Law is the guardian of property, not people.

This post is for Julie, in case you actually drop by. We were talking about law, you said you were uncomfortable on some level with the study of it. When I read this quote from “Beyond Power” by Marilyn French, I thought it might be of use to you:

“Simple cultures have unwritten customs which bind the community through general consent. This is true even in societies we would not call ‘primitive’: J.M. Synge decribed how twentieth century Aran fishermen, if they had done wrong, would take the boat over to Galway alone and put themselves in jail. Simple communities ‘cannot be said to have “law,” because there is no way to distinguish . . . legal . . from other social rules.’ Law emerges with centralization, stratification, and the ownership of private property. Most early codes of law are concerned with property rights. Even the very early Mosaic code warns against coveting the property—wives and animals—of others. Although most of us think abut laws as guardians of life and limb, modern law is overwhelmingly concerned with property. And no profession is more bound up with the expansion of control, and the gradual shift towards totalitarianism, than law.”



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