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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16213/clarence-darrow-on-freedom-justice-and-war/

Clarence Darrow on Freedom, Justice, and War

March 25, 2011 by

The Clarence Darrow of 1902 was on pretty much the same wavelength as the Murray Rothbard of 80 years later. They both rejected the statist means. FULL ARTICLE by Jeff Riggenbach


Eric March 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Not only is Rothbard’s Ethics of Liberty the quintessential libertarian creed, Jeff’s reading of it is a classic itself. The logic behind Rothbard’s arguments is the best I’ve read – and listened to.

HL March 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Interesting piece. I have mostly ignored Darrow – though I did enjoy reading his famous closing statement in the Loeb/Leopold trial. His life and views deserve more of my time. Though I would not hesitate to put the bullet in Loeb and Leopold (I can hardly envision a clearer example of banal evil derserving of immediate extermination), I have to admit that age has significantly softened my view that violence can sometimes be justified. Perhaps Darrow can help me in my journey to peacenik- lovehippie-dom.

Adam Smith March 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm

“[The State] should not be interested in convicting men or punishing crime, but administering justice between men. It is obvious to the most casual observer that the state furnishes no machinery to accomplish this result.”

Oh. I didn’t realize that Hammurabi’s Code means nothing.

Gil March 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Where does Darrow think the taxes that pay the government to force a thief to repay $15,000 plus damages come from? What if the thief is poor and unemployed then what? All the time the victim is paying taxes to the government to get the thief to do something. Likewise presumably in Libertopia the victim has to pay a PDA get something out of the thief. So the victim pays unless the thief has money in which he wouldn’t be likely to have stole the money in the first place. Maybe the solution is forget punishment/restitution and replace both with pistols at dawn, winner takes all.

HL March 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Gil-Winning! The persuasive logic of non-interventionist, non-violent legal systems is kind of overwhelming.

Veracitor April 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Actually (and I have Darrow’s own autobiography, The Story of My Life, here for a source), Clarence Darrow was a Socialist. A fine lawyer, to be sure, and quite right when he denounced the government misconduct of his time, but a self-proclaimed Socialist who made his name defending union organizers.

The only “statist means” Darrow rejected were prosecutions of left-wing agitators– he was all in favor of “statist means” like government takeover of industry, confiscatory taxation, etc.

newson August 7, 2011 at 10:55 pm

i read this book from cover to cover, hoping against hope that it would improve. alas, it’s all so much tolstoyian hand-wringing. Its utopian tone does discredit to libertarians, interested in pointing out the evils of state, but not white-washing criminality, as this work does.

i’d recommend reading bruce benson – the enterprise of law – and giving this one a miss.

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