Review of Chapter 8: Legal Force

Questions posed:
• What is violence?
• Is there a difference between illegitimate and legitimate violence?
• What is the difference between violence and force?
• Is violence always physical?
• Is violence always intentional?
• Is violence always involved in enforcing the law?

John Austin – law is command of sovereign that subjects habitually obey because of the threat of violence or actual violence

HLA Hart – primary and secondary rules; when society regards something as a law (internal perspective) then it is because recognition of validity gives it force

Hobbes – no natural rights; we are all equally vulnerable, so we enter into groups; sovereign enforces peace and can do violence to everyone, but no one can do violence to sovereign

In small, homogeneous places without much change don’t necessarily need law enforcement because there are built in mechanisms to deal with lawbreakers. However, there are not many places that are like this today. The modern world is complex and it is easier to have police enforce laws, although this has not been determined to be the only way or the best way.

Chapter 9: Legal Rights

Questions posed:
• What does it mean to have a right?
• How are rights created and enforced?
• How do rights serve as a check on force?

Dr. Allred played “Know Your Rights” by The Clash. The lyrics are available online for anyone interested.

What is the relationship between crime and rights? Crimes infringe on other people’s rights.

Features of rights: rights are relative to the crime (Disney would not send a school principle to prison for showing a film); all rights are not equally enforced.

Joel Feinberg – created a concept of "Nowheresville", which is a place that resembles the U.S. except that there are no such things as rights, but punishment still exists.
• What do we lose without rights? You lose YOUR right. It also creates a duty.

• I create duties on you if I hold a right
• I have a right, society enforces it
• Absolute rights do not really exist because the country can even ask a person to give their life (draft, death penalty)
• Universal right

Magna Carta – British Constitution
• 1st of many steps that took Britain from a feudal monarchy to a constitutional monarchy
• king not absolute sovereign/had duties
• rights developed that provide protection from the power of the sovereign

Over hundreds of years, rights developed that have checked the power of the sovereign. While rights place checks on the state, expansion of rights correlates strongly with increased power of state. For example, murder is a crime, but the police are allowed to kill.

Mentioned in class:
• privacy and the Internet – sexting
• Feminism and Pornography
o Pornography objectifies women and is harmful to women
o Banning pornography is more harmful because Gay and Lesbian stores were targeted
o How can we combat harm? Is restriction best?
• Free Speech vs. Harm Principle

Class ended with Dr. Allred posing 3 paradoxes:
1. rights are unequally enforced
2. rights must be expanded
3. enforcing rights can exacerbate the problem

• Midterm is due by Friday (March 5th) at midnight and points will be taken off if even a few minutes late
• Research on where the issues of marijuana legalization, gay rights, and corporations and 1st Amendment rights are today is due by Spring Break (post to Wiki)

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