When it comes to people, “heartless” implies not the absence of heart, but the existence of a heart that is cold towards others. In contrast things such as formal laws, markets and frameworks cannot be “heartless” for the simple reason that they can’t have hearts to begin with, i.e. such things don’t have feelings. And yet it has ever been the vain practice of misguided individuals to attribute the term “heartless” to such systems and institutions as if they were purposefully antagonistic towards some individuals. Such preconceptions lead some to impose ad hoc perturbations to the established order of things in their attempts to right these imagined wrongs. As more perturbations are introduced for more special interests, the less objective and more arbitrary the whole existing framework becomes. Exceptions to the rule inevitably beget more exceptions and the whole process snowballs away from anything resembling certainty and order. Individuals find themselves less able to plan their futures with a greater frequency of change in the order of things, i.e. the rules by which they might fulfill their goals unimpeded. In the end, the more men try to assign “heart” and subjective fairness to frameworks and laws, the more they work against the inherent nature of such things to operate blindly and justly with no respect to persons. Such men cannot allow such mechanisms and frameworks of law to simply follow general principles ignorant of particular individual circumstances. Such efforts to impair impartiality by ad hoc adjustments to benefit specific individuals inevitably kick against the pricks of natural laws upon which frameworks of law are ultimately founded upon. This frustrates the efforts of their fellow man struggling to find some certainty under the Rule of Law as opposed to the capriciousness of the Rule of Men. It is this rude imposition of uncertainty which makes such efforts to inject heart and soul into soulless, heart free, unfeeling and intangible objects such as the Law which makes such attempts and their promulgators truly “heartless” when it comes to the aftermath of real, lasting devastation to the Rule of Law which they create for society in general.
Archive for December, 2011
If you’ve ever heard the term “the Rule of Law”, you may never fully appreciate it without having read F.A. Hayek’s seminal work “The Road to Serfdom”. His analysis of what the Rule of Law truly means in the conservative sense opens one’s eyes to the full sense of this phrase and its impact on individual freedom and self-determination. One might otherwise go through life thinking one is free and liberated, when in fact one might well be on the way to becoming ever more enslaved by the growing uncertainty forced upon the masses by the arbitrary decisions of elite power brokers and unelected czars. Here are two excellent quotes from chapter 6 of this book, entitled “Planning and the Rule of Law”:
formal rules…do not aim at the wants and needs of particular people. They are intended to be merely instrumental in the pursuit of people’s various individual ends. And they are, or ought to be, intended for such long periods that it is impossible to know whether they will assist particular people more than others…Formal rules are thus merely instrumental in the sense that they are expected to be useful to yet unknown people, for purposes for which these people will decide to use them, and in circumstances which cannot be foreseen in detail. In fact, that we do not know their concrete effect, that we do not know what particular ends these rules will further, or which particular people they will assist, that they are merely given the form most likely on the whole to benefit all the people affected by them, is the most important criterion of formal rules in the sense in which we here use this term.
If the individuals are to be able to use their knowledge effectively in making plans, they must be able to predict actions of the state which may affect these plans. But if the actions of the state are to be predictable, they must be determined by rules fixed independently of the concrete circumstances which can be neither foreseen nor taken into account beforehand: and the particular effects of such actions will be unpredictable. If, on the other hand, the state were to direct the individual’s actions so as to achieve particular ends, its action would have to be decided on the basis of the full circumstances of the moment and would therefore be unpredictable. Hence the familiar fact that the more the state “plans,” the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.
Just finished reading this article on the National Review. Very well thought out and compelling arguments on how illegal immigration, like any crime can have far-reaching and damaging results on the very fabric of society and the Rule of Law. Victor Davis provides very logical and reasonable arguments of how the inconsiderateness of a few illegal immigrants has needlessly created much suffering for all, especially other immigrants wanting to become real citizens…