Over at The Weekly Standard there is an article about George Soros’ spending in the current presidential campaign and campaign finance “reform” law. It seems that the FEC has issued a ruling that would seem to put paid to Soros’ effort and those like him. But I think the author is showing a typical aspect of conservativism, which presupposes a rule of law. It’s all fine and dandy for the FEC to make the ruling, but for what reason with the hard core Democratic Party partisans obey it? Suppose the law is openly flaunted — will the Republicans actually push for any prosecutions? If they do, will any of them finish before the election, at which point they become moot?
It seems to me that this is an outgrowth of the basic philosophies that are currently contending in the use. On one side is the rule of law, informed by the belief that good ends cannot be achieved by bad means. This was said best in the question
Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
This view is grounded in an objective view of reality, where effect follows cause, even if we don’t understand all of the causality involved.
On the other side the utopians, who believe that striving for the good shouldn’t be impeded by laws, which are but words on paper and easily rewritten. This is grounded in a subjective view of reality, where intents and purposes matter most. It is the internal state of the actors that determines the results, not what is actually done.
What’s odd is that it is the religious side that holds man’s law in high regard, while it is the putatively secularists who value their “higher law” over any mere legislation. Who are the real fanatics?