There is a group promoting what they call the Prime Law. The group is called the Twelve Visions party, and I make no recommendation of he group. I don't know who they are.
But their Prime Law is so simple it could be taught to every school child. It seems to echo the Trader Principle. It is here: http://tvpnc.org/the-prime-law/
But the law is so terse I can print it in it's entirety right here:
Preamble The purpose of human life is to prosper and live happily. The function of government is to provide the conditions that let individuals fulfill that purpose. *The Prime Law guarantees those conditions by forbidding the use of initiatory force, fraud, or coercion by any person or group against any individual, property, or contract. Article 1: No person, group of persons, or government shall initiate force, threat of force, or fraud against any individual’s self, property, or contract. Article 2: Force is morally-and-legally justified only for protection from those who violate Article 1. Article 3: No exceptions shall exist for Articles 1 and 2.
How is that for unit economy?
I am vetting our local politicians for an upcoming Recall Election and am thinking of asking them whether they would conform to such a law. If you read the law carefully I think you can see that it is something a single person can benefit from, or that could be amended to the US constitution, or to any organization of any size.
Could this be an actionable foundation for an Objectivist platform? Might we be able to use this to affect change?
asked May 18 '12 at 07:07
Value Critic ♦
The "Prime Law" sounds similar to the Libertarian approach, where they've taken the non-initiation of force as a mystically revealed, out-of-context primary.
To answer the OPs questions, no, I don't think it's a legal expression of the Trader Principle, nor do I think it would be an actionable foundation for an Objectivist platform.
Regarding "Article 3: No exceptions," what about retaliation against the use of force? That's different from protection, is a legitimate role of government, but is not listed in Article 2. Where does self-defense fit it? What about pre-emptive strikes when a threat is well-known? What if you gave someone permission to initiate force against you (as a stunt actor, for example)? Or is that even really force?
The "law" does not define "force," "initiation," "fraud," "property," or "contract." Most people don't think of force like Objectivists do. If someone taps you on the shoulder, or bumps into you in a crowd, is that force? The law as written leaves a lot of grey areas that are only compounded by the idea of "no exceptions." Applying the rule of non-initiation of force properly requires establishing context -- which basically says that there may be all kinds of exceptions under certain circumstances.
Without the philosophical underpinnings that Objectivism provides, it becomes very hard to make consistent definitions and to separate the good uses of force from the bad.
answered May 18 '12 at 09:12