ground regulated by Public Law, arbitrary violence in the form of revolution stands, even though not effectively suppressed, outside the Law. In the domain of Private Law this violence is wholly illegal except as an act of defence, when it is permitted under exceptional circumstances as a gesture of legal protection.
The only conceivable manner in which such nonsense might have been composed is a very strong desire to make the fallacious notion that exclusion of violence from human affairs is either possible or desirable stand on evidence, coupled with a complete ignorance of the fields discussed. Not slight ignorance, but complete and quite marauding ignorance as an anticultural tenet.
For one thing, violence among individuals is not, nor was it ever, nor will it ever be "wholly" illegal. Assault and battery are illegal, as the various countries variously define them. Nevertheless boxing is still a sport, disobedient children and wives still get spanked, and more notably using deadly force to overpower an assailant is still perfectly legal as a for instance, which exactly matches the rights afforded states : starting a war is not legal by international law, responding to foreign aggression is quite legal. This equality is neatly mirrored in the public sphere, inasmuch as citizen arrests and jury nullifications are still things, lawful resistence to statal agents acting under color of law is still just as lawful as it always was and so on. Ignoring the visibly drunk policeman, or the guy clearly dressed up in a costume or otherwise failing to pass himself for a policeman, and tying them up while waiting for reinforcements if they become belligerent are still today quite as legal as they ever were. Somehow mixing revolution into all this couldn't have less footing : for one thing of course it wouldn't be legal, for the other nobody cares if it's legal or not anymore than the guy contemplating suicide is interested to find if his suicide is legal or not, any more than the coallition aiming to oust Gaddafi is interested to hear if Gaddafi's own courts think the notion legally permissible.
It is only slowly and with difficulty that the idea of Law triumphs. Only slowly and with difficulty does it rebut the principle of violence.
Sure, just like only slowly and with difficulty does the idea of the perpetuum mobile triumph, and only slowly and with difficulty does it rebut the various principles of thermodynamics. We wish it, of course, good fucking luck.
Of the ancient Germans Tacitus relates: "Pigrum quin immo et iners videtur sudore adquirere quod possis sanguine parare." (It seems feckless, nay more, even slothful, to acquire something by toil and sweat which you could grab by the shedding of blood.) It is a far cry from this view to the views that dominate modern economic life.
Not at all. The only thing that has changed, for as far as the industrial revolution has carried, was that inequality. For as long as this recent and precarious situation holds where it's cheaper to make than to take, naive people of all persuasions may indulge in the fictitious workings of their utopian ideas, much in the manner a large Honnecourt wheeli may appear to indeed be moving of its own accord in hurricane level winds. Once the storm settles down we'll be back to exactly where we were, which is to say "take the cheaper alternative should it causes the sky to fall". Verily, we've never left it, ask any consumer goods merchant or producer.
This contrast of view transcends the problems of ownership, and embraces our whole attitude to life. It is the contrast between a feudal and a bourgeois way of thought. The first expresses itself in romantic poetry, whose beauty delights us, though its view of life can carry us away only in passing moments and while the impression of the poetry is fresh. The second is developed in the liberal social philosophy into a great system, in the construction of which the finest minds of all ages have collaborated. Its grandeur is reflected in classical literature. In Liberalism humanity becomes conscious of the powers which guide its development. The darkness which lay over the paths of history recedes. Man begins to understand social life and allows it to develop consciously.
Yeah, which is why the grandiose system of grandeur failed to produce a Shakespeare or a Cervantes or a Villion or anything worth the mention, three centuries later, in spite of somewhat promising beginnings wherein people mistook the consumption of the last shreds of feudal nourishment for some sort of internal production of the otherwise barren bourgeois "thought".
"Liberalism", as the excited gentleman imagines it, is nothing but a very poor restatement of long ridiculed religious pseudo-ideas, which for all the effort of not particularly talented, not particularly comprehending and not particularly intelligent multitudes have yet to be lifted two inches out of the mud. It certainly doesn't quite yet present any sort of competition for the much subtler notions of the unchristian antiquity. Liberalism as it actually is defined, in sharp contrast to the socialist views of Ludwig von Mises, is simply the proposition that the agents themselves are the best judges of which kind of violence is best applied to which one of them, and when and how much of it. This, of course, is a sound idea, which explains the constant attempts of the utopian ivy to try and pass itself as "the same, only better".———
- That thing with the hammers, based on misunderstanding how kinetic mommentum works to distinguish an actual wheel in motion from the drawing of a static wheel. [↩]