Frank HerbertFrank Herbert, (1920-1986) American science fiction writer

Frank Herbert Quote

“The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy.”

Frank HerbertFrank Herbert
~ Frank Herbert

Dune, 1965

Ratings and Comments

Jack, Green, OH

As the author says, it's only a matter of degree - one hour to a lifetime, but that's a pretty large degree. The victim might not even notice a measly hour - or rather his survivors - because he won't know in either case. But the point he was really making is not the degree part but the attempt to hide the facts in convoluted legalisms. That's the important fact and amounts to deceit..

Ken, Allyn, WA

Convoluted wording and legalisms does make it all seem so civilized and proper, almost like an afternoon tea party and something of very little consequence. A juror would do well to remember the very real consequences of his decision.

Byron, Fort Collins, CO

I'll have to remember this whenever I go to the US Post Office or to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Byron, Fort Collins, CO

I've always thought that the miracle of Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, and all other great creators was not so much that they had mastered their craft, but that they had mastered it AND were prolific despite having to prop up the 'wet circus tent' of bureaucratic evil made to hang above them by those in power who had long ago abandoned creativity.

J Carlton, Calgary

"The convoluted wording of legalisms" intended to leave us with a vague perception of "justice" as opposed to law. In this way the Government and the legal community are able to keep the average man ignorant of his rights. In no way is such a system initiated by people with honest or noble intentions. It is a system that chooses to ignore justice or natural law and empower itself over the individuals rights. Its a criminal system.

  • Reply
Robken    6/15/11

Yes, Yes, Yes..... You make a law then you produce 10 volumes that explains it and as none of us want to read 10 volumes we end up breaking the law - We should mandate that no law can be more than 100 words and there can be no addition legal wording re explanation.

E Archer, NYC

As Mike from Norwalk often reminds us, 'laws' are not made up, laws already 'are,' that is what makes them laws. It is RULES that men are making, and in a republican form of government (republican meaning a government ruled by 'law' not men's 'rules'), jurisdictions are defined for the rules -- just as a club charter that makes rules for its members cannot be forced upon others. The problem has been that the jurisdiction of the federal government has far exceeded its bounds such that its rule-making has become obligatory to all. For you legal scholars, these rules are called 'statutes' and are referred to as 'colorable law' and are used in commercial law, not common law. The convoluted wording of legalisms is designed to get you to sign agreements that then require you to follow the 'rules' of the club you have just joined. Today, the common law jurisdiction has been gobbled up by the commercial law jurisdiction thus assigning criminal penalties for breaking commercial contracts -- the US Constitution originally separated these 2 jurisdictions to prevent this. The truth is that none of the Uniform Commercial Code applies to the common law jusridiction -- and the UCC is for the most part the only 'laws' on the books today using the 'Commerce Clause' as its toehold to the Constitution. Government subsidies come with strings attached!!!

Mike, Norwalk

Archer, thanks, said very well ! ! !

Kimo, H. Nations

There was a time, not too long ago, men all men carried justice in a holster by their side. "Civilization" has taken so many things away.

E Archer, NYC

The brutal Kavanaugh hearings have demonstrated significant violence and vitriol against essentially a choir boy.  Talk about character 'assassination.'   Such 'polite' violence and blatant hypocrisy.  

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Criminals use all kinds of coded signal devices to allude detection. Hand signals, skewed or slang wording, you even wonder about a criminal's cough so distance from natural language processes that they maintain.


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