The Founders' Attraction to People's Law
In direct contrast to the harsh oppression of Ruler's Law, the Founders,
particularly Jefferson, admired the institutes of freedom under People's Law as
originally practiced among the Anglo-Saxons. As one authority on Jefferson
"Jefferson's great ambition at that time  was to promote a renaissance of
Anglo-Saxon primitive institutions on the new continent. Thus presented, the
American Revolution was nothing but the reclamation of the Anglo-Saxon
birthright of which the colonists had been deprived by a "long trend of abuses."
Nor does it appear that there was anything in this theory which surprised or
shocked his contemporaries; Adams apparently did not disapprove of it, and it
would be easy to bring in many similar expressions of the same idea in documents
of the time."
Characteristics of Anglo-Saxon Common Law or People's Law
Here are the principal points of People's Law as practiced by the Anglo-Saxons:
1. They considered themselves a commonwealth of freemen.
2. All decisions and the selection of leaders had to be with the consent of the
people, preferably by full consensus, not just a majority.
3. The laws by which they were governed were considered natural laws given by
divine dispensation, and were so well known by the people they did not have to
be written down.
4. Power was dispersed among the people and never allowed to concentrate in any
one person or group. Even in time of war, the authority granted to the leaders
was temporary and the power of the people to remove them was direct and simple.
5. Primary responsibility for resolving problems rested first of all with the
individual, then the family, then the tribe or community, then the region, and
finally, the nation.
6. They were organized into small, manageable groups where every adult had a
voice and a vote. They divided the people into units of ten families who elected
a leader; then fifty families who elected a leader; then a hundred families who
elected a leader; and then a thousand families who elected a leader.
7. They believed the rights of the individual were considered unalienable and
could not be violated without risking the wrath of divine justice as well as
civil retribution by the people's judges.
8. The system of justice was structured on the basis of severe punishment
unless there was complete reparation to the person who had been wronged. There
were only four "crimes" or offenses against the whole people. These were
treason, by betraying their own people; cowardice, by refusing to fight or
failing to fight courageously; desertion; and homosexuality. These were
considered capital offenses. All other offenses required reparation to the
person who had been wronged.
9. They always attempted to solve problems on the level where the problem
originated. If this was impossible they went no higher than was absolutely
necessary to get a remedy. Usually only the most complex problems involving the
welfare of the whole people, or a large segment of the people, ever went to the
leaders for solution.
The contrast between Ruler's Law (all power in the ruler) and People's Law (all
power in the people) is graphically illustrated below. Note where the power base
is located under each of these systems. Also compare the relationship between
the individual and the rest of society under these two systems.
The above is from Dr. W. Cleon Skousen's book "The 5,000 Year Leap. -
It can be
obtained by calling (702) 649-6808