Natural Law vs Government


“Natural Law” is composed by a set of moral and legal standards which aren’t written anywhere, but that everyone knows very well. These set of standards aren’t written because they are logical ways of action that served as the guide for the existence of society for many years. The standards are part of humanity, of being human and therefore derive from human nature and the world we all live in.

Imagine a bear, a wolf or a Lyon which grows old and knows exactly when time is ripe to leave the pack to forge its own future. It is within his nature to know when it is independent enough to leave. No one told him it was time to leave and only in a handful of occasions the wolf, the Lyon or the bear is rejected by its pack. When the mammals cited above coexist they also understand that as part of the pack, it is their obligation to participate of the hunting and that it will be their reward to share the catch.

On the other side of the room there’s Government, an entity that, in spite of having been created by humans and being composed by humans, has turned into a creature that violently enforces its own rules in detriment of its creators. This would be similar to the Lyon that instead of using its power to help the pack hunt more deer to keep the offspring well fed, unilaterally decided to savagely attack the other members of the pack, just because it had bigger, sharper teeth or an innate ability to jump higher or run faster than the rest of the Lyons.

While Natural Law always provided humanity with a clear understanding of what was necessary to be done to keep society functioning like a well-oiled machine, Government has turned into the rare, abnormal Lyon, bear or wolf that coercively enforces its will on its creators and which has learned that it also needs to reinforce the validity of rules and laws in order to keep people from questioning or trying to change its will. The scariest part is that Government — the people in control of it — has actually been successful at limiting and eliminating any sign of discrepancy.

The previous scenario begs the question: why did Natural Law worked so beautifully for humanity, but Government did not? I think the answer lies on the origin of each of the two forms of rule. While Natural Law is intrinsically, inherently attached to human nature, which made it very easy to  understand and apply in life, Government was a creation of perverted human minds that saw in its existence a great opportunity to stop being simply part of the pack, and become the head of the pack. How these minds became perverted is a subject for another article, but one only has to refer to ancient history to find very revealing traces of such perversion.

How we measure the moral side of Natural Law is sometimes a difficult task, especially for those of us who were born in the middle of a morality ridden society — which applies to most of us. However, it is safe to say that something which is moral is what our human nature suggests it is. Morality originates in human nature, therefore, humans will always be able to distinguish between what is moral and what is not, because that capacity to distinguish is ingrained in our very existence. Although some philosophical writer dwell into whether morality or the moral side of Natural Law is related to its legal sister — the theory of law within Natural Law — and that therefore something which is moral is somehow influenced by what is lawful, it is more logical to put morality before law, and to credit morality with the origin of law, both in Natural Law and Government.

Separately, the theory of law within Natural Law must be dependent on the moral theory of Natural Law. This is not like the game of the chicken and the egg, since what is moral comes and is born within human nature, what is lawful is, as a consequence, what is moral and not the other way around. Regardless of what is thought to have come first, the result does not change the way in which Natural Law helped and benefited humanity in the past. To say that some norms of Natural Law are authoritative is non-sense, because what is moral is naturally accepted as what is right and it is done voluntarily, and not in a way that is obligated by coercion or force. There is where it lies the merit of Natural Law. The legal validity of a decision made under the sponsorship of Natural Law or the authority it exercises over those who decide to apply it or those who decide to accept it is wrongfully assigned. Authority and Legal Validity are not aspects that came with or can be applied to Natural Law.

The daring task of trying to explain Natural Law through learned concepts is perhaps the origin of the corruption of societies and individuals that gave rise to Government. The attempt to define what in morality is lawful as some ancient thinkers and philosophers tried to do might have been where humanity deviated from its innate understanding of what was moral and what was not, as well as when imperfect explanations and assumptions gave way to immorality, which ultimately did away with Natural Law as a form of self rule. The search for collective [emphasis added] ways to explain what in origin was a concept meant and directed to the individual, seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Humans began to see their natural system of law through the eyes of concepts and ideas that were neither natural nor moral, because they were tainted with the color of collectivist thinking. This collectivist view of life is what spurred the appearance of ideas that purposely or not, sought to create an entity that was entitled to oversee it all for the greater good. People, just like to Wolf, Bear or Lyon, lost sight of their own nature, the set of standards that served them for years and automatically discarded successful inherent ideals of self-rule, self-responsibility and respect for individual liberty.  Government did not appear when a group of individual decided that it was beneficial to give a minority the power to represent the majority and to decide for them, but when individuals erased their true nature from their physical bodies.

