The Rule of Law

Why is the rule of law so important? Law professor Tom W. Bell explains how the rule of law is a critical part of a free and tolerant society. The rule of law means that people are not subject to the arbitrary will of others. It means they can engage in activities that others might disapprove of without fear of persecution. When there is rule of law, people can buy property, plan businesses, and otherwise plan for the future with confidence. As Bell explains, the rule of law provides a necessary framework for civil society. To make his argument, Bell draws from such thinkers as Aristotle, John Locke, Thomas Paine, James Madison and Friederich Hayek.


  1. citizen1111

    In our current system however, those who make the law have the wealthiest individuals and corporations to thank for their election.  If the rule of law applies to all citizens, yet one group of citizens can purchase their way out of that law, or convince those writing the law to serve only their interest, what becomes of the principle itself?

  2. taschrant

    Very good question.  Sometimes, I feel like we need another constitutional amendment that will help alleviate some of those problems.  Those crony capitalists get laws passed that serve their interests.  I’m thinking we need an amendment that prohibits states from passing any laws that bars individuals from pursuing any job they choose.  That includes licensed jobs.

  3. Damaged

    Reaching for the book get kind of annoying. 

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