What Is Legislation

What is Legislation What, then, is legislation? It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of absolute, irresponsible dominion over all other men whom they can subject to their power. It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to subject all other men to their will and their service. It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to abolish outright all the natural rights, all the natural liberty of all other men; to make all other men their slaves; to arbitrarily dictate to all other men what they may, and may not do; what they may, and may not, have; what they may, and may not, be. It is, in short, the assumption of a right to banish the principle of human rights, the principle of justice itself, from off the earth, and set up their own personal will, pleasure, and interest in its place. All this, and nothing less, is involved in the very idea that there can be any such thing as legislation that is obligatory upon those upon whom it is imposed.

From: Lysander Spooner’s “Natural Law, or the Science of Justice: A Treatise on Natural Law, Natural Justice, Natural Rights, Natural Liberty, and Natural Society; Showing that All Legislation Whatsoever is an Absurdity, a Usurpation, and a Crime. Part First.”.

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