Different from Natural Law, Government is the rule of the minority over the majority, or the rule of the majority over the minority — this attribute depends upon the angle from where it is seen. The important point is that once Government, with its laws, rules and regulations became the authority, humans’ ability to self-rule and to be responsible for their lives was swept away. The new normal was then the application of collective laws, rules and regulations that did not have the best interest of the individual in mind, but the best interest of whoever managed to control the trusted servants through bribes, coercion or by injecting himself into Government. Where Natural Law served as a mechanism of self-rule based on moral notions that originated at creation — religious, random explosions or any other kind –, Government was created as a form of mob rule under which no one’s liberty is as important as the collective good. The problem with this concept — collective good — is that there is no such a thing as a Collectivity.

While Natural Law clearly defined what was moral and legal for the purposes maintaining individual liberty, Government could not provide a reference for the allocation of good for the abstract Collectivity. Since there those who believe that The Collectivity exists, and that is formed by individuals who become part of such a group, would it not make more sense to have a system of self-rule that empowered each and every one of those units that supposedly form The Collectivity, instead of taking away self-governance and self-responsibility from those units and giving it to an abstract concept? The lack of a cogent explanation for what The Collectivity is, makes it infinitely absurd to have changed individual liberty for whatever it is humans live under today.

Perhaps a more serious issue to be discussed in any conversation about the difference between Natural Law and Government, is that with the death of the former and the arrival of the latter, humanity also witnessed almost the complete disappearance of one of the two most important natural abilities that along with morality helped individuals rule themselves. That ability is free will. As much as philosophers, religious leaders, politicians or relatives desire to make people believe that they are free to choose, the truth is that our current idea of freedom of choice is as depleted as it has never been before. Free will is not the ability to choose between A and B or C. More importantly, free will ended precisely when and because of the creation of Government and the adoption of collectivist laws, rules and regulations. This is true unless one thinks that there must have been something that came before Natural Law, and it would be quite interesting to hear about it.

A not so neat feature of collectivist Government and laws is that by ending free will, it also erased self-responsibility from the equation. That is because the less free will one has, the less self-responsibility there is. That later translated into discounting responsibility towards others, because there was a Government that was put in place to take care of it. All in all, the disguised abolition of Natural Law and the installation of Government effectively ended the meaning of human nature. Humans don’t think anymore as free individuals who would naturally be free to choose and free to act, their minds have been tied with the tyranny of having to yield a big part of those freedoms to an entity that operates on behalf of the mob under the excuse that the common good outweighs everything else. Little do humans understand anymore that the idea of “humanity” that started it all signified the benefit of the individual that automatically translated into the so-called collective good.

The other natural ability is the capacity to reason. This ability has also been withdrawn from out minds through the traditional Government-enforced educational system, where children as young as 2 years old are indoctrinated into loving the Government as the provider of everything. From there, we’ve all been grown as vegetables in what is known as the self-survival process that Government uses to ensure its survival. Instead of being taught that we are capable of making our own decisions and that we are responsible for the results of those decisions, the Government system preaches and demands allegiance to itself. The non-compliance to its laws, rules and regulations immediately results in the imposition of penalties that usually begin with public ridicule and that go as far as being put in jail or worse, being executed.

How has the Government, which again was a creation of perverted minds, managed to outgrow Natural Law and individual liberty to a point it exterminated both of them? Its success originates in what some authors call The Horizontal Power of the State, a theory that describes how the tyranny of a Government is hidden in plain view as is maintained by humans who have succumbed to its system of slavery. This theory argues that Government appears to have a pyramidal structure, which the powerful at the top and the subjects at the bottom. Although this structure seems to be true, the real structure of Government is actually horizontal.  As mentioned before, Government is composed by the people that give it the legal and moral support to exist, and so those very same people are responsible for whatever Government does or does not do. Therefore, all things that originate from Government are a direct result of the support people provide to it.

Now, please try to explain the concept of Natural Law and how it serves free will, reason and individual freedom to a person born into the Government-managed system and you will have embarked in a mission that is almost always impossible to complete. That is because people who cannot think ultimately join the mob. For many of those people there is not turning back, and one must not waste time trying to demonstrate the bounties that Natural Law, free will and individual liberty, because they will never get even close to grasping it. It will be even more of a challenge to talk them into adopting self-rule, because they wouldn’t know how to do it. The lack of knowledge that does not allow humans to manage their own lives will also impede them from learning about and accepting self-responsibility. It is hard if one really think about it, since we’ve all been born into the controlled reality better known as modern society. How can anyone expect to teach the concepts of Natural Law, morality, self-rule and self-responsibility — ideas that were literally ripped off our human core – that for centuries have been absent from our daily lives in just a matter of one generation?

