Government Is Destroying Society…(By Design, Of Course…)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
By Paul Martin

Monty Pelerin
Apr 8 2013

Civilization is fragile. It can be destroyed from within by merely forgetting what seemingly unimportant but necessary condtions. Like economics, society cannot be managed from the top down. It is dependent upon relationships among individuals and these are dependent upon rules or incentives.

I usually emphasize property rights and the Rule of Law as foundations for a civilized society. Naturally, freedom is assumed. Others use different terms, but they essentially point to the same things. Richard Mayberry, noted investment adviser, expresses his conditions less formally but equally meaningfully:

In my book, Whatever Happened to Justice?, in a few of the other Uncle Eric books and in my newsletter, I often point out that the two fundamental laws that make civilization possible are 1) Do all you have agreed to do and 2) Do not encroach on other persons or their property. The first is the basis of contract law, and the second is the basis of tort law and some criminal law. If you have a population that’s dedicated to these laws, and the laws are widely obeyed, then you can have a very ethical civilization, one that moves forward very quickly.

If, however, you have somebody or some large group of people who are violating those laws, then that civilization can’t operate very well and it begins to decline. We see this all over the world. When legal systems are mutated to be tools of government policy rather than tools for producing a peaceful society, then it all goes to wrack and ruin. And this is repeated over and over again, throughout history.

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