"Positive laws are tyrannical. One's individual rights -- whether they be life, liberty, or property -- must be sacrificed by the state in order to fulfill the positive rights of another. For example, if housing is considered a "right," then the state will have to confiscate wealth (property) from those who have provided shelter for themselves in order to house those who have not.... True justice is realized when our lives, and property are secure, and we are free to express our thoughts without fear of retribution. Just laws are negative in nature; they exist to thwart the violation of our natural rights. Government ought to be the collective organization -- that is, the extension -- of the individual's right of self-defense, and its purpose to protect our lives, liberties, and property."
Defining Justice, The Freeman, P. 566-67, August, 1996
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Reader comments about this quote:
The philosophical 'Positivist' law is that which is man made contrary to natural law (the law of nature and of Nature's God). Maritime Law practiced on land, Roman based equity through early British adaptations, Keynesian economics, etc., as is contrary to the natural law, which is common to all men, is here referenced as Positive and tyrannical. The statist theocracy infesting this land is both Positive and tyrannical.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    Government takes our lives and liberty and steals our property.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
  • 4
    This is exactly why we have progressed beyond clubbing each other to death to safeguard our property - what a ridiculous conclusion. I'll give him three stars for the last sentence.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    "Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. WHEREFORE, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows, that whatever FORM thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."
     -- Publius     
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     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry      
    Mike (Norwalk) gave a very clear and well considered opinion, In the space available (reasonable for a reply to a quote). This quote opens a vast debate which, like almost all philosophically based opinions, requires a reply far beyond that which a "short" answer can encompass. Therefore, briefly, wherein our given laws does it say we have a "right" to any tangible, physical element? It would take a book to discuss whether we have a "right" to property, whatever that means as "ownership". Urinating on trees will work only to the extent there is sufficient game in the forest other wolves can eat without crossing the "scent line"; or, sufficient females available for mating purposes. I have never heard of females scent marking boundaries. I digress. Logical Positivism has its roots in Parmenides and Zeno, despite his tautological arguments. It is not 20th Century. Moreover, nowhere does Positivism have a "logical" link to morality or ethics and one SHOULD NOT (forgive the caps - emphasis only) link that which we construct as "social" law with what we perceive to be "natural" law. We make both assumptions and assertions based upon our presumptive desires up to the point where something, or someone, proves us wrong. In any "open" society we have no "right" to anything which the general agreements that structure the society allow. Then, who enforces those rights ? These arguments about morality and ethics based upon a set of philosophical premises are largely fallacious and we should be careful in couching our pleas in those terms.
     -- John Shuttleworth, NYC     
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