The process of re-educating the masses is a slow and painful one that must start with each of us first. The success of self-education will be the base for the real awakening that we hear a lot about on talk radio today. So, humans need to start learning how to govern themselves, how to assume responsibility for their own lives, how to live by set the of moral and legal standards incorporated in Natural Law, how to trust themselves when making a decision, instead of looking up to a degenerate creature called Government created by perverted minds whose only goal is to maintain and strengthen the wishes of mob rule.

Let the Unemployed Starve and the Ill Perish

The Immorality of Austerity in the Western World

By Prof. John Kozy

When a civilization abandons its morality, no rationalization can be devised to justify its continued existence. It is likely that many reasons can be given for this abandonment in the Western world, although I am convinced that one predominates—the expansion of law. Law once governed various kinds of behavior. It has now encroached upon various

Western economics is governed by subsistence wages and the lousy value of labor.

kinds of speech and is even being applied to the realm of belief. When someone is accused of having done something wrong, the reply offered usually is something like, “What was done complied with all legal requirements.” But “right” has never been defined as “conforms to law,” because thoughtful people have long noticed that the law itself can be a great crime, and the worst criminals in a culture can be its lawgivers, as the people of Ireland, Portugal, France, Spain, Greece, and Great Britain are now finding out. Americans will soon find it out too.

Numerous critics of classical economists over the past two centuries have argued that it is immoral when judged by any of the recognized moral codes. Major aspects of it clearly violate the Golden Rule. It violates many, perhaps all, of the Ten Commandments. It conflicts with various teachings of Jesus. Aristotle’s Ethics can be used to demonstrate its viciousness. It violates Kant’s Categorical Imperative and Mill’s Utilitarianism. Yet some of its proponents continue to argue that The Wealth of Nations is not inconsistent with moral principles. Clive Cook and Gavin Kennedy recently made such a , but what they cite as evidence doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

First of all, they base the claim on Smith’s earlier book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, in which he argues that conscience results from observing the condition of others, generating sympathy, which then serves as the basis of moral judgments.

Although I have no doubt that different communities view this book differently, the philosophical community has generally considered it sophomoric. In my decades as a professor of philosophy, not once did I see the book included in the standard philosophical curriculum. Most philosophy professors I knew had little knowledge of the book’s existence. So even if someone could cogently argue that The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations are philosophically consistent, that argument would have little bearing on whether classical economics is moral.

Smith has never been recognized in philosophical circles as a major thinker. As a matter of fact, he’s hardly recognized at all. And even some economists have noticed the sophomoric nature of his thinking. One highly respected, renowned economist, whose name I shall let the reader guess at, said this: “His very limitation made for success. Had he been more brilliant, he would not have been taken so seriously. Had he dug more deeply, had he unearthed more recondite truth, had he used more difficult and ingenious methods, he would not have been understood. But he had no such ambitions; in fact he disliked whatever went beyond plain common sense. He never moved above the heads of even the dullest readers. He led them on gently, encouraging them by trivialities and homely observations, making them feel comfortable all along.”

Yet Kennedy lists the elements of morality that Smith included in The Wealth of Nations. “[Smith] was no libertarian. . . . His idea of ‘natural liberty’ was almost the opposite of what it is usually taken to mean (namely, ‘do as you wish’). He was at pains in both books to emphasize the importance of self-control, of regard for the opinions of others, and of an expansive role of government in providing security, rule of law, and economic infrastructure. Way ahead of his time, he was even in favor of compulsory schooling.” An interesting list, but not one that justifies the view that Smith’s view of the economy is moral. A moralist would have expected to see something about poverty, hunger, and suffering, all of which are absent.

A serious, irrefutable proof of the immorality embodied in The Wealth of Nations and classical economics in general is easily devised.

Classical theorists like Smith aver that products derive their value from the labor that goes into producing them, and that labor, itself, is bought and sold. Wages, which are the price of labor, have a natural price which is the price needed to enable labor to subsist and to perpetuate itself without either increase or decrease. These dogmas are known as the labor theory of value and the subsistence theory of wages respectively. Some revealing implications can be derived from them.

First notice this oddity: labor produces products and the amount of labor expended determines their value. But labor is paid not the value of the products it produces but merely a subsistence wage. I defy anyone, economist or not, to justify that principle on moral grounds. Can Cook or Kennedy find an application of sympathy in this principle?

