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Liberty: do we need a law for that?
On the transformation of laws from guardians of liberty to agents of social change.
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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 ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 January 2013, on page 28
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book argues that the time for a Muslim reformation is now.
From a series of letters regarding Andrew C. McCarthy's review of American Betrayal (The New Criterion, December 2013)
A lecture delivered by Charles Murray after he received the third Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society.
by Bruce Bawer
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