sexta-feira, 16 de fevereiro de 2007

Natural Right

"After outlining Proudhon's legal theory and his conception of natural right, this paper will attempt to demonstrate that Proudhon's thinking on law is an outstanding contribution to modern political theory. It is not too much to say, in fact, that his philosophy of law and natural right stands as a highly suggestive antidote to the hopeless confusion in contemporary political theory, a confusion that stems not only from the cloudy conception of justice posited by the social contract theorists but from the defective conception of justice advanced by the advocates of state socialism as well. (...)

The assertion that all laws enacted by formal legislative bodies are illegitimate, as Proudhon and other anarchists would have it, not only sounds harsh to the ear of the average person but appears to be irresponsible as well, so habituated are people to looking to the state for the outline of justice. But as world events again and again have demonstrated in recent years, the ersatz systems of justice maintained by modern states are rapidly falling apart, and lawlessness and violence are becoming widespread as a conse- quence. If anarchists are correct in their assessment of the situation, there is no remedy short of a total revision of our attitude toward jurisprudence. So long as we follow the Hohhesian dictum that law primarily originates from the commands of sovereign states, this lawlessness must persist. When enough people finally recognize that the only proper basis of law is the free agreements arrived at by social groups acting in the spirit of voluntarism, federalism, and reciprocity, the foundations will have been laid for a genuine social order in which justice will be possible. If Proudhon's writings sud-denly have become convincing to more and more people, it is because his philosophy of law offers a meaningful solution to the social problems we face with the breakdown of law and order." Natural Right in the Political Philosophy of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

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