The Law

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The Principle of Non-Injury. A System of Governance for a Better World. Covers government, commercial law, economics and finance, banking, natural resources and environment, personal liberties and constitution.
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  1 THE LAW The Principle of Non-Injury A System of Governancefor a Better World ______________________________________________________________________________________ The Evolution of Governance The Seeds of Self-DestructionPower versus PeopleLeft versus RightGovernment in Decline The Ideal of Right Law Law and the Divine MindNatural Law in the Middle AgesNatural Law and ConstitutionalismThe Concept of Right Law What is Liberty? Defining and Measuring LibertyLow Intervention, or Laisser-faireHigh Intervention, Socialism/CommunismDefining Maximum Liberty Non-Injury and Government Economics and CommerceNatural Resources and EnvironmentThe Process of GovernanceNon-Aggression as a Way of Life Banking and Finance Gold is Gone, but the Memory Lingers onRegulating Money or Credit QuantityThree Faces of BankingDevelopment Banking Fair Trade: Value for Value Full Employment without InflationPay, Profit and Price StabilizationEverybody working productivelyThe Reality of Inter-Dependence Natural Resources Management Natural Resources are  Natural Needs, Availability and EnvironmentUrban PlanningLand pricing The Legislative Process RepresentationConstitution and ExecutiveLegislative ReviewQuality, Productivity, Service  The Evolution of Governance The Seeds of Self-Destruction The American Declaration of Independence states that “all men are createdequal”. Clearly they are not. All people are not created equal. They never havebeen, and never will be. On the one hand, our great diversity of talent andendeavour has been responsible for the many advances in knowledge, art andscience. Yet at the same time it has also made possible all of the world’s troubles,war, poverty, environmental abuse, oppressive government, even ourdysfunctional banking system.Of course there are differences between people; we all have our own skills,aptitudes and interests. But these differences are not inequalities, merelydissimilarities.The really significant difference lies in the inequalities of physical force andmental cunning, and individuals’ propensity to use these abilities in order to gainwealth, power and influence, not through their own efforts alone, but byexpropriating the work and wealth of others.The seeds of self-preservation and self-improvement are, of necessity, born intoevery one of us. They are basic to survival. If we use this impetus to create, toinvent, to improve on what has gone before, collaborating with those around us,then civilization will advance to the benefit of all.But if the desire for self-aggrandizement is exercised at the expense of others, if we seek to gain wealth, not through our own creative labours alone but byexploiting and dispossessing others, by expropriating the work and wealth of others, the more aggressive will become richer while others grow poorer, andconflict, confrontation, violence and war will result.We as human beings have within us, the potential for unlimited growth. We alsohave within us the seeds of self-destruction.The use of God-given talents to initiate real wealth creates prosperity. The use of those talents to exploit others, to enrich oneself by impoverishing others,produces only conflict and dissension. And that is the history of our world.Slavery, feudalism, and industrial low-wage exploitation were tolerated, indeedsanctified by law. Why? Because law and governance was traditionally in thehands of those enjoying superior power, wealth, background and the politicalinfluence that goes with it. And they consistently ordered society in ways whichpermitted them to live comfortably from the proceeds of other people's toil.Government permitted, indeed institutionalized, the exploitation of man byfellow man.But with the dawn of the 1900s, the tables were turned. Society had hitherto beenruled by the rich and powerful, who ordered society in ways which would protect  3 and perpetuate their wealth at the expense of others. Then Karl Marx and friendsinvited the ‘poor masses’ to throw off the yoke of oppression, turn the tables andplunder the riches of their old masters. And this, encouraged by the newlyinvented doctrines of Socialism and Communism, they did. Governmentplundered the riches of the wealthy and distributed them among the poor,rectifying the perceived injustices of the past.The history of politics and social relationships is a history of continuousimposition exercised by people over one another with government ‘turning ablind eye’, or with government’s active participation.We have polarized ourselves into two distinct camps: the managers and themanaged, the organizers and the organized, the exploiters and