By Insula Qui
I have previously published an essay detailing a rehabilitation of the fascist natural law into a cohesive system with libertarian natural law on both my website and in “Anarcho-Monarchism”. This is important because the Lockean-libertarian form of natural law only accounts for the rational form of man. The far-right approaches the same question from the perspective of the animal form of man. Thus, we can call the libertarian version “rational law” and the far-right version “animal law”, for the sake of simplicity. Animal law cannot ever influence the legal system and rational law cannot ever influence non-violent relations. Thus, by combining both rational law and animal law, we can find faults in both systems and can immediately alleviate those flaws.
I will not recap that essay in its entirety, but the important takeaway is the two derivative conclusions from that combination. First, it’s an empty tautology to suppose that it is right to use force against those who aggress against someone first. If force is not actually used, it is irrelevant whether the use of force is justified or not. Secondly, we cannot extend the tribal nature of man to encompass modern states and we cannot suppose that the state has an inherent mandate from nature.
However, since writing that essay I have stumbled onto two other concepts that seem incredibly relevant to human life, and yet neither are universal in the same form the aforementioned concepts are. The first is the
law of God, the divine law that is not enforced by the rational legal system or the animal primal system. The law of God isn’t tribal or material. The law of God is something only found in eternity and as such, it is something that humans do not sustain by themselves. But the problem with universalizing this law is found in the behaviour of various groups. Even though each religion claims to be universally righteous, these universal claims only have testimonies from select groups of people. There is no religion that all peoples acknowledge as correct and as such we cannot apply religious law universally.
The second concept is the set of local and incidental norms all people must live under. No person has control which norms they fall under by birth into a community. But each person still has to embrace some norms and have allegiances beyond the animal and rational law. The argument that people can deny norms and God is not a particularly strong one, people can also deny the rational and animal laws, but this does not make them any more right in doing so.
Thus, we need to create a third category of law, this is the moral law. It encompasses the combination of local norms with the religion embraced by those in that same community. And the moral law is not universal, it is simply the supposition that all people need to have morals. This may not seem useful at first, but if we incorporate the moral law into a social system of analysis alongside the two other forms of law, we can create a near-perfect way to describe which behaviours have costs, without defaulting to the shaky notion of property-en-toto. (Property-en-toto is the supposition that whenever something has been defended with force, it becomes property due to that defence.)
However, we still need to address one complaint from the universalist libertarians. In “Freedom’s Progress?”, Professor Casey supposes that the first step towards human liberty was the creation of a notion that there are universal values. This is true in itself but does not tell the whole story. The moral law can never overpower the rational law, this relationship between the two laws creates liberty. As such, we need to first categorize the systems of law and their relation to one another.
Animal law is the baseline of all human existence. We have to accept that when all rationality fails, humans are animals and act like animals. We need to first use the notion of conflict, hierarchy, and group-preference before we can actually formulate complex law. Without the animal use of force and the animal urges that allow us to sustain civilization, there is nothing that can be built upon. Thus, animal law only describes what is and what has to be.
Rational law is a statement of when it is righteous to use force and how to prevent the misapplication of force. This law can never supercede the animal law, but the animal law cannot ever derive a right to engage in aggression from the rational law. This means that the rational law is perpetually threatened by the animal law while the animal law is bound to a developed society by rational law. The rational law allows us to maintain uniquely human interactions and describes how things best are and how to fix contradictions in reaching this ideal state.
Moral law forms the last bridge between rational law and animal law, it always supercedes animal law while never superceding rational law. When rational law and animal law are perpetually suppressing the urges of pure violent animalism and idealistic mechanical rationalism, moral law overcomes the animal while not infringing on the rational. This means that by using moral law, we can effectively instate the supremacy of rational law and approximate the conditions of the real world.
While animal law is the ground on which rational law is built, moral law is the foundation for that rational law. This also means that whenever moral law is in conflict with rational law, there can be no proper legal systems in a society. This is why it is impossible to forcefully try to bring liberalism or civilization to third world countries, it is impossible to build a rational law without a moral law that can sustain it. Furthermore, by using moral law, we can even more accurately categorize why it is ethically justified to not give reciprocal rights to savages. Savages are incapable of rational law due to a faulty moral law.
And since I have already described faulty moral law in my pieces on savagery, I now only have the task of describing which form of moral law can accurately bridge the gap between animal law and rational law. In effect, this establishes which social system is necessary for there to ever be libertarianism in the real world. Most libertarians already internally realize that only certain populations can be libertarian, but this will be a conclusive demonstration of why that has to be so.
The first important part of moral law is the acknowledgement of the individual and the existence of the individual. In a collectivist system, there is no such thing as rational law since law cannot be properly applied to individuals on the basis of their actions. This means that law must be applied in an irrational manner. This does not mean that the moral law has to be individualist, but concepts such as collective punishment and limited liability are ultimately incompatible with rational law.
Secondly, the moral law has to value reason over primal instinct. Because moral law elevates rational law above animal law, it can only exist in proper form with the presupposition that reason is more valuable than urges and instincts. There can be no rational law applied to groups that reject that law. Furthermore, there must be a framework of a rational language in which it is possible to express this law. Without proper linguistic capacity, it is impossible to form contracts and it is hard to determine which relationships are voluntary. By applying an insight from Curtis Yarvin and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, we can conclude that ambiguity in ownership must always create conflict.
And finally, the moral law must not be rejected in itself. Whenever animal law is rejected, we can expect a breakdown of society. This is even more apparent whenever rational law experiences a similar breakdown. Proper morality must be preferred over improper morality. There are still other necessary values for proper moral law, but these three are integral towards forming any sort of libertarian reciprocity.
By using this theoretical tool, we can answer more questions than we could before. By moving beyond the Lockean system of natural law and using concepts derived from fascist and neoreactionary thought, we are able to create a better way to observe the world. However, the method is only philosophically descriptive and not politically prescriptive as only the Lockean system can provide a functioning legal framework when it comes to the use of force. To use violence against those who reject hierarchy and moral values would be to destroy the system that can sustain hierarchy and morality in itself.