Virtue is the Cornerstone of Civilization, Not Law by Bill Buppert

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

– Charles de Montesquieu

For the sake of argument, both the American Left and Right embrace law and order as the primary building blocks and cement to create civilization. Both of these collectivist memes wish to form societies through the threat and initiation of violence. Both of these political combines see state monopoly on a full range of violence from kidnapping to caging to maiming and death as the primary means to keep people virtuous and productive. They embrace the impossible moral equation of employing immoral means to achieve moral ends. It is yet another first principle violated that turns every government into the straitjacketed corpse factories that pepper the planet and have stained human history from the beginning.

Thomas Jefferson: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

The basic conceit of state governance no matter the apparent flavor is the ceding of self-ownership to a small nomenklatura who put the worse people in charge of every aspect of human existence to protect the tax cattle from a few bad actors. Most government is a curious hybrid of the Milgram/Stanford experiments and the Stockholm Syndrome, the latter weaponizing the former by maximizing the victim’s advocacy for their own destruction.

Law is divined as either malum prohibitum or malum in se. The first is a government proscription on behavior simply because it wishes to do so such as the destructive War on Illegal Vegetation, the FDA pogrom on healthy living and the tens of thousands of other laws that are laws because the government says so. The second would be the crimes thoughtful individuals would find repulsive with an actual victim such as rape, murder and theft. Indeed, the government is only concerned with these insofar as prison time, police non-compliance and taxes are concerned. The curious thing about the vast panoply of malum prohibitum laws the government enforces is both the absence of a victim and the lucrative nature of fines and imprisonment for the tax cattle ensnared by the thin black and blue line.

Robert Higgs make makes one of the most powerful and succinct arguments for why the sate is a monster:

Lest anyone protest that the state’s true “function” or “duty” or “end” is, as Locke, Madison, and countless others have argued, to protect individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property, the evidence of history clearly shows that, as a rule, real states do not behave accordingly. The idea that states actually function along such lines or that they strive to carry out such a duty or to achieve such an end resides in the realm of wishful thinking. Although some states in their own self-interest may at some times protect some residents of their territories (other than the state’s own functionaries), such protection is at best highly unreliable and all too often nothing but a solemn farce. Moreover, it is invariably mixed with crimes against the very people the state purports to protect, because the state cannot even exist without committing the crimes of extortion and robbery, which states call taxation (Nock 1939), and as a rule, this existential state crime is but the merest beginning of its assaults on the lives, liberties, and property of its resident population.

The stateless society seeks to build a social ecology in six billion variations depending on the population of Earth at the time. The contemporary abolitionist movement is attempting to philosophically terraform the planet to reverse the dominant paradigm so societies are not made on violence but on persuasion, cooperation and respect for the non-initiation of force and violence. This does not ensure paradise on Earth because the countryside will be replete with failed enterprises, inequality and poor decisions rendered in Technicolor but it will be a state of nature where freedom is ultimately the arbiter of what one does in life. Failures will not be socialized and private gains will not be pirated by self-identified statist mediums who profit handsomely from other people’s work simply because they say so.

Some may think this a quixotic notion yet the lion’s share of human beings in their private lives practice this very culture because their self-interest is vested in treating people well to increase freedom and prosperity for their futures and that of their progeny. Law does not make for a better humanity, it makes the opportunity for government and the state to maximize tyranny and oppress vast swaths of humanity convenient, easy and eventually urging large parts of the subject population to turn on each other.

Laws are not the great equalizing efforts the rulers preach in their government obedience classes in state schools, laws are a means to qualify and quantify the one-way transaction of fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing that is the bread and butter of every government in existence. The law enables policing and police to serve and protect the rulers; it legitimizes the daily war on individual freedom and liberty that is the sin qua non of the state.

Law is not the answer, virtue is the answer and that can only be practiced by individuals; the law savages liberty and eventually metastasizes into the prison-states that dot the globe today.

And no, the Constitution is NOT the answer. I can fix the Constitution. Congress shall make no law. Period. No text follows.

Voila‘. There, all the problems have vanished.

Law is a predator and virtue is the answer.

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”

– Thomas Sowell

16 thoughts on “Virtue is the Cornerstone of Civilization, Not Law by Bill Buppert”

    1. KillOrBeKilled

      You mean the Constitution of NO AUTHORITY?

      See: No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority — Lysander Spooner


  1. “The stateless society seeks to build a social ecology in six billion variations depending on the population of Earth at the time. The contemporary abolitionist movement is attempting to philosophically terraform the planet to reverse the dominant paradigm so societies are not made on violence but on persuasion, cooperation and respect for the non-initiation of force and violence.”

    For me, this is a mistake. Anarchists should not be attempting this or advocating it. The world will NEVER be fully NAP-dominant, and having this as our goal only raises the resistance of others, causing them to not allow even anarchists to try anarchy. There will always be people who crave government, and we have to live with that fact.

    The correct goal for anarchists is Panarchy, or political tolerance. We should seek only to remove the boot from our own necks. Once that is done, and anarchist society thrives, other people will be more willing to come on board. It’s also a more attainable goal than trying to turn everybody into anarchists. Finally it is none of our business what political forms others prefer, as long as they refrain from aggression against us.

    1. I agree with this. Essentially it should be a matter of attraction – we make the anarchist way of living look so good, the beleaguered statists will eventually find their way to us. Or not. It’s entirely up to them. Having a recovery background, I can say one thing for sure: The level of willingness to change is directly proportional to the amount of pain suffered. Until they get sick and tired of being sick and tired, no amount of persuasive speech will convince them. Statism is very similar to the disease of addiction in my opinion, but there is a cure! However, it’s a hard pill to swallow, indeed.

