Thursday, April 26, 2007

Universal Laws (11) Limiting Politicians

Punishment of crime allows a civil government to use force against those who break the law. Very few people will accept the right of an elite to control the rest of our society. We never know when we will end up a part of a minority, so few people would agree to the right of a majority to bully a minority (even they are rich). This means that the civil government must be limited to doing things that everyone can agree on. The highest common denominator provides a constraint on government power, because only thieves, murderers and thugs can be subjected to government force.

Laws that attempt to do more than prevent theft and violence are generally mooted by people who enjoy telling other people how to behave. They usually want to force people to be good. This is dangerous because people disagree about right and wrong. Whereas the three universal laws have universal support, laws that go beyond them produce endless argument and disagreement. Their enforcement results in the views of the politically powerful being forced upon people who do not agree with them.

Politicians are particularly dangerous, because they believe that law can solve every problem. They always want the law to do much more than it can, so they go well beyond the highest common denominator and force a wide range of laws onto society. They use political power to force the laws of the majority onto minorities. Even worse, they often force the majority to obey laws supported only by a minority. Laws that are not universally accepted are dangerous for everyone.

A highest common denominator approach keeps politics humble. The three universal laws are voluntary because people are not forced to do things against their will. This highest common denominator is simple, accepted and effective.

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