Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You woke me up, guys!

Actually, I've been making a wooden bucket. I bought a couple books a plane and a small anvil for the purpose. I'll try to get you a picture of what I've got so far, as soon as I track down my digital camera.

I ran across this pamphlet, NATURAL LAW or THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE, by Lysander Spooner yesterday:
Chapter I, The Science of Justice

Section I

The science of mine and thine - the science of justice - is the science of all human rights: of all a man's rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person.

It is the science of peace; and the only science of peace: since it is the science which alone can tell us on what conditions mankind can live in peace, or ought to live in peace, with each other.

These conditions are simply these: viz., first, that each man shall do, towards every other, all that justice requires him to do; as, for example, that he shall pay his debts, that he shall return borrowed or stolen property to its owner, and that he shall make reparation for any injury he may have done to the person or property of another.

The second condition is that each man shall abstain from doing to another, anything which justice forbids him to do; as, for example, that he shall abstain from committing theft, robbery, arson, murder, or any other crime against the person or property of another.

So long as these conditions are fulfilled, men are at peace, and ought to remain at peace, with each other. But when either of these conditions is violated, men are at war. And they must necessarily remain at war until justice is re-established.

Through all time, so far as history informs us, wherever mankind have attempted to live in peace with each other, both the natural instincts, and the collective wisdom of the human race, have acknowledged and prescribed, as an indispensable condition, obedience to this one only universal obligation: viz., that each should live honestly towards every other.

The ancient maxim makes the sum of a man's legal duty to his fellow men to be simply this: "To live honestly, to hurt no one, to give to every one his due." [“Honeste vivere, neminem laedere, suum cuique tribuere" - Ulpianus, Regularum in Digesto, lib. I, 10, 1].

This entire maxim is really expressed in the single words, to live honestly: since to live honestly is to hurt no one, and give to every one his due.

Or, as The Duke put it, "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people. I expect the same in return."

Did I say that before? That word "wronged" seems a little ill-defined. As, of course, does "insulted." And what are the consequences? These thing need to be laid out plainly. Spooner starts to do just that here.

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