Quite simply, the best cultural review in the world
Liberty: do we need a law for that?
On the transformation of laws from guardians of liberty to agents of social change.
was right!Support The
It is almost trite to observe that a free society cannot exist without the rule of law. But on the matter of liberty, law is, at best, highly overrated. In fact, it can be downright pernicious.
As Kevin Williamson has argued, real liberty is evolutionary. Free societies are dynamic, efficient, and innovative. Law, by contrast, can become the paralyzing debris that de Tocqueville predicted might someday cover the surface of modern democratic society. It is the “network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.”
If the modern welfare state softens, bends, and usurps the will of man, law is the mechanism by ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 January 2013, on page 28
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Liberty--do-we-need-a-law-for-that--7521
E-mail to friend
From a series of letters regarding Andrew C. McCarthy's review of American Betrayal (The New Criterion, December 2013)
A deeper look into In a Station of the Metro reveals much about Pound's development as a poet.
by David Yezzi
Poets, like journalists, historians, are after the truth. But what kind of truth, exactly, do we find in poetry?
by Paul Dean
On Cambridge University Press's seven-volume collection of Ben Jonson's works.
April 29 2015
Edmund Burke Award Gala
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"