"The paternalist project for our civil courts runs something as follows. After the revolution -- which perhaps has already taken place—the average citizen will enjoy a vast array of wonderful new rights to sue other people. You will be empowered to haul your neighbors and fellow citizens to court if you feel they have fallen short of good faith and fair play. You will be entitled to sue them for unlimited damages, punitive as well as compensatory, even over behavior that had previously been thought not subject to liability at all. Everyone will be under a vague but stringent obligation to look out for your safety and welfare, enforceable by legal action. You will enjoy a cornucopia of contention opportunities, a smorgasbord of suing options, a Lotus-land of litigability."
Walter Olsen
senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute, editor of New Directions in Liability Law (1988), author of (1991)The Litigation Explosion: What Happened When America Unleashed the Lawsuit
Tortification of Contract Law: Displacing Consent and Agreement, 77 Cornell Law Review 1043, 1043 (1992).
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Reader comments about this quote:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (John Adams) Olsen's statement is one perspective. It would take volumes to address individually, each of the subjects presented.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I agree with this one, and there is no doubt that the lawyers are running, or ruining the country. Almost every single person in both houses of congress is a lawyer, has been a lawyer, or at least has been to law school. Is it any wonder that things are so fouled up.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    You should know the Manhattan Institute was founded by the infamous William Casey, the infamous director of the CIA under Reagan. He was in favor dismantling all social programs and instituting corporate control of the whole country. You as an individual would have no rights and that included protection of law.
     -- dick, fort worth     
  • 1
    What revolution? It is already happening. 'Civil' rights are made up by the civil State -- rights to other people's property, rights to a share of the Treasury, rights to force others to act the way we say they should act, rights to free education, free 'insurance', 'free' food without laboring at all. If we are born with rights, then we are born with responsibilities as well, or else we do not survive in this world. Every other animal except domesticated livestock must provide for themselves and defend themselves from predators. Those crying out for more 'rights' to be taken care of are begging to be beasts of burden eventually headed to the slaughter -- it turns the State into the ultimate predator and all of us its property to dispose of as the State sees fit -- each according to their needs...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    The revolution has happened. When businesses (and indivduals) are forced to insure themselves against some nitwit tripping on their property, the looters have triumphed. When businesses must by law, as a third party, insure clumsy or crooked employees for workman compensation, gaming the system has become a national pastime When the government buys Section 8 housing for the chosen victim class, it creates a false price floor in the rental real estate market, pushing up the prices for those who would pay their own way, pricing more and more of the lower class out of the ability or desire to be responsible for themselves. There are a thousand examples of this - for my part I will never be casting a vote ever again for any attorney seeking office..The truly frightening thing about all of this is that is so sneaky and insidious - making the employers write the checks for so much of this - innoculating Joe Sixpack against having to consider who actually fund the judgement his lawsuit produces, or who provides the largesse for his food stamps, disability payments, unemployment compensation, Social security Etc. We need to educate our somnolent population - particularly the youth - in Economics. The liberals, via the NEA and other teacher unions, has ensured that we now have an entire nation of economic illiterates. Until and unless that situation is corrected, the producer in our society is doomed to sacrifice his/her private property and that of any heirs, to the professional looters that permeate our nation on so many levels. .
     -- H Rearden, Burr Ridge IL     
    Well said Hank.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    H. Rearden, Thank you, extremely well articulated !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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