Title page from Freedom and the Law (LF ed.)

Freedom and the Law (LF ed.)

The greatest obstacle to rule of law in our time, contends Bruno Leoni, is the problem of overlegislation. In modern democratic societies, legislative bodies are increasingly usurping functions that were and should be exercised by individuals or groups rather than government. The result is an unwieldy surfeit of laws and regulations that by their sheer volume stifle individual freedom.

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Legislation is a result of an all-or-none decision. Either you win and get exactly what you want, or you lose and get exactly nothing. Even worse, you get something that you do not want and you have to pay for it just as if you had wanted it. In this sense winners and losers in voting are like…


Unless I am wrong, there is more than an analogy between the market economy and a judiciary or lawyers' law, just as there is much more than an analogy between a planned economy and legislation. If one considers that the market economy was most successful both in Rome and in the Anglo-Saxon…

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