An Ontology of Legal Authority

Jeff Bone
Mon, 28 May 2001 19:22:58 -0500

So one result of all this is that we can sort of sketch out a rough draft of an
ontology of where legal authority ("the power") comes from under different
systems.  Here goes:

(1)  Animism.  The gods have the power, and they're everywhere.
(2)  Barbarism.  The biggest bully has the power.
(3)  Theocracy.  God has the power, and the Church is His plenipotentiary.
(4)  Classism.  Certain classes have power over others in certain contexts.
(5)  Statism.  The state has the power.  Period.
(6)  Populism.  The "people" have the power.  Whoever "the people" are.
(7)  Individualism.  Individuals have the power.  Aka "Jeff's Humanism."

Our current system in various contexts spans the range from 4 to 6.  I'm looking
for 7.  Bueller?  Bueller?  My belief is that it's possible to have 7 and still
have a civilized society;  this belief is equivalent to the belief that anarchy
is not the same as barbarism.  You might also throw in "(6a) Corporatocracy.
The corporations have the power."  ...but that's never actually been tried and I
don't think there's much reason to play with that one. ;-)