the exploited,rulers and subjects, haves and have-nots.Karl Marx may have created the concept of Class War and the vocabulary to gowith it, but he didn’t invent the classes. And the two are in continuous conflict,reflected in wars, revolutions, industrial action, and the battles of numbers wecall democracy.Whether autocratic monarchy or dictatorship, constitutional or democratic,government was never instituted by idealists to protect the general liberty, butrather to protect and enhance its own interests, and those of its class supporters.The historical evolution of governance, as it took place in Britain spreading thento the USA and Commonwealth countries, can be seen in two stages: firstbetween Power and People, then between Left and Right, Poor and Rich. Power versus People In medieval times there was little or no awareness of social class among thegeneral populace. The rich were up, the poor were down. Thus it was ordained.There was however, a continuing movement among the more powerful elementsof society, the barons and clergy, to limit and to share the powers of themonarchy. The monarchy was tolerated, indeed actively supported and openlyrespected, for its continuance ensured stability as opposed to civil war. But themonarch must be disciplined in his or her conduct, respectful of tradition,upholder of the common laws and customs, modest in conduct and expenditure,and must share power with the powerful men of the land.England's Great Charter of 1215, generally recognized as the world's firstgroundbreaking constitution, set major limits on the monarchy and strengthenedthe concept of power-sharing in decision making. Further reforms were addedduring the years and centuries which followed, culminating in the 1689 Bill of Rights which transferred all effective political power to Parliament. Power hadmoved to the People.But Parliament at that time represented only a small proportion of the population.These were the big landowning families, and later the new industrial barons, all  4 of whom were, of course, quite happy to retain power in their own hands. Thereformers however, both in and out of government, would now press forcontinuing expansion of the voting franchise and consequently wider power-sharing.Following the tradition that the King’s advisers sat on his right, theConservatives supporting the status quo now sat on the Speaker’s right, while theRadicals and Reformists sat on the left. So Britain's Parliament assumed whatwould become the traditional confrontational shape, of Right and Left,Conservatism and Reform, Rich and Poor facing one another across an aisle, andthe terms  Right  and  Left  assumed the significance which would become familiarthroughout the world.By the end of the 1800s following numerous gradual reforms, the right to votehad spread across class interests. However, while the working classes were nowenfranchised, they needed a ‘real’ Left-Wing Party in Parliament which wouldrepresent their own interests and views, a Party which would fight against theintolerably long working hours, poor pay, overcrowded housing conditions, andall the other perceived manifestations of injustice and exploitation.Socialism had its srcins in the writings of Karl Marx and Engels, and the lastfew years of the 1800s saw the gradual formalization of the Socialist programmefeaturing a shorter working day, improved housing, higher wages, social security,and a minimum standard of education for all. Socialism became established asthe ‘alternative’ political doctrine.Absolute Power had been shared, first by the powerful, then by the populace. Butthe people themselves were sharply divided along class lines (= wealth). Left versus Right For the greater part of our political history laws were based on one politicaldogma, variously known as Capitalism, Laisser-faire, Free Enterprise. Whateverit may be called, it is based on the principle of minimal Government intervention.And that made sense, at least to the ruling classes. They were doing very nicelyin industry, commerce and social organization, and they had naturally instituted aform of government which would leave them quite free to get on with it – whichis literally what laisser-faire means.Traditionally Governments had always served the interests of the powerfulpeople who controlled them simply by doing as little as possible, thus allowingthose with power to exploit those without it. Taking the side of the previouslyimpoverished majority, Socialism would adopt the opposite approach. Instead of doing nothing, or the very minimum, a Socialist Government would throw itself wholeheartedly into the fray on the side of the working people.With the benefit of hindsight we can see the idealism which motivated theprinciples of Socialism in its formative years. But we can also see that theSocialist Reformers in their attempts to eliminate enslavement overshot the mark.
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