"Wise laws and just restraints are to a noble nation not chains,
but chains of mail, -- strength and defense, though something of an incumbrance."
John Ruskin
(1819-1900) British author, artist, social critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
Chains that bind come with laws of control as opposed to laws of justice. And "control" is what our present system requires to keep doing what it is doing. Selling us out...
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    The key here is "wise laws". We have a jillion laws in this country some of which aren't very wise. An example would be our current drug laws. I knew of a man who got 10 years in prison because the cops, on a routine traffic stop, found a half inch marijuana butt in his car. He wasn't bothering anyone, or hurting anyone but got a longer jail sentence than most burglars and some murderers get. For the record, my only drugs are coffee and a glass of wine now and then, but these drug laws have got to go.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    Wise laws proceed from wisdom. Oppressive laws proceed from greed and lust for power and control. The litmus test for a lawful statute is to be able to determine what the 'crime' is -- and a crime must have a victim. If the victim is the same as the perpetrator or the victim is 'society' in general, then it is not a real crime but a 'rule' made by men in order to intimidate and coerce others, usually to force them to pay the local 'enforcers' for 'protection' from the enforcers. That is nothing more than monopolistic mafiosa, i.e. fascism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    You are so right jim k. What one does to himself is his own business; however, there should be no aid for him paid by taxes. It is all his own business.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    The chains of mail are the natural laws we are all bound to and answer to whether we like it or not. The incumbrance is that we are bound to and answerable to these laws for our irresponsibilities and by accepting responsibility the incumbrance is that much lighter. We are living in an era where none, especially our "leaders", are answerable to their irresponsible actions.
     -- Anon     
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