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The Rule of Law in Western Civilization (By Orrin Woodward)

Posted by Life Leadership Forum , in Freedom 19 June 2014 · 2,824 views

Orrin Woodward Liberty
Winston Churchill once wrote:

There are few words which are used more loosely than the word “Civilization.” What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained.

That is Civilization—and in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.

Today, this view is becoming increasingly ignored as the State seeks to gain more power over society. In the video below I discuss some of the ramifications of the Rule of Law on liberty in Western Civilization.


Orrin WoodwardLIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

  • frbitter, Jetrina, Tom&Ronda and 1 other like this

I've had 4 deployments with the Army, 2 to Iraq and 2 to Afghanistan.  In both countries a common term used by the US personnel was that of "Rule of Law"  It was often pressed upon the local populace who often could not understand the concept at all.  However I found that a smart translator would quickly replace it with the word for "Justice" which is what they could comprehend.  What made it even more difficult when Americans would press the concept was that they didn't know what it really meant.  Eventually I learned that we had Americans who had lost the understanding of the principles of a free society trying to teach "Western Democracy" onto an Islamic nation.  This only confused the locals as they could not get a straight answer as to the real definition of "rule of law."  

So is Justice and Rule of Law interchangeable?  Are they at their core the same?  The Iraqis and Afghans considered them radically different in that they understood the concept of "rule of Law" as rule of the chief/dictator/leader, that the law as prescribed by them was supreme over everyone.  Justice on the other hand held a different meaning to them in that it mean you got treated fairly and justly.  

I am interested in your view on this.

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