But clearly, these are not the “Eternal Natural Laws” sought by the scientists. They are quite different – always laid down by a country’s Ruling Class to maintain the status quo, whether the lawmaker is a king, a Council or an elected Government. And, what gives these ruling bodies the power to enforce these “laws”?
It isn’t the consent of the population: they are never actually asked! Indeed, the nearest they get to having any sort of input, is that every five years or so, they are given the chance to choose among a small group of Political Parties (none of which is remotely what the majority of the people want), which one should rule the country for the next five year period. So if the people don’t determine the policies and Laws of the land, who does?
Well, you can never ask such a question entirely within the present! For every such situation exists within an already established structure of wealth and power, and hence to answer the question posed, we must see how such structures were originally established.
Well crudely and quite evidently the historical acquisition of power to lay down the Laws of a society always resided in those who could dispose “bodies of armed men” to establish their will! These could be a private army, a police force, or even a nation’s armed forces.
But as the populace gained more rights, a new mechanism was developed, which gave the appearance of such “ruling and enforcing” organisations bearing the stamp of carrying out the wishes of, and conforming to the ideas of, the majority of those ruled.
This great illusion was, of course, Democracy!
But, it was always a confidence trick! When the chips were down, and the mismatch between the people and their rulers was strikingly evident, the enforcement of the Rule of Law, was clearly still in the hands of the very same lot, who wielded the bodies of armed men to enforce the will of the real rulers – themselves. And, who were they?
They were NOT the ruling majority in the elected parliament, for they certainly did not own nor control the nation’s means of Production, Distribution and Exchange that were the real sources of wealth and power in Society. They were, most certainly, in the hands of unelected individuals who had amassed their wealth and power by very different means indeed.
The analysis of what is usually called Primitive Accumulation shows that the methods used were never in conformity with any agreed rules, or “Natural Laws”.
For violence and War were the original initiators of this process, along with the largesse of the victors to their supporters, which enabled the building of a large penumbra of these followers to act as enforcers and get wealth and privilege for their contributions.
In Britain the best-known prototype was the invasion of William the Conqueror, who crossed the channel with his army, beat the current rulers, and confiscated all their assets, to be distributed among his followers. And, in spite of the later inclusion of Captains of Industry in this ruling elite, none were legitimate rulers, in the sense of being the choice of those who were ruled. They had taken the country by force, in order to own what was originally someone else’s. They decided upon the original Laws of the Land, and they were all in defence of their acquired loot and status. No contribution was allowed from their subjects, yet this ruling class now “owned” literally everything!
Now, over the centuries, in spite of the struggles of the people, which forced some concessions with regard to what is termed “political representation”, the ownership of wealth and real power were never touched. And the duality of a powerless government and a powered Ruling Class was the means by which this basic state could remain untouched, though masked by the “false front” of Democracy!
How could this ever be changed?
Clearly, a state with the wealth and real power in the hands of unelected owners would have to be terminated! The elected government would have to own literally all these crucial engines of production and power. The state would have to own the lot, and yet itself be subject to the control of the people.
Democracy as it is currently established is totally insufficient. For it only marginally serves the population at large. Its main purpose is to support the owners of wealth and their investment of capital in what they consider to give them the best return. Serving the populace comes nowhere in these determining imperatives. What is done is there to hopefully prevent the revulsion of the masses and the possibility of a revolution.
The means of Production, Distribution and Exchange have to be nationalised – taken into State Ownership, and the State itself must be entirely elected by the people.
The name for this is Socialism!
Yet how this can be made to work has to be very different from the current arrangements, for whatever political parties are set up to deliver, the fact that the wealth remains primarily in private hands means that they, as a group, have the wherewithall to buy their wants and needs from those who are supposed to represent the people at large.
Whichever such resources remain in private hands, the undermining of whatever democratic institutions have been put in place will be unavoidable.
The still outstanding questions are about personal wealth!