Prohibitive vs. Compulsory Law

on . Posted in Articles by Brent Johnson

by Brent Johnson

All laws fit into one of two classifications: laws that prohibit or laws that compel. Prohibitive laws tell you what you cannot do with someone else’s person or property. Compulsory laws tell you what you must do with your own person or property. Understanding these two different types of law is vital to a complete understanding of the general validity (or lack) of a given law.

Fredric Bastiat, in his brilliant and generally regarded as foundational essay, The Law, wrote that man is endowed with certain faculties, and that he has an inherent right to exercise those same faculties. Bastiat professed that the appropriate role for the law is to help man preserve his inherent rights to freely exercise the faculties with which he has been endowed.

The only way in which this may be reasonably accomplished is through the prohibition of certain acts that would unjustly violate man’s inherent right to exercise his faculties. (In no way do I mean to suggest that women are not entitled to the same rights as men… they most certainly are.)

Thus government, which was established to facilitate the administration of the law, which law exists to preserve the free exercise of individuals’ rights, is charged with the inherent responsibility of preserving the unalienable rights of the people. This can only be accomplished by enacting mala prohibita or prohibitive laws.

Examples of prohibitive laws include: you may not murder, you may not steal, you may not rape, and you may not violate another person or his property. Laws against murder, arson, theft, fraud, etc. are prohibitive in nature and therefore appropriate applications of law.

On the other hand, government may not legitimately achieve its purpose through compulsory laws.

Examples of compulsory laws include: you must buckle your seatbelt, you can only use your land for approved purposes, and you must go at or below the required speed. Seatbelt laws, land use laws, speeding laws, etc. are compulsory in nature and therefore inappropriate applications of law.

Inappropriate may be too harsh a term. The real issue concerning compulsory laws is that they must always be voluntary or they are invalid. In other words, the government cannot compel you to do something unless you agree to be compelled.

However, the government can place conditions on the acceptance of its privileges or benefits, requiring you to agree to be subject to a body of compulsory laws in exchange for the use or issuance of some privilege or benefit. If you accept the privilege or benefit, you incur the liability of obedience to the regulations governing its issue.

A good example of compulsory laws is found in military service. When you take the oath to become a serviceman or woman, you agree to be compelled by the military. You no longer enjoy the free exercise of your faculties; you have voluntarily waived those rights in exchange for joining the service. If you did not agree to accept compulsory laws as binding upon you, then you could not join the service, nor would you be accepted into it.

Compulsory law must always be voluntary or a dictatorship results. If legitimacy is ever given to any government’s efforts to compel its population to action, then the fundamental laws on which civilization was built will fall and chaos will certainly result.

When you evaluate a law, its application, and whether or not its provisions bind you, first consider if the law in question is prohibitive or compulsory. If it is the latter, then look for the necessary voluntary joinder, such as an application for a license or permit. Once you find it, decide whether you really want to volunteer. If you choose not to, then do not sign the form or application, or perform the required task for participation (such as taking the service oath). If you do not volunteer, then compulsory laws cannot control you.

Remember, all legitimate laws are prohibitive, telling you what you cannot do to someone else’s person or property. Any laws that purport to compel you to action must have hidden mechanisms for establishing your voluntary participation.

Beware the two-faced nature of politicians and attorneys who would lead you down the path of abject servitude! They will tell you that they have the right to make laws that you must obey, for your own good! Any other admission would mean they do not have ultimate power over you, and they will never admit that.

We the People have the power to compel the government to obey our Laws, or to disassemble it if it fails to do so. The government holds no such power over us.

Learn the Truth. Assert your rights. Never volunteer away your American heritage.

Eulogies

Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005

Freedom
2003-2018

Freedom sm

My Father
1918-2010

brents dad

Dr. Stan Dale
1929-2007

stan dale

A. Solzhenitsyn
1918-2008

solzhenitsyn

Patrick McGoohan
1928-2009

mcgoohan

Joseph A. Stack
1956-2010

Bill Walsh
1931-2007

Walter Cronkite
1916-2009

Eustace Mullins
1923-2010

Paul Harvey
1918-2009

Don Harkins
1963-2009

Joan Veon
1949-2010

David Nolan
1943-2010

Derry Brownfield
1932-2011

Leroy Schweitzer
1938-2011

Vaclav Havel
1936-2011

Andrew Breitbart
1969-2012

Dick Clark
1929-2012

Bob Chapman
1935-2012

Ray Bradbury
1920-2012

Tommy Cryer
1949-2012

Andy Griffith
1926-2012

Phyllis Diller
1917-2012

Larry Dever
1926-2012

Brian J. Chapman
1975-2012

Annette Funnicello
1942-2012

Margaret Thatcher
1925-2012

Richie Havens
1941-2013

Jack McLamb
1944-2014

James Traficant
1941-2014

jim traficant

Dr. Stan Monteith
1929-2014

stan montieth

Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy

Stan Solomon
1944-2015

Stan Solomon

B. B. King
1926-2015

BB King

Irwin Schiff
1928-2015

Irwin Schiff

DAVID BOWIE
1947-2016

David Bowie

Muhammad Ali
1942-2016

Muhammed Ali

GENE WILDER
1933-2016

gene wilder

phyllis schlafly
1924-2016

phylis schafly

John Glenn
1921-2016

John Glenn

Charles Weisman
1954-2016

Charles Weisman

Carrie Fisher
1956-2016

Carrie Fisher

Debbie Reynolds
1932-2016

Debbie Reynolds

Roger Moore
1917-2017

Roger Moore

Adam West
1928-2017

Adam West

JERRY LEWIS
1926-2017

jerry lewis

HUGH HEFNER
1926-2017

Hugh Hefner

PROF. STEPHEN HAWKING
1942-2018

Hugh Hefner 

ART BELL
1945-2018

Art Bell

DWIGHT CLARK
1947-2018

dwight clark

CARL MILLER
1952-2017

Carl Miller

HARLAN ELLISON
1934-2018

Harlan Ellison

STAN LEE
1922-2018

stan lee