Friday, August 5, 2005

Into the void

Marc Emery's legal battles, no matter where you stand on the marijuana issue, are by no means as evil, morally abhorant, unjust, cruel, or demeaning as slavery.
The only reason I've seen for this claim is, implicitly, that a lot of people happen to hold this opinion in 2005.

Kennedy gets to the meat of it in comments.
Many people argued that slavery was just. You think you know better. So what is the test? If you can't identify a principle for determining what is just then what makes you think you wouldn't have gone along with the crowd that thought slavery just?
The principle is that people own themselves, and that force can justly be used only against those who don't respect that principle.

In fairness, in the first quote there is at least a (hindsight-limited) notion of right and wrong, making it not quite as nihilistic as Brent Colbert's approach to unjust laws. Colbert denies there's ever a legitimate option of civil disobedience.

Update: Read Little Big Man's many, characteristically sensible contributions to this colloquium of Conservative legal positivists complaining that somebody doesn't respect Taboo.

You shouldn't expect to be allowed to flout the law with impunity just because you don't like it.
The question isn't whether you like it. The question is whether it is evil incarnate. To put a man in jail for the rest of his life for selling a seed that occurs naturally in nature is not only evil, it's insane.