Based on the work of Richard Maybury.
As I remember it, these are based on his research and analysis into the most basic laws that hold civilization together. He looked at both the common principles to all major good religions. He also paired that with the common principles for every well-functioning society.
I often think of these as the basic building blocks to societal “social contracts”.
They are, and I am paraphrasing.
- Do all you have agreed to do.
- Do not infringe upon others and their property.
The first law is most commonly tied to contract law, or “business law”. Eg we have a business agreement and if I violate it, then there must be restitution.
The second law is most commonly tied to tort or “criminal law”. Eg. theft, if I harm you directly, or steal from you then there must be restitution.
The more these laws are followed by a society and it’s government, the better that society functions and thrives.
The more these laws are violated, either because the people in that society are able to break the laws without consequence, or most especially in modern societies, violated by the government itself, then the worse the society functions and thrives.
Create a model enabling more productive discussions around the options to criminalize an activity vs regulate vs de-regulate.
From a minimalist point of view, we want to provide the most freedom and liberty for an individual while protecting others freedom from being infringed upon by others doing the activity.
Eg. Jefferson ~~”You are free to swing your fist where ever you want until it hits my nose.”
A key question when looking at any activity is, to quote Penn Jillette.
~~”Can this problem be solved with more freedom?”
Important note, at all levels of the pyramid there is still the rule of law. The choice is not between anarchy vs tyranny. We are discussing gradients of the amount of law and freedom. Even the top of the pyramid still has law protecting individual freedom and rights.
As a minimalist, my primary goal is to establish the activities that can be moved up the pyramid. Even if we can only move it one step, that is always better.
Eg. moving marijuana up from Criminalize to Heavy Regulation.
Eg. moving alcohol up from Heavy Regulation to Light Regulation, allowing parents to determine the best use of alcohol in their homes. Catholic-like religions should be able to give wine to a teen as part of the sacrament.
The organization LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition makes the argument very conclusively as law enforcement agents, that criminalizing many activities is worse for the society than regulation. If you truly abhor an activity and think it is terrible, you should NOT criminalize that, that just drives it underground fueling a black market. Instead, you should regulate it to drive those addicted to safe outlets. Eg heroin clinics instead of crack dens.
The idea that we want the smallest amount of government to get the job done.
Science, technology, and innovation are constantly changing the boundaries of society.
What minimal government services looked like in 1776 is very different from what minimal government services looked like in 1976 and also different from 2016.
In modern developed cities and towns electricity is a vital service.
Insulin is a vital medication for me. Without it, I die in days.
Should these vital services be “protected” by the government in today’s world?
And if so, what does a “protected service” look like and what is the minimal amount of government to provide that service?