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X - Johannes Althusius, Politica 
Politica. An Abridged Translation of Politics Methodically Set Forth and Illustrated with Sacred and Profane Examples, ed. and Trans. Frederick S. Carney. Foreword by Daniel J. Elazar (Indianapolis: 1995 Liberty Fund).
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§ 1Now that we have discussed the ecclesiastical aspect of symbiotic communion in the universal association, we turn to its secular counterpart. Secular and political communion in the universal realm is the process by which the necessary and convenient means for carrying on a common life of justice together are communicated among the members of the realm. This communion is the practice of those things that relate to the use of this life or the public affairs of the realm. Whence arises the secular right of sovereignty (jus majestatis), and the employment of a king. This secular right of the realm (jus regni), or right of sovereignty, guides the life of justice organized in universal symbiosis according to the second table of the Decalogue. This right trains us how to live justly in the present world, as the Apostle says,1 and so involves the practice of the second table of the Decalogue.
§ 2This secular right of sovereignty is both general and special.2 The general and secular right prescribes for members of the association the method and form for living and acting justly in each and all affairs of this symbiosis. Therefore, the various affairs of this universal association are to be tested by and accommodated to this right.
We must here consider both the promulgation and the execution of the general right (jus).3
§ 3 Promulgation of this right is the process by which it is publicly announced and accepted as the rule and norm of all just actions in universal symbiosis. …
§ 4This law and right (lex et jus) is the rule of things to be done and to be omitted by members of the realm individually and collectively, and is prescribed for the conservation of the life of justice and the universal association. It is called by Seneca the bond that holds the commonwealth together, and a vital spirit that the city breathes, which if withdrawn leaves the city as nothing in itself except a burden and a prey.4 This right is the guiding light of civil life, the scale of justice, the preserver of liberty, a bulwark of public peace and discipline, a refuge for the weak, a bridle for the powerful, and a norm and straightener of imperium. It can be called the public command of the people, as well as the promise and assurance by the people that they will perform what is permitted and avoid what is not permitted. It is also the precept by which political life is instituted and cultivated according to a prescribed manner in the realm, and by which duties to the fellow citizen or neighbor are performed and things forbidden are omitted. Whence in Psalms and other places of sacred scripture we find many times the notion, “Do good and abstain from evil.” 5 Hence the precepts of the Decalogue are both affirmative and negative, a commanding and prohibiting, mandates and interdicts.
§ 5Therefore, when we know the things that are to be vouchsafed by us to our neighbor, it is easy to determine the things to be omitted and avoided.
§ 6Those that are to be vouchsafed to our neighbor in this civil and social life—which rightly are owed to him and are his so that he possesses them as his own—are, first, his natural life, including the liberty and safety of his own body. The opposite of these are terror, murder, injury, wounds, beatings, compulsion, slavery, fetters, and coercion. Secondly, the neighbor possesses his reputation, good name, honor, and dignity, which are called the “second self” of man. Opposed to them are insult, ill repute, and contempt. And here I also include chastity of body, the contrary of which is any kind of uncleanness and fornication. Also pertaining to this category are the right of family, and the right of citizenship that belongs to some. Thirdly, a man has external goods that he uses and enjoys, opposed to which are the corruption, damage, and impairing of his goods in any form, as well as their plundering or robbery, and any violation of their possession or artificial impediment to their use.
§ 7The laws of the Decalogue prescribe the duties vouchsafed to our neighbor. By acting according to them, we may live an honorable life, not injuring others, and rendering to each his due.6 Above all, we vouchsafe and do to our neighbor what we wish to be done to ourselves.7 Thus we render to him honor, authority, dignity, preeminence, and, indeed, the right of family; nor do we, on the contrary, despise him or hold him in contempt, the fifth precept of the Decalogue. His life is to be defended and conserved, and his body may not be injured, hurt, struck, or treated in any inhumane way whatever, nor may the liberty and use of his body be diminished or taken away, the sixth precept. His chastity is to be left intact, free from fornication, and may not be taken away in any manner whatever, the seventh precept. His goods and their possession, use, and ownership are to be conserved, and they may not be injured, diminished, or taken away, the eighth precept. His reputation and good name are to be protected, and they may not be taken away, injured, or reduced by insults, lies, or slander, the ninth precept. And so one may not covet those things that belong to another, either by deliberation or by passion, but everything our neighbor possesses he is to use and enjoy he from the passion of our concupiscence and perverse desire.
