Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Efficiency: A Poem

June 02nd, 2014 by Vader

The rule of law, in complex times,
Has proved itself deficient.
We much prefer the rule of men!
It’s vastly more efficient.

— Thus R.W. Grant

Only under the rule of men is it possible to find new ways to motivate Death Star construction crews.

Which is more efficient, Heaven or Hell?

Comments (2)
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June 02nd, 2014 09:54:16

June 3, 2014

Reminds me of this passage from Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws”:

We hear it generally said, that justice ought to be administered with us as in Turkey. Is it possible, then, that the most ignorant of all nations should be the most clear-sighted on a point which it most behooves mankind to know?

If we examine the set forms of justice with respect to the trouble the subject undergoes in recovering his property, or in obtaining satisfaction for an injury or affront, we shall find them doubtless too numerous: but if we consider them in the relation they bear to the liberty and security of every individual, we shall often find them too few; and be convinced that the trouble, expense, delays, and even the very dangers of our judiciary proceedings, are the price that each subject pays for his liberty.

In Turkey, where little regard is shown to the honour, life, or estate of the subject, all causes are speedily decided. The method of determining them is a matter of indifference, provided they be determined. The pasha, after a quick hearing, orders which party he pleases to be bastinadoed, and then sends them about their business.


But in moderate governments, where the life of the meanest subject is deemed precious, no man is stripped of his honour or property until after a long inquiry; and no man is bereft of life till his very country has attacked him — an attack that is never made without leaving him all possible means of making his defence.

Hence it is that when a person renders himself absolute, he immediately thinks of reducing the number of laws. In a government thus constituted they are more affected with particular inconveniences than with the liberty of the subject, which is very little minded.

In republics, it is plain that as many formalities at least are necessary as in monarchies. In both governments they increase in proportion to the value which is set on the honour, fortune, liberty, and life of the subject.

In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.

Bruce Charlton
June 3, 2014

I don’t find the Montesquieu quote at all convincing. Having a slow, expensive legals system is merely a kind of bias in favour of the status quo – it does not favour justice, it merely favours whoever is in possession, and who ever can afford to pay and wait and who wants to expend their time and life on legal steeplechasing- and this has nothing to do with liberty or respect for the individual. That is just lawyer talk!

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