Jackman Blau

The Earth Belongs to the Living, and not to the Dead

In Law on 21 January 2012 at 1:31 am

I’ve been reflecting on the consequences of a truth that should be self-evident: that the Earth emphatically belongs to the Living and not the Dead, and that the Dead cannot bind the Living any more than one nation can bind, by law, the citizens of another.

To illustrate, suppose that 100 years ago a law was enacted by a majority of the People subject to its rule. Now, 100 years later, these People have all joined the Dead, and yet their posterity remain bound by the law.

The question is this: Should the Living, having had no control over the law’s enactment, be bound by it? If the Living are to enjoy the Earth and the right to govern themselves, then the answer must, unequivocally, be no. To say otherwise suggests that the will of the Dead continues to live in the affairs and governance of the Living.
Now certainly the law may be repealed, but if this effort is necessary to escape its rule, then the Living are, by default, subject to the laws of the Dead – laws which they never enacted, but for which it is incumbent upon them to nullify and abolish. If this be so, then the Earth belongs predominantly to the Dead, and the Living must actively rescind all the laws of the Dead prior to their belonging to a truly free society in which they may govern themselves.

Given the absurdity of this, it seems prudent to have a legal safeguard which protects against the Living being ruled by the Dead. I would think it wise that each and every law should have an expiration date 20 years after its enactment. If the law remains desirable after 20 years, the Living, through reenactment, will continue to govern themselves by it. If the law is unfavorable after this period, it will expire, along with the People who enacted it, and the next generation of the Living shall enjoy the fruits of the Earth, free from laws they themselves did not consent to.

  1. Firstly – history, the notion of a shared past that is still in the present is pretty solid. Consider that ALL institutions are unequivocally historical, are established, inherited and are in turn passed on generation to generation to be continuously altered or destroyed [and replaced]. Nothing arises outside history or without reference to it. The national space I inherit as an Irishman from the generations before me has been entirely created by the actions of the now deceased or soon to be deceased, I inherit it and work within it, I therefore can directly feel the consequences of the actions of men like Charlie Haughey (died 2006) prime minister of Ireland on more that one occasion in that they shaped the environment into which I was born and therefore have shaped my growth and maturation, even the opportunities that are open to me.

    Secondly – unless you honestly believe that the basis of law is to be found only in the consent of the majority your entire argument can be dismissed quite easily. Generally we have a system of laws grounded in abstract notions like that of justice – where it is the case that such and such a law is so, because it is right, fair, just, necessary and so on that it is so. That is there are obviously other factors that determine the shape and nature of political society than simply ‘whatever a certain group of people wants at a certain time’

    Thirdly your position is highly impractical – we have to entirely regenerate our political society for each new generation, a new system of government, a new set of binding laws etc. That would lead to an inconstancy that borders on the insane, for example past generations, if your argument is the true [and it is most definitely false] shouldn’t legislate for future generations, their economic policy should be entirely short-term in its concerns and aims.

    Fourthly, and here’s the root philosophical issue – what the hell is wrong with the dead having influence over the living? The moment a man dies we are to simply disregard his life’s work, his ideas and beliefs, his contribution [negative or positive] to society? The whole point is precisely that we have a shared existence – the actions of a man aren’t suddenly made irrelevant in their relation to you because he is deceased.

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