§ 8Other laws (leges) are prescribed for the inhabitants of the realm both individually and collectively. By them the moral law (lex moralis) of the Decalogue is explained, and adapted to the varying circumstances of place, time, persons, and thing present within the commonwealth. So Moses, after the promulgation of the Decalogue, added many laws by which the Decalogue was explained and adapted to Jewish commonwealth.8 Such laws, because of circumstances, can therefore differ in certain respects from the moral law, either by adding something to it or taking something away from it.9 But they ought not to be at all contrary to natural law (jus naturale), or to moral equity.10 As men cannot live without mutual society, so no society can be secure or lasting without laws (leges), as Plato says.11 Aristotle says no commonwealth can exist where the laws do not exercise imperium.12 For what God is in the world, the navigator in a ship, the driver in a chariot, the director in a chorus, the commander in an army, so law (lex) is in the city. Without law, neither house nor city nor commonwealth nor the world itself can endure. According to Papinian, “law is a common precept, a decree of prudent men, a restraint against crimes committed voluntarily or in ignorance, and a common obligation of the commonweale.” 13 According to Marcian, “law is the queen of all things human and divine. It should also be the watchman of both the good and the bad, the prince and leader of them, and accordingly the measure of things just and unjust, as well as of those living beings that are civil by nature. It is the preceptress of what ought to be done, and the restrainer of what should not be done.” 14 “We are taught [ … ] by the authority and bidding of laws,” says Cicero, “to control our passions, to bridle our every lust, to defend what is ours, and to keep our minds, eyes, and hands from whatever belongs to another.” 15 “Through the law comes knowledge of things to be done and to be omitted,” 16 and in it is our wisdom.17
§ 9The power of interpreting and explaining law is the means by which, in reference to those matters that are uncertain, clarification is provided from the system of law and the nature of the problem. This is done through the broad consideration of things, persons, time, place, and other circumstances. Thus the established rights (jura)18 are accommodated to men’s power of comprehension.
§ 10The execution of law (lex) pertains to the preserving of external public discipline. It is the responsibility (jus) of distributing what is merited, the responsibility and power of punishing delinquents and of rewarding doers of good. From another perspective it is the administration of justice. …
§ 11The power of punishing delinquents involves the life, body, name, and goods of evildoers in proportion to the crime and its circumstances. … It is publicly useful to the human association to punish delinquents. First, the delinquent is corrected by the punishment imposed, and led to greater maturity. Secondly, the harm done to the injured party may be repaired by the penalty imposed, so that the injured party need not become carried away in the vindication of the injury. Whence penalties are called reins and whips for the wicked, preservers and defenders of the upright. Thirdly a penalty is also imposed as a warning to others, that they may be deterred from transgressions by the fear of punishment such an example evokes. Thereby social life is not thrown into disorder, and other persons are not infected by crime. Fear of becoming delinquent leads to the control of inordinate desire, which I have discussed elsewhere.19 For as bolts of lightning strike to the hazard of a few and the fear of all, so punishments scare more persons than those who are actually punished for evil. When punishment comes to one person, fear comes to others subject to punishment for the same crime. Whence punishments are called remedies by which the illnesses of a commonwealth are overcome and cured. Fourthly a penalty consisting in a fine, or public appropriation of goods, is turned to the use of the realm. For when through crime a commonwealth is injured, it is fair that the penalty be applied to what has suffered by evildoing. Whence the collection of penalties is relevant (to the conservation of peace, discipline, and public tranquillity in a realm and commonwealth. For impunity in transgressing is a great inducement to transgression, a mother of injury and insolence, a root of impudence, a wet-nurse of sin, and a license that renders everything the worse. Fifthly, the wrath of God is mitigated by the expiatory act of punishment, and we obtain his benediction. … 20
§ 12Corresponding to this power of punishing is the right of conferring rewards. For as punishment deters men from vices, so rewarding them inspires, fosters, and conserves the love of virtue and good works. And thus it is fair that “he who sows iniquity will reap trouble.” 21 On the other hand, it is not wrong that he who seeks virtue and goodness receives reward and glory for his good works.22
[1 ] Titus 2:12.
[2 ] [General right of sovereignty is common to all universal associations; special right of sovereignty is proper to each one according to its own requirements. The former, which is the common law (jus commune) as it pertains to the universal association, is discussed in Chapter X; the latter, which is the proper law (jus proprium) of the same, is discussed in Chapters XI–XVII.]
[3 ] [law.]
[4 ]Clemency, I, 4. [Seneca, however, ascribes these attributes not to law as such, but to the emperor as the soul and intelligence of the people.]
[5 ] Psalm 34:14; 37:27; Isaiah 1:16; I Peter 2:11 f.; Romans 7:18 ff.
[6 ] [ Institutes I, 1, 3; Digest I, 1, 10, 1.]
[7 ] Matthew 22:39; 7:12; Leviticus 19; Luke 13:24.
[8 ] Deuteronomy 6–8; Exodus 21–22.
[9 ] Digest I, 1, 6.
[10 ]Institutes I, 2, 11.
[11 ] Laws, III.
[12 ]Politics 1292a 32.
[13 ] Digest I, 3, 1.
[14 ] Digest I, 3, 2. [Marcian in turn attributes this quotation to the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus.]
[15 ]The Orator, I, 43. [The passage from Cicero more accurately states, “We are taught not by unending debates full of controversies, but by the authority and bidding of laws, etc.” Italics are added to indicate the words omitted without acknowledgment by Althusius.]
[16 ] Romans 3:20.
[17 ] Deuteronomy 4:20; Psalm 119:104.
[18 ] [laws.]
[19 ]Dicaelogicae libri tres, I, 98.
[20 ] [At the conclusion of Althusius’ somewhat parallel discussion in the Dicaeologica of the reasons for punishment, the reader is referred to Martin Bucer, De regno Christi, II, 60, which is a chapter on the management and moderation of punishment.]
[21 ] Proverbs 22:8. See also II Thessalonians 1:6.
[22 ] Romans 2:7; 13:1–7; Proverbs 11:18, 21; Ezekiel 18:21–24; Hebrews 6:10; Deuteronomy 28; Psalm 101.