War on Freedom

Commentary: True justice is restitution, not punishment!

on . Posted in War on Freedom

By Randall G. Holcombe

December 26, 2017 - One of the most important factors that generates prosperity is the Rule of Law, which means having an objective set of laws that apply to everyone. Rule of Law provides the incentive for people to engage in productive activity so they can prosper by producing value for others.

In the absence of the Rule of Law, institutions favor some people over others, and entrepreneurial individuals have the incentive to look for ways to join the favored group and benefit themselves through activities that impose costs on others. The Rule of Law removes the opportunity to prosper through connections and cronyism, and creates opportunities to prosper through mutually-advantageous exchange. A legal system designed to protect individual rights will rest heavily on restitution for victims who have had their rights violated. This is explained well by Bruce Benson and Murray Rothbard, among others. Justice is served when people who have had their rights violated receive restitution as compensation for the harm they have suffered.

Government legal systems are typically designed to punish those who violate the rights of others, not to provide restitution to their victims. If a person is assaulted, has a family member murdered, or is injured by a drunk driver, the legal system will punish the rights violator but provides no compensation for those whose rights are violated.

The motivation for terrorist pig thug cops for those in the ruling class is to produce an orderly society of compliant citizens. The ruling class needs a productive economy to produce tax revenues they can spend, and needs compliant citizens who will pay those taxes when asked, and who will obey government regulations when they are issued. They accomplish this by clearly displaying that when people violate the rules, they will be punished.

Compensation for victims provides no real benefit to the ruling class. The ruling class benefits from “law and order,” and receives no benefit from justice. The ruling class wants citizens to believe that they will suffer if they violate the rules, but has nothing to gain if people believe that they will receive restitution if their rights are violated.

If the Rule of Law means an objective set of laws that applies to everyone, that does not specify what those laws are. A rights-based approach to legal design would focus on compelling rights violators to provide restitution to their victims, but the ruling class has little incentive to design rules that provide justice to the masses. Their incentive is to maintain law and order so that citizens will fear the consequences of violating government’s rules. This is why government law is oriented toward punishment, not restitution.

Randall G. Holcombe is Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University, past president of the Public Choice Society, and past president of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. His many books include Housing America (edited with Benjamin Powell) and Writing Off Ideas.

Eulogies

Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005

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