The rise of the absolutist kings saw the legists turn Roman Law into a veritable arsenal that disconnected the ruler from the restrictions of both customary and natural law. By the time of the Enlightenment, the West abandoned yet more its higher law tradition with the declaration of the divine right of kings, effectively proclaiming the king free from consultation and even exempt from higher law.Share
It was Thomas Hobbes in his terrifying Leviathan who wrenched law from its moral foundations in eternal law and introduced individual self-interest and fear as the basis for government. It was John Lock who secularized and truncated natural law and turned law into a mere social contract among men in protection of estate and property. It was the French Revolution that swept away the patchwork of organic legal systems and enacted abstract legal codes.
The nineteenth century saw the encroachment of civil law systems where law was reduced to mere statutes bound to no other law thus stripping away the “moral and ontological moorings of governance.”1
Today, we reach the final stages where there are those who would tear down the final stones from our legal foundation and wrench all morality from law.
Indeed, there are those who seek to make law serve disorder rather than order. They wish to employ the State to make use of the full force of law against those that profess an objective morality. Nothing must inhibit a man from being his own law subservient to any other, thus echoing the slogan of the student revolts in the sixties who affirmed that supreme paradox: it is forbidden to forbid! (Read more.)