Modern societies pride itself on making all citizens equal before law. What is the historical evolution of written law?
When describing political leaders of Achaean during the Heroic Age of Greece (think 1200 B.C.), Durant states, "His degrees are the laws, and his decisions are final; there is as yet no word for law."
Will Durant. The Story of Civilization. Part II. The Life of Greece. The Heroic Age.
Of course, without law, there can be no contract society. Men are at the mercy of arbitrary power. The Greeks may have discovered many things, but political wisdom was still nascent when the Iliad was written.
Although in hindsight Rome was no gentle creature, it was in Rome's political structure where contract society began. The Christian apostle Paul was once taken into custody during a riot, and as the guards were about to beat him, Paul asserted, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?" It was not lawful, and Pual's appeal to law immediately halted the guards. Paul was then brought before the governor, Porcius Festus, who tried to convince Paul to submit himself to Jewish law, but all Paul had to do was say, "I appeal unto Caesar." The response from Festus was, "Has thou appealed unto Caesar? Unto Caesar shalt though go."
Isabel Paterson tells this story of Paul to make the following assertion, "The crux of the affair is that a poor street preacher, of the working class, under arrest, and with enemies in high places, had only to claim his civil rights and none could deny him...The value of the idea of law in its primary use of framing legislation is clear. It sets moral sanctions above force, while recognizing human fallibility."
Isabel Paterson. The God of the Machine. Chapter 3.
Although it would undergo much transformation, this concept of equality before law was essential to providing the modern, liberal democracies where the fortunate of the world currently reside.
- Was the Old Testament plagiarized?
- Economists should act more like historians
- [Marginal Revolution Style] Markets in Everything:...
- The Goal of Economics
- Fact About Garbage
- Fact About Plastic Shopping Bags
- Today's Quote
- Two Neglected Phenomena of Modern Macroeconomics
- Local Currencies
- An odd wedding vow
- Isabel Paterson's Political Philosophy (first atte...
- There is a book within each of us
- Projecting Book Sales
- How To Run An Ancient Government
- Jon Stewart on political polarization
- Equal Before The Law
- The Evolution of Language
- What would you say before your suicide?
- The Majesty of Ancient Rome
- Greek Stimulus (not what you think)
- I deceive myself because it makes me awesome
- Quantification and Society
- Wonder-Twin Powers: Activate
- Law and Order: Anglo-Saxon Unit
- Item related to origin of law and contract society
- The Evolution of Contract Society
- Purple is for Power
- China and Ayn Rand's Train
- Never believe academic research (half the time)
- Pillage and murder is okay, but not the earning of...
- Nuts to St. Francis
- What I look for in a fiction
- On McDonald's Happy Meal
- Merchants of Christ and the Sin of Planning
- Movie of Leonardo Fibonacci
- Cause of the Great Recession (1998-?) and Importan...
- Origin of "noon" from Medieval Ages
- Huey Long: Destined for Dictatorship
- The First Monotheist...
- The Religion of Keynesism
- Origin of the word salary
- The Tragedy of Russia
- Tragedies of Central Planning
- Medieval Merchants, Ideas, and Economic Growth
- Ancient Chinese Thought on Government
- ▼ September (45)
- ► 2009 (71)