A Call to Embrace Jural Dualism
Economic Affairs, forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2021 Last revised: 23 Aug 2021
Date Written: May 29, 2021
This paper explores concepts under a rubric termed “jural,” the meaning of which is differentiated from “legal.” Within the conceptualization of the modern nation-state, there are two categories of jural relationships. In the first, both parties have equal jural standing (equal-equal), as between neighbors. In the second jural relationship (superior-inferior), one party has standing as a special jural player, essentially, the governor. The jural superior wields the coercive powers of government. Human beings, we argue, are predisposed to folding this jural superior back into the equal-equal relationship, thus notionally collapsing two relationships back to one, or collapsing from jural dualism into jural monism. Two varieties of the tendency stand out, namely, collectivist thinking that sees government as a set of rules and arrangements arrived at voluntarily and Rothbardian libertarianism that sees government as a criminal organization and proposes its elimination. But, beyond those two varieties, we see traces and tinctures of the tendency toward jural monism. We call for a conscious embrace of jural dualism.
Keywords: Adam Smith, rights, duties, commutative justice, liberty, liberalism, suum
JEL Classification: A12, A13, B12, B2, B4, D63, K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation