In Hernando de Soto’s book, ‘the Mystery of Capital’, he discusses the means America used to establish property rights in both the raw frontier and the California gold rush claims. He makes the case that individuals operating outside the legal system, his term, the extralegals, adopted rules of conduct and claim settlement measures that were acceptable to all the parties directly involved, completely outside of the formal government system. When the general rules of conduct had been in place for a number of years, the government eventually wrote up formal laws based on these already accepted rules.
That bring me to what I see as the problem of the day; how the rules are now made, and the government expecting the people to live up to, laws imposed from above rather than the tried and true method of he past, where the lawmakers simply formalized the widely-followed popularized common procedures. When formalizing a common procedure, the people affected are already following that method to settle their differences and the test cases, already ‘water under the bridge’, have rooted the nonsense from the accepted rules. The effectiveness of this means to ‘test’ the viability of rules before the full force of the law begins sending offenders to jail is lost on the social engineering method in common use today
Whether we are talking about Ottawa or Washington, the body of members sitting in the various legislative are, in fact, far removed from where the action will be taking place. The rejection of many of the laws now being enacted is evident by the ever increasing amount of policing our society requires. That, of course being due to the regulations not reflecting what the people see as being in their own best interest.
Largely, the system we have today misplaces the cart and the horse. As Uncle Ab said, government of the people, by the people….one has to consider the broad moral principles that are the universals, the rules all us will gladly follow as they are the fundamental agreements necessary for the formation of a peaceful, prosperous society. Beyond that, the general rules the peaceful people find acceptable in a country should be the base of the laws of a country. The legislation should flow as a clear interpretation of natural and accepted action by the people, not from the lawmakers as rules designed to modify the actions of the people.
This is how I interpret the statement, accountable to the people, where the governing body’s only purpose is the formalization of the commonly accepted practices of a free and peaceful people, taking as its mandate the principle that the efforts of the citizens are honored, that each person is individually both responsible for, and the beneficiary of, the actions they undertake.