"If all men had the same interests, there would be less harm in permitting a part of the people to legislate for all; but this is not the case. There is a great conflict of interests between the possessed and the dispossessed, between the poor and the rich, between the weak and the strong, between the ruler and the ruled, between the worker and the shirkers, between the producer and the appropriator, which is apparent in existing laws, always made by those powerful enough to take advantage of the State and of the law-abiding sentiment of the people. That their laws conflict with justice is no concern of theirs, for profit and not justice is their object. The object is legitimate because they make it legitimate. The game they play is lawful because they make the law to uphold their game; but they raise a hue and cry for "law and order" if they find any game conflicting with theirs, and declare it unlawful. It is easy to see that laws thus enacted are unjust, for to be just a law must be enacted for the benefit of all; thus it is in no wise logical to presume that the "legal" is the just. "
by:
Charles T. Sprading
(1871-1959) Libertarian activist, writer
Source:
Charles T. Sprading's Introduction to Liberty and the Great Libertarians; An Anthology On Liberty; A Hand-book Of Freedom (Los Angeles: The Libertarian Publishing Company, 1913)
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Reader comments about this quote:
ok, kinda
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    This last quote clarifies the set and I believe we are together on it now. What would a college forum debate on these quotes be like? Great fun at the very least!
     -- J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT     
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     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada      
    Tricky Dick Nixon appealed to the "Law- Abiding Sentiment of the People" and gave us this horrible war on drugs in 1970. It's still going strong and worse than ever. I could go on, but just go to LEAP.cc on the web and see what cops , former police chiefs, judges, etc think about this mistake.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    I think this guy is brilliant. Not sure what nerve he has struck in Mike.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    (-; Archer, I'm not sure either, just doesn't ring true to me ? you know I'm smiling, shaking my head, and saying hmmm ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The author has put forth a discusion point or two on a profound issue. I had the opportunity to serve on a governing board for a municipal utility for 24 years. There was no financial compensation beyond the occasional drink at a bar of sad decor from a special pleader. As we pursued our task(s) of providing dependable water service to a community of 60,000 people, we had to jump through the hoops of legal requirements from all comers. The federal government, in conspiracy with the state, had their own agenda and it was not pro public water supply. Imagine acquiring 700+ acres with the aim of developing a reservoir on the site that would double your "safe yield" and then being told that you won't be allowed to do it! I'll stop there.
     -- J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT     
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