[Book] Civil Right

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[Book] Civil Right

Post by Valonia »

Civil Right
by Cane Halcorr, Druid of Yew

[This was written sometime during the Guardian’s reign, and was apparently penned in response to the druid Farehar’s assertion of Natural Justice.]

In the state of nature, there only exists the law of strength. Though it would be idyllic for a natural justice to exist, the reality is that the strong compel the weak. It is for us, being as we are part of a society, to create and enforce civility in accordance with reason, through rules and methods we agree upon and codify into law. After all, in the state of nature there may well be society of some kind, but there is no -civil- society. And a system that is void of rational principles is, like the wooden head in the fable, fine enough in appearance but is unfortunately left wanting of mind.

There are those who argue that there is an inalienable Justice within the world, entitling people to the fruits of their labor and unfettered liberty. However, by that very same state of nature that some claim bestows such gifts, the law of the strong would dictate that having or possessing any object would last just as far as he who wills to appropriate it can defend it, whether it be property or one’s freedoms.

Thus I argue that we must leave behind the state of nature, and focus on the laws we as cognizant rational actors create. It is only through the social contract, and the ability to enforce good conduct and right action, that we thwart constant conflict between man versus man. It is only in conformity with the idea of a civil state of society, or in reference to it and its realization, that anything external can be acquired. For in spite of claims of ‘nature’, without the enforcement from a legitimized authority, any brigand may claim right of property, or of conquest, or of virtue.

Thus I posit that it is intrinsically good for a legitimate punisher, appointed through society, to give the committers of wrong deeds the punishment they deserve. It is within the courts that Justice resides, and thus the responsibility and burden for ensuring that right actions are enforced, and wrong actions are punished.

I also posit that if the guilty are not punished, justice is not done. If justice is not done, then the idea of law itself is undermined.

Finally, too, do I posit that those who commit certain kinds of wrongful acts morally deserve to suffer a proportionate punishment, equal to the wrong they commit to the society as a whole.

How then to best exact Justice within such a society? Through reasoned proof, context, and discourse, rather than reach for some nebulous ‘Justice’ emanating from the trees and rocks of nature. The question, then, is not merely “What is right in itself?” in the sense in which every man must determine it by the judgement of reason; but “What is right as applied to this case?” that is, “What is right and just as viewed by a court?”

[The text continues on for some length, detailing specific laws and how the author believes they are best applied.]
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