December 12, 2005

Jam Today! (Keynes Was Wrong...)

"Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today", said Keynes, quoting the Red Queen. But he was wrong. I'll be on a Pajamas Media Blog Jam today at 12 pm Pacific, 3 PM Eastern time. Topic will be The Rule of Law and the War on Terror.

Should be interesting.

Posted by James C. Bennett at December 12, 2005 10:59 AM

Ahem, Keynes was quoting the Red Queen, who was offering Alice a job in Through the Looking Glass.

Posted by: Helen at December 12, 2005 01:11 PM

How about defining terms. I've never been clear about what people mean by "rule of law," probably because I've heard it in so many contexts with so many connotations.

If it means that people should have due process before being punished for their crimes. I can go for that.

If it means that the courts should make policy decisions, I think it smacks of oligarchy.

Posted by: AST at December 12, 2005 03:49 PM

How about defining terms. I've never been clear about what people mean by "rule of law" ...

Wikipedia say:

The rule of law implies that government authority may only be exercised in accordance with written laws, which were adopted through an established procedure.

The soverign authority (Monarch, President, CEO, whatever) is subject to some higher Law rather than being the law. Previously the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings prevailed, in which the soverign can do 'absolutely' whatever he wants because apparantly God says so.

In England the Magna Carta 1215 (and its revisions) restricted the absolute nature of the Monarch. Various tussles between Monarch, Lords, People, and Parliament over the centuries resulted in the Bill of Rights 1689. Since then no English monarch has been chased away or executed by the people.

Posted by: Rog at December 12, 2005 05:04 PM

The Divine Right of Kings was never interpreted in England to mean that the King could do anything he felt like. Magna Carta just codified the existing customs of the land, that King John had tried to violate. The English King had always ruled with a council, a custom that went back to early Anglo-Saxon times at least; Tacitus describes a similar custom among the ancient Germans. So the rule of law has very old antecedents among us.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at December 12, 2005 09:02 PM

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Posted by: bcxbgcbc at April 18, 2007 04:07 AM
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