Principium Volume III, Book 12, Quote 1214 and 1222

1214. (1-21-2011) Though in many respects the French Revolution was inspired by the American, it never achieved what had been the chief result of the other – a constitution which puts limits to powers of legislation. Moreover, from the beginning of the Revolution, the basic principles of equality before the law were threatened by the new demands of the precursors of modern socialism, who demanded an egalite de fait (equality of fate or accomplishment)ATJ instead of a mere egalite de droit (equality of rights)ATJ.

- Friedrich A. Hayek – The Constitution of Liberty, 1960


1222. (1-25-2011) [T]hough government has to administer means which have been put at its disposal (including the services of all those whom it has hired to carry out its instructions), this does not mean that it should similarly administer the efforts of private citizens. What distinguishes a free from an unfree society is that in the former each individual has a recognized private sphere clearly distinct from the public sphere, and the private individual cannot be ordered about but is expected to obey only the rules which are equally applicable to all. It used to be the boast of free men that, so long as they kept within the bounds of the known law, there was no need to ask anybody’s permission or to obey anybody’s orders. It is doubtful whether any of us can make this claim today. The general, abstract rules, which are laws in the substantive sense,…,essentially long-term measures, referring to yet unknown cases and containing no references to particular persons, places, or objects. Such laws must always be prospective, never retrospective, in their effect. That this should be so is a principle, almost universally accepted but not always put into legal form; it is a good example of those meta-legal rules which must be observed if the rule of law is to remain effective.

- Friedrich A. Hayek – The Constitution of Liberty, 1960

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Principium Volume III, Book 13, Quote 1331 and 1334

1331. (3-3-2011) (The book “On Power” is going to be much more cerebral and feel abstract, but lend your mental faculties to it and bits of truth begin to come. Like the leaks in a dam, dike, or levy,