The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law is a concept required for a free society, where individual rights are absolute. Its basic premise is that the use of force is tightly controlled by objective, predefined laws. It is opposed to the Rule of Men, where those wielding power can use force in any way they choose. Where the whims, envy, or viciousness of the few are unchecked by any restrictions, and everyone else's lives are at the complete mercy of these thugs.

The Rule of Law is the system that subordinates the use of force to specific rules. It is based on the premise that some uses of force are wrong (the initiation of force), and some applications of force are right (retaliatory force). It is based on the understanding that the peaceful, productive interaction of men is conditional on individual rights, and the use of force can make that impossible. That all men must obey the law and respect others rights.

The Rule of Law in practice means a system of objective, predefined laws governing the use of force among people. It means the establishment of a government as a means of enforcing those laws. It means requiring the government to obey those same laws.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands