A thousand years of legal protections against tyranny are being stolen right before our eyes. Under the guise of good intentions, personal liberties as old as the Magna Carta have become casualties in the wars being waged on pollution, drugs, white-collar crime, and all of the other real and imagined social ills. The result: innocent people caught up in a bureaucratic web that destroys lives and livelihoods; businesses shuttered because of victimless infractions; a justice system that values coerced pleas over the search for truth; bullying police agencies empowered to confiscate property without due process.
"A devastating indictment of our current system of justice." — Milton Friedman
In this provocative book, Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton show how the law, which once shielded us from the government, has now become a powerful weapon in the hands of overzealous prosecutors and bureaucrats. Lost is the foundation upon which our freedom rest—the intricate framework of Constitutional limits that protect our property, our liberty, and our lives. Roberts and Stratton convincingly argue that this abuse of government power doesn't have ideological boundaries. Indeed, conservatives and liberals alike use prosecutors, regulators, and courts to chase after their own favorite "devils," to seek punishment over justice and expediency over freedom. The authors present harrowing accounts of people both rich and poor, of CEOs and blue-collar workers who have fallen victim to the tyranny of good intentions, who have lost possessions, careers, loved ones, and sometimes even their lives.
This book is a sobering wake-up call to reclaim that which is rightly ours—liberty protected by the rule of law.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Tyranny of Good Intentions|
|Release Date: 03-25-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Tyranny of Good Intentions
THE LAW AS SHIELD:
THE RIGHTS OF ENGLISHMEN
Four years into the “devil’s decade” of the 1930s, a period of high unemployment, a series of articles in the London Times on depressed regions within England pierced the British conscience. Among the “Places without a Future” were the once prosperous coal fields of Durham in northeast England, which had a 37 percent unemployment rate.
County Durham wasn’t a pretty picture. Herbert Pike Pease Daryngton, a member of the British House of Lords, wrote a letter to the Times saying that “your articles on ‘Desolate Durham’ are moving beyond words.” Indeed they were. The coal pits, which had supported densely populated villages in which miners lived with their families in small row houses, were closed, leaving the inhabitants of entire precincts unemployed. A miner’s weekly dole payment was the only thing standing between his family and starvation.
Economic life is always uncertain. At various times, stock market crashes and speculative busts have wiped out the rich, droughts and floods have ruined farmers, and when government mismanages monetary policy or technology makes an industry obsolete, the hardships for ordinary people can be extreme. Sometimes the hardships of famine are combined with the hardships of lawlessness, as in Somalia in 1992, a situation so bad that it prompted an American intervention from half a world away. But in 1934 the unemployed Durham coal miners, Lancashire textile mill workers, and Jarrow shipyard workers who marched on London were totally secure in law.
The legal security that the poor share