Mark Da Vee Quote

“Positive laws are tyrannical. One's individual rights -- whether they be life, liberty, or property -- must be sacrificed by the state in order to fulfill the positive rights of another. For example, if housing is considered a "right," then the state will have to confiscate wealth (property) from those who have provided shelter for themselves in order to house those who have not. ... True justice is realized when our lives, and property are secure, and we are free to express our thoughts without fear of retribution. Just laws are negative in nature; they exist to thwart the violation of our natural rights. Government ought to be the collective organization -- that is, the extension -- of the individual's right of self-defense, and its purpose to protect our lives, liberties, and property.”

~ Mark Da Vee

Defining Justice, The Freeman, P. 566-67, August, 1996

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

The philosophical 'Positivist' law is that which is man made contrary to natural law (the law of nature and of Nature's God). Maritime Law practiced on land, Roman based equity through early British adaptations, Keynesian economics, etc., as is contrary to the natural law, which is common to all men, is here referenced as Positive and tyrannical. The statist theocracy infesting this land is both Positive and tyrannical.

jim k, Austin,Tx

Government takes our lives and liberty and steals our property.

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RBESRQ    12/6/10

This is exactly why we have progressed beyond clubbing each other to death to safeguard our property - what a ridiculous conclusion. I'll give him three stars for the last sentence.

Mike, Norwalk
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Mike, Norwalk RBESRQ 5/24/24

Robert, FYI  "the law of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence) is "law" (science, physics, gravity, mathematics, magnetics, life, inalienable rights, liberty, etc.). Natural law is a philosophy of men that is observed in nature and then may be applied to image nature's law. It was natural law that was used by most of the founders to represent inalienable rights and liberty at law. Nature's law exists throughout eternity and is unchangeable. Positive law is a philosophy of man (carnal gods) that is based on a perceived and applied superior position over all that it purveys (sentient chattel). The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land acts in a totalitarian manner through positivist law. 

Chuck Woolery, Rockville
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Chuck Woolery, Rockville RBESRQ 5/24/24

Yes!  To the last sentence.  In regard to his previous shallow ideas...every individual right ends when it violates the rights of others.  The Laws of Nature are clear.  Violating them... endangers life.  The laws of Nature's God are also clear.  Take care of each other (the golden rule) by being virtuous.  Virtue is the key retaining both your freedom and your security.   Read "Thomas Paine's 'common sense'!   No one is independent.  Everyone is interdependent.  Take care of nature and each other...or prepare for the consequences. 

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Publius    12/6/10

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. WHEREFORE, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows, that whatever FORM thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."

Chuck Woolery, Rockville
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Chuck Woolery, Rockville Publius 5/24/24

To the degree that governments and/or 'we the people" don't take care of the degree to which both the government and the heath and prosperity of the people are simply unsustainable.

John Shuttleworth, NYC

Mike (Norwalk) gave a very clear and well considered opinion, In the space available (reasonable for a reply to a quote). This quote opens a vast debate which, like almost all philosophically based opinions, requires a reply far beyond that which a "short" answer can encompass. Therefore, briefly, wherein our given laws does it say we have a "right" to any tangible, physical element? It would take a book to discuss whether we have a "right" to property, whatever that means as "ownership". Urinating on trees will work only to the extent there is sufficient game in the forest other wolves can eat without crossing the "scent line"; or, sufficient females available for mating purposes. I have never heard of females scent marking boundaries. I digress. Logical Positivism has its roots in Parmenides and Zeno, despite his tautological arguments. It is not 20th Century. Moreover, nowhere does Positivism have a "logical" link to morality or ethics and one SHOULD NOT (forgive the caps - emphasis only) link that which we construct as "social" law with what we perceive to be "natural" law. We make both assumptions and assertions based upon our presumptive desires up to the point where something, or someone, proves us wrong. In any "open" society we have no "right" to anything which the general agreements that structure the society allow. Then, who enforces those rights ? These arguments about morality and ethics based upon a set of philosophical premises are largely fallacious and we should be careful in couching our pleas in those terms.

E Archer, NYC

John, if you wish to be brief, then be brief. ;-) If you have a point, it is hard to decipher here. Start with the distinction between natural law and 'rules' made by people that they call 'laws' -- they are in fact 'statutes.' As Mike has explained in previous posts, the founders attempted to structure a government that was not centralized like an immovable pyramid of power, but to promote and protect a way of living that would be in harmony with what they believed to be in accordance with natural law. They drew upon the writings of great thinkers and philosophers as well as the Bible and Christian principles of love, forgiveness, forbearance, honor, and a trust in the God of Nature. The ideal was a community living in harmony with each other, offering mutual protection.

Were they fooling themselves because there is no 'right' order, no natural law? Or have their statutes been elevated to positivist 'law' and in opposition to natural law?

As a child I wondered why the 10 commandments were mostly 'negativist' ("Thou shall not ...") -- I wondered, why isn't the commandment "Thou shall tell the truth" rather than "do not bear false witness." It is because the commandments are not laws in and of themselves, they are 'rules' to follow in order to be in accordance with natural law.

What is the 'natural law'? It is what it is, it is up to us to figure it out. "As you sow, so shall you reap." -- that is the law. "Treat people the way you would like to be treated." -- that is the golden 'rule' -- why? Because of the law, as you so, so shall you reap.

It becomes a problem when people attempt to punish a person for breaking the rules, when the rules were there to protect people from the natural consequences of the law.

The point I am trying to make is that natural law does exist, along with a 'philosophy' about it. That philosophy does become clearer, as we stumble upon the truth along the way. It's all a big dialogue -- we must pay attention to the response of our actions if we are to learn from them.


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