  2. A brillant commentary about the nature of government and the law. Unfortunately people are sheep, they will do whatever they perceive to be in their best interests up until the moment they are in the chutes to the slaughterhouse.

    Our Constitution is flawed because Jefferson’s warning were ignored. We have arrogant bureaucrats, judges and politicians who can commit any crime and escape with loot that would make the old robber barons green with envy.

    Our nation is corrupt, or else it would not tolerate such a police state and a little man with a pen and a phone.

    I can only hope that Americans will rise up and seize the country and burn out the vipers nest in DC and deport those who despise the Constitution, capitalism, and American values. Send them to Cuba, Nicargua, Venezuela, North Korea and Tehran. Those are the values they love. Send them to France and other entities that bear their chains with good manners.

    If not Americans will turn into the English where sharia law rules part of London, and there are more foreigners than Brits in London. Forbide it all, burn it down, resist.

  3. I would agree wholeheartedly except for the fact that all people will not conform to the teachings of Rabbi Hillel who said, “Do not unto your neighbor, that which is distasteful to you. That is the whole of the law, all the rest is commentary”.

    Our Founders weren’t a bunch of obfuscating prevaricators, but intelligent, educated, well read, articulate and worldly men who knew the meanings of words and had an understanding of the history of human social systems. Unfortunately, as bright as they were, they were naively optimistic about human nature and developed a system which was too good for people, the majority of whom have no
    understanding, nor courage to take advantage of liberty, but prefer the false security of being taken care of by the state. Our country has degenerated from a Constitutional Republic under the rule of law to a Democracy where mob rule under the leadership of petty tyrants and demagogs do the bidding of a majority who would give up their birthright for the proverbial, “bowl of porridge” which has been replaced by “free” healthcare, food stamps, Obamaphones, welfare, unemployment benefits, etc. It’s natural for people to want more for doing less, but we’ve gotten to the point where the majority expects everything for doing nothing more than voting for those who promise to relieve them of personal responsibility. It will appear to work, probably longer here than anywhere else, due to our vast resources, but only until as Margaret Thatcher so clearly put it, “you run out of other people’s money”.

    We’re either going to have to exercise some initiative and evolve or be considered the penultimate creation and be replaced. While we’ve mastered some technology, we haven’t learned to treat each other better or explore the depths of our minds or souls to evolve into anything better than the hairy, cave dwelling creatures we were when we first began walking upright almost 100 million years ago.

    Every time man has managed to crawl far enough out of the slime (or for you Judeo-Christian Fundamentalists, expelled from the Garden of Eden) to get a toe hold on solid ground (literally and figuratively), we just ended up messing up, usually from believing and following bad leaders. As a race, we haven’t evolved an iota since we drew our first collective breath. Any who may have an initially negative reaction to the foregoing, explain why after all our time on this planet, we still need military and police.

    1. Well, we don’t need military and police. What makes you think we do? Police were not even established in this country until the mid 1800’s:

      And the military, all that’s been good for is meddling with other countries. Not a single war we got into, with the possible exception of the Revolution (aka Secession), was justified. They all were, however, in the interest of the ruling class to pursue.

      As to the founding lawyers, sure they were well educated and smart. That does not imply they had the average man’s interests in mind. Maybe the country was planned to go in the direction it did go:

      1. The only reason I believe we need police is to apprehend the alleged perpetrators and then acquit them. I’ve never seen them do much to prevent crime. As far as the military, I believe they are a deterrent in a world of bad actors and I feel they kept Hitler from totally erasing the world’s Jews as well as helping the Japanese getting their collective minds right in 1945 so they could go on to create Sony, Toyota, etc.

        Not all our founders were lawyers and I admire anyone who can so eloquently state our reasons for breaking with the Crown; “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I think that has a lot more going for it than, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America [from a shining city on a hill to another failed third world Peoples Democratic Socialist Utopian Worker’s Paradise cesspool].

    2. Mr. Pollack,

      I would respectfully suggest that the government needs police and military, not virtuous individuals.


      1. Mr. Buppert,

        I’d go along with your statement, but think that rather than military and police, they’d do better with governess’ or dominatrix’s clad either in leather, latex or a combination of both with masks, whips, chains, cricket bats and maybe the good ol’ Louisville Slugger in public, on TV on the Jumbotron in every stadium in the country. They don’t need to be policed, but rather beaten, marked with a brand on their foreheads, stripped of their assets, tarred and feathered and forced to walk across the country stopping at every city, town, suburb, village and hamlet making public apology for their miserable existences.

        I’m not Catholic and don’t really believe in religion as it interferes with my personal relationship with my god, but I’ve always admired nuns’ low tolerance for bad behavior and think a good replacement for our government would be The Little Sisters of the Poor.

  4. So now that y’all have declared your opinions of what others should do, may we get on with each living our own life, however the hell we choose? I know I’m senile, but I’m sure that was the point in the first place.

    Bill, that was a monster; a classic IMO. Thanks.

    1. Jim,
      I think everyone should live their lives to the fullest, only stopping when living their lives interferes with me living mine at which time there will have to be a renegotiation in which I intend to prevail by any and every means.

      1. Makes sense, NHP. If everyone actually lived their lives to the fullest, not only would they never interfere with yours, they would cooperate with you in order to further living to the fullest. Simple common sense, trumped only by the odd illogic that the worse someone else does, the better one does.

        The reason the War Against Tyranny is a necessary good, is because it’s really the War Against Self Destruction.

        1. Jim,
          The War Against Self Destruction is yet another burden on the capable who have to support the incapable, lazy and self destructive so they can continue to survive and reproduce, their only function being the continuation of the Darwin Awards. Better to farm them and use them for food.

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