Statist claim: Law can only come from the State


"Rights come from society" (or "Rights are granted by the state").


"Without government, there would be chaos! We must have rule of law!"


Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law." - Edward Abbey
The problem is that the people are taught that when violence has been made “legal” and is committed by “authority,” it changes from immoral violence into righteous “law enforcement.” The fundamental premise upon which all “government” rests is the idea that what would be morally wrong for the average person to do can be morally right when done by agents of “authority,” implying that the standards of moral behavior which apply to human beings do not apply to agents of “government” (again, hinting that the thing called “government” is superhuman). Inherently righteous force, which most people generally agree is limited to defensive force, does not require any “law” or special “authority” to make it valid. The only thing that “law” and “government” are needed for is to attempt to legitimize immoral force And that is exactly what “government” adds, and the only thing it adds, to society: more inherently unjust violence. No one who understands this simple truth would ever claim that “government” is essential to human civilization. - Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

Voluntaryists believe that just law, like natural rights, derives from the nature of man, or for theists, from God. Law can be voluntarily entered into with choices of norms sets and service levels - polycentric law - or be monocentric, i.e. a government monopoly. The diagram illustrates the possibilities for human norms. [HB]

See Also:

The Myth of the Rule of Law by John Hasnas
The Nature of Law by Roderick T. Long
Polycentric Law links