Law, Legislation and Liberty
by F. A. Hayek

He describes law as a natural, unplanned, and evolving set of rules that make society possible by increasing the likelihood of people being able to realize their expectations. Law is obeyed for reasons of tradition and social approval.

Legislation is planned for specific purposes and enforced by the state through coercion. The abstract expression of laws is gradually discovered by judges who are called upon to settle disputes. Such judges may be needed to settle disputes about this book, because it is written in very abstract terms. It also suffers from a lack of insight into the moral reasons why people obey rules. Conscience, moral sentiments, a sense of right and wrong, all the emotions associated with morality, and other relevant elements of human psychology are never mentioned.

Laws seem to just happen for no reason, and if the rules are good, society and civilization advance. Government is assumed, gratuitously, to be necessary to enforce laws and to provide other services.

Year Read: 1974


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