"How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively? Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist urges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people."
Walter E. Williams
(1936-2020) Columnist, Professor of Economics at George Mason University
All It Takes Is Guts
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- James Nolan, Oramge park      
He could be describing the income tax.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    As Frederic Bastiat phrased it - "Legalized Plunder!"
     -- Mary - MI     
    YEP ! ! ! hmmm, where are the socialists comments on this one?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Richard Diamond, berkeley      
    We are awash in "Legalists".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    The prostituting of America brought to you by your elected officials...!
     -- michele, syracuse     
    Yep! We must stop the legal pollution of our rivers, denuding of our forests, and climate change by legal carbonizing of our air. The immorality of corporate America must be stopped and the only one to do it is US and that means you and me in our capacity of Uncle Sam.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Too many laws and not enough justice, methinks.
     -- anon, anon     
    Anyone that would listen or read what Walter has to say on any political, social, or economic philosophy would realize that it is only a matter of right and wrong with all the gray disappearing. When it gets down to it everything is very simple.
     -- warren, olathe     
    Only an idiot would believe in man made climate change.
     -- warren, olathe     

    Williams here uses misinformation, misdirection and mingling of legal philosophies with erroneous observations. By example; The laws of nature are an orderly expression of that which is (science, math, life, liberty, property, etc.) Academia's natural law is/are a rule(s) set to corporeally observed and interpreted morals (as morals differ, so does natural law). Legal Positivism is an arbitrary will of carnal despots. Williams attempts to intermingle observations of an upside down / inside out natural law made to justify Legal Positivism. A possibly fun exercise in philosophy but just another word salad exercise in futility.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    We have lost a wonderful mentor and historian with the death of the wise Economic Professor Walter E. Williams.
    May he R.I.P.

     -- Mary, MI     
    In an inverted social condition legality is simply not going to be moral.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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