Theory of Legislation

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K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Company Limited, 1908 - Civil law - 472 pages

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Page 120 - When security and equality are in conflict it will not do to hesitate a moment. Equality must yield. The first is the foundation of life; subsistence, abundance, happiness, everything depends upon it. Equality produces only a certain portion of good. Besides, whatever we may do, it will never be perfect ; it may exist a day ; but the revolutions of the morrow will overturn it. The establishment of a perfect equality is a chimera; all we can do is to diminish inequality.
Page 65 - Oughi we to violate it? Ought we to remain neuter between the law which commands an evil, and morality which forbids it ? The solution of this question involves considerations both of prudence and benevolence. We ought to examine if it is more dangerous to violate the law than to obey it; we ought to consider whether the probable evils of obedience are less or greater than the probable evils of disobedience.
Page 112 - The idea of property consists in an established expectation; in the persuasion of being able to draw such or such an advantage from the thing possessed, according to the nature of the case.
Page 113 - Property and law are born together, and die together. Before laws were made there was no property ; take away laws, and property ceases.
Page 82 - The primitive sense of the word law, and the ordinary meaning of the word, is — the will or command of a legislator. The law of nature is a figurative expression, in which nature is represented as a being; and such and such a disposition is attributed to her, which is figuratively called a law. In this sense, all the general inclinations of men, all those which appear to exist independently of human societies, and from which must proceed the establishment of political and civil law, are called...
Page 48 - IT is with government as with medicine ; its only business is the choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty.
Page 265 - ... of a nature not to give the slightest inquietude to the most timid imagination ; and which can cause no regrets but to the very person who, through a sentiment of shame and pity, has refused to prolong a life begun under the auspices of misery. And what is the punishment...
Page 112 - ITow this expectation, this persuasion, can only be the work of law. I cannot count upon the enjoyment of that which I regard as mine, except through the promise of the law which guarantees it to me. It is law alone which permits me to forget my natural weakness. It is only through the protection of law that I am able to inclose a field, and to give myself up to its cultivation with the sure though distant hope of harvest.
Page 105 - I say, that his happiness is greater than the average happiness of the thousand farmers; but it is by no means probable that it is equal to the sum total of their happiness, or, what amounts to the same thing, a thousand times greater than the average happiness of one of them. It would be remarkable if his happiness were ten times, or even five times greater. The man who is born in the bosom of opulence, is not so sensible of its pleasures as he who is the artisan of his own fortune. It is the pleasure...
Page 85 - ... called anti-legal. When it is said, for example, that law cannot avail against natural rights, the word rights is employed in a sense above the law; for, in this use of it, we acknowledge rights which attack the law; which overturn it, which annul it. In this anti-legal sense, the word right is the greatest enemy of reason, and the most terrible destroyer of governments. There is no reasoning with fanatics, armed with natural rights, which each one understands as he pleases, and applies as he...

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