Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Rule of Law

The Critical Faculty Dojo is musing on the idea of Democracy.

I chip in thus:

Democracy without Rule of Law will not stop the mob taking your stuff and stopping you doing what you want.

If you have Rule of Law (as in property rights over your body, thoughts, assets and capital, few laws applied transparently and equally to all) then Democracy is a bonus, yet what can an oligarchy do to you if rule of law still exists? It must first remove or undermine Rule of Law before it can do you any real harm.

One could argue that Democracy is the least worst safeguard against the erosion of Rule of Law, but that Rule of Law is, actually, what is of most practical benefit to people. Democracy is just a means to the end, the end being Rule of Law.

2 comments:

Phil A said...

Always considered, sensible well thought out comments and ideas from this quarter - Thanks.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. Democracy is important, but necessary preconditions are Rule of Law, secular government and a reasonably homogeneous population, i.e. not tribal as in Kenya, Pakistan etc.