Second, the subsistence theory of wages describes a condition similar to that used by animal husbands in dealing with livestock. Classical economics treats labor as animal husbandry treats cows. Can treating a fellow human being as a farm animal ever be morally justified? Where is sympathy found in this? Working people, labor, those who create all the culture’s wealth, are nothing but farm, factory, and when necessary, cannon fodder.

But economists will say that these aspects of classical economics are not paid much attention any more. Perhaps, but what economists pay attention to and what goes on in the economy are different things. The Wall Street Journal’s report that 70 percent of people in North America live paycheck to paycheck demonstrates conclusively that the subsistence theory of wages is still being applied; our economists are just not honest enough to tell us about it.

If a subsistence wage is all that this economy pays working people, how would the culture determine how to treat those people not in the workforce—the aged, the infirm, and the handicapped, even the unemployed? Classical economics has no answer to this question because classical economics does not exist to provide for people generally. Classical economics divides the populace into two groups—capital and labor. Anyone not in one of these groups is somehow irrelevant, which explains why the President and other governmental officials always speak of the upper class and the middle class but never mention the lower class. Yet no one seems to notice that speaking of an upper and middle class without speaking of a lower class is meaningless.

The upshot is that if the dogmas of classical economics are applied consistently, there is no need for any people not capable of functioning in the workforce. So, in keeping with this implication, Andrew Mellon, President Herbert Hoover’s treasury secretary recommended that Hoover fight the depression by ”liquidating the farmers, liquidating the workers, and driving down wages.”

Of course, if this were openly advocated, the outrage would be uncontrollable and the system would be torn asunder. So this fact is obscured by the provision of “safety nets” that provide little safety, since what they are comprised of cannot exceed or even equal the subsistence wage. So Americans have social security which provides no security, unemployment compensation which is too meager to subsist on, welfare which is really illfare, and chancy access to healthcare at best. Yet those who promote this economy can, it seems, always find money to buttress business, create killing machines, and fight continual wars. What few seem to realize is that these consequences are logical implications of the dogmas of classical economics and come straight out of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Livestock, when unneeded, are routinely shipped to slaughter.

The United States and much of the so-called Western World are wallowing in widespread budgetary and sovereign debt crises, and the world’s financial elite are forcing many European nations into severe austerity programs much to the chagrin of European Peoples. Some of these nations have been referred to by the acronym PIGS, which is apt since pigs are a species of livestock. So what we have, of course, is swineherds sacrificing their livestock for the benefit of the international financial community which cares nothing for people or even the nations they reside in. These financiers validate Jefferson’s view that merchants have no country. They also have no morality, not even a smidgen. Neither do the economists who promote this economy.

Signs that the American swineherds are preparing to abandon their own herd by imposing an austerity program on it are displayed in the report of Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission and the insistence of our Republican Congressmen that spending on “entitlements” either be reduced or paid for while spending on wars, foreign aid, and the military be allowed to continue and even increase without any provisions whatsoever for paying for them. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that warfare and foreign aid are necessary economic principles while the American people have fallen into that group of economically irrelevant people that those like Andrew Mellon would have the government liquidate. So the unemployed should be allowed to starve, and the ill should be allowed to perish—both of which principles are perfectly consistent with the “morality” of classical economics.

Yet the most difficult thing to understand is what the proponents of this economy believe the purpose of it all is. What is the goal of all of this destruction, suffering, and killing? Does it give them some kind of deranged pride? Does a banker really feel good when he is told his bank evicted hundreds of families in the past week? Does a general rejoice when he is told that dozens of the enemy and scores of his own troops have been killed in the battle just fought? Does a legislator drink a toast to progress when it is learned that hundreds of children in her/his district go to bead hungry each night? If so, what kind of human beings are they? If not, just what can they possibly be thinking?

All the moral codes mentioned in this piece are Western in origin; yet none now plays a role in how the people of this civilization behave. When a civilization abandons its morality, no rationalization can be devised to justify its continued existence. It is likely that many reasons can be given for this abandonment, although I am convinced that one predominates—the expansion of law. Law once governed various kinds of behavior. It has now encroached upon various kinds of speech and is even being applied to the realm of belief. If there is a single aspect of human life that is not now circumscribed by law, I do not know of it. So when someone is accused of having done something wrong, the reply offered usually is something like, “What was done complied with all legal requirements.” But “right” has never been defined as “conforms to law,” because thoughtful people have long noticed that the law itself can be a great crime, and that the worst criminals in a culture can be its lawgivers, as the people of Ireland, Portugal, France, Spain, Greece, and Great Britain are now finding out. Americans will soon find it out too.

John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

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