Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Power Itself Is What Must Humble Itself

...We must admit the existence of a law of nature and reason that precedes civil coexistence, and that must be respected by all civil dispositions, and that against such law no civil power can do nor attempt to do anything. If this is fully admitted, sincerely in all its consequences; if the legislative branch submits itself to natural and rational law, which -- like it or not -- overpowers it; then and only then will the legislative branch cease to be despotic irrespective of any form taken by the will of the most, the many, the few, or the one -- as these are nothing but the forms of power, and not power itself. Power itself is what must humble itself before eternal law. Civil power and civil society themselves must recognize that they have no authority whatsoever against the rights that nature assigns to man and consequently all the associations of men independently from their civil association.

[Antonio Rosmini, The Constitution Under Social Justice, Mingardi, tr., Lexington Books (2007) p. 28.]