Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, June 01, 2009

"The Depoliticization of Law"

In my article "The Rule of Lore" I sought to draw attention to John Hasnas's great paper "The Myth of the Rule of Law." I now want to spotlight a later paper by Hasnas that expands on the first: "The Depoliticization of Law" (pdf). In it Hasnas makes clear that the rule of law is a myth only when the law is politicized through a monopoly lawmaker. But when law is the product of a depoliticized, competitive, and spontaneous customary and common-law system, it meets the criterion of a true rule of law; namely, it is a system in which people are subject to rules that evolve out of custom and market-based dispute resolution, rather than to the conscious will of a single person or group of legislators and politically appointed judges. Especially interesting is Hasnas's critique of consent-based law.

Highly recommended!


John Kindley said...

Thanks so much for calling my attention to this essay, which prompted me to post about it on my own blog.

steven said...

This excellent essay reminds me of two other equally excellent essays by Hasnas that deal with the evolution of customary law: "Hayek, the Common Law, and Fluid Drive" and "What's Wrong With a Little Tort Reform?". If anyone has not also read these essays then I highly recommend them.

Score 3 more for Hasnas.