Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom
“When we come to Machiavelli we reach the spirit of the Renaissance, and begin to find law itself questioned…And true enough there soon came the State, as a sort of anti-Christ, to wage war with the idea of law. The issue of this conflict is perhaps still uncertain, but mediaeval thought is to-day fighting hard for the cause of law against the amoral, irresponsible State…Instead of the mediaeval dominion based upon divine right and subject to law, we have the modern State based upon force and independent of morality. And so, where many a mediaeval thinker would ultimately identify law with the will of god, in modern times it will be regarded as the will of the State.”
Theodore F. T. Plucknett. A Concise History of the Common Law, 5th ed. pp. 40-1.