Anniversary Post: Edict of Paris

XXXOn this day in 614, the Edict of Paris was formally proclaimed. Or maybe it was 615. It’s always amazing to me that we can know the day and month of something but not the year. Regardless, it is considered the French Magna Carta — although almost exactly 600 years earlier. When I was first introduced to the Magna Carta, it made no sense to me. The idea that the king was above the law was so foreign to me. But that is the way things were traditionally. People get upset about the Nazis, but they are actually pretty typical of the history of humanity.

Just as the Magna Carta only applied to the barons, the Edict of Paris applies to the nobility. It also, as is always the case for these things, determines who is included. For example, Jews were not allowed to hold royal office. But they were allowed to take Christians to court — for all the good it would do them. The thing about rights is that who is included is always critically important. Look at just how limited the group was that included “all men” that were created equal.

It’s also interesting that the Edict of Paris was all about creating a stable society. Yet the libertarians will tell us that all we need is commerce and the magic of the free market. The Edict was all about shoring up support for the weak monarch. Why was that necessary? After all, libertarianism is “natural”! It is supposedly the way people lived before modern political systems corrupted them. It’s a wonder that any of this was necessary, except maybe the human tendency to build armies and just take what you want. But all that doesn’t matter because in the libertarian utopia, humans will be perfect!

4 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Edict of Paris

  1. Rights may be natural but they are not free. Which is why you need a stable society to exercise them with the power of the law being sufficient to stand up to any other armed force (which costs money and is collected via the hated term taxes.) However in Libertariantopia, sociopaths don’t exist, everyone is always 100% rational and John Galt doesn’t waste all of his time trying to grow enough food to feed himself since he is so not a moocher like those farmers were.

    This blog explains the oddity of the year:
    “The date is derived from the heading in the one surviving manuscript, where it dated to the 31st year of Chlothar. As he became king in Sept 584, immediately marking “year one”, Oct 614 lay in “year 31”. Failure to count inclusively means that the Edict is sometimes mis-dated to 615.”

    Mainly it is the result of the actual number of years not being that important until much later in history.

    • I had wondered about that. Often I will spend hours on anniversary posts. But not this one. It was just an excuse to rant about rights.

      I noted someone on the Republican side recently ranting about how our Constitutional rights come from God. It amazed me. Who believes this kind of thing? If they came from God, then how is it that we need a government to enforce them? How is it that civilization existed for many thousands of years without people being granted these God given rights? It’s such nonsense.

      • You can trace the evolution of the thought through the right wing press from about the mid-60s on. They started talking about the Founders as something more than mere men. As time goes on they stop being people and start being prophets since using God imagery works well with the faithful. It is rather stupid and it takes advantage of the fact that few people on the right want to critically think about anything.

        It is interesting, at least to me, how the left and right used religious imagery in their campaigns. One, the left, uses it to help as many people as possible and the other, the right, uses it to excuse doing horrible acts.

        • I think it is more that left doesn’t much use religion. But it used to. I don’t mind it. What I mind is using the words with