Ius sine lege
By the way
Frank van Dun
Feel free to contact me at
dot vanDun at
UGent dot be
Frank van Dun
& the limits of value-free science From the archives. A 1986 paper now available on http://www.mises.org/reasonpapers/archives.htm
Freedom, Morality and Justice (1985)
Some links may be broken.
I may be able to send you an inaccessible text
Here you will find electronic preprints of most
of my recent work. My central interest is the philosophy of freedom which I
approach from the perspective of a philosopher of law. Hence my preoccupation
with the theory of natural law (mainly natural law libertarianism), classical
liberalism and logic.
We are now a people of the
government, for the government, by the government.
The strongest man in the
world is the man who stands alone.
(Dr. Stockmann, in
"An Enemy of the People")
Dwight Eisenhower (Farewell
The free university,
historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery,
has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because
of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a
substitute for intellectual curiosity.
We are only concerned
here with such minds and hearts as cannot fall victim to common boredom,
which can carry through a train of thought, and have imagination enough
to be able to do without the concrete imaginings of others or, if they
do turn to them, are not enslaved, but can keep their own integrity.
reformers here and abroad are widely under the impression that the
liberty they seek for their societies can be imposed in much the way
that socialist systems of old were imposed. ... Genuine liberty is not just another form of government
management. It means the absence of government management.
most important Manhattan Projects of the future will be vast
government-sponsored enquiries into what the politicians and the
participating scientists will call ‘the problem of happiness’—in
other words, the problem of making people love their servitude.
In a high-tech age that
has seen the creation of artificial intelligence by computers, we are
also seeing the creation of artificial stupidity by people who call
Educational institutions created to pass on to the next generation the
knowledge, experience and culture of the generations that went before
them have instead been turned into indoctrination centers to promote
whatever notions, fashions or ideologies happen to be in vogue among
relatively easy to bear;
what stings is justice.
- Say what you will about the Ten
Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are
only ten of them.
ultimate effects of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill
the world with fools.
man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs
by minding other people's business.
Vice is a monster of so
As to be hated needs but to be seen.
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
John Brignell: Numberwatch
Almost the entire political class has isolated itself not
only from people, but from the laws of physics, economics and common sense.
language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,
and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
I can only suppose that one of modern education’s purposes
is to prevent people from thinking for themselves.
Judge Learned Hand
There is nothing sinister in so
arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody
does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty
to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not
voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere
Politics attracts and favors the unprincipled and
manipulative. It is a playground for psychopaths, for the charmingly
conscienceless, for the utterly self-concerned.
In a democracy decisions
are made by international financiers, Press barons, permanent officials,
and even, occasionally, by Cabinet Ministers.
De Utopische verleiding
: Tweede druk
De Utopie van de mensenrechten:
van het Murray Rothbard instituut
Recht, Markt en Staat - Mens en Samenleving -
Recht en Onrecht en andere essays :
Buy it here
In The Shadow of The Prodigy
Buy it here /
See ALL BOOKS
De rechtshistorische attitude
Wise words from Lew Rockwell, president
of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in
Auburn, Alabama, and editor of LewRockwell.com
-Never trust a
politician to represent, much less speak for, an intellectual movement. The
likes of [U.S. Congressman] Ron Paul come along once a century or so. As a
corollary, do not place your hopes in politics as an instrument of social
change. After all, libertarians believe in a completely depoliticized
underestimate people’s tendency toward ideological drift. The intellectual
foundations of liberty are never so strong that the basics can be taken for
granted. Strategic thinking is essential, but no matter what the political
moment seems to demand, libertarians must never be drawn away from the first
principles of liberty and private property. Never permit yourself the
slightest compromise with those two principles, and check every political
position you hold against them. Better to get out of ideological activism
altogether than to drag others into error.
underestimate the power of bad ideas. They must be refuted again and again.
What sounds obviously ridiculous to you ... is right now drawing someone
into intractable fallacy. Error must be confronted head on, even when
advanced by erstwhile allies. To believe in freedom, and to apply the
principle consistently, means more than merely having a bias. It requires
hard intellectual work, enormous amounts of reading, and systematic
training. There are no short cuts.
-The primary goal
of intellectual outreach to other camps cannot be to convince others (to be
convinced of another point of view is a trait of the young, not established
writers and scholars), but rather to learn from others and improve your own
understanding. The movement grows not by leaps-and-bounds, but step-by-step.
-Always focus on
the long-term, while doing what’s right day-to-day. Someday you will see,
and maybe sooner than we think, that all your efforts on behalf of liberty
have helped reap huge rewards for civilization. When that day comes,
however, you will not receive any credit, and that is fine because the point
is not institutional or personal aggrandizement. Others will jump in to grab
the spotlight and attempt to subvert the movement, and our job will begin
all over again.
2, 2002, http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/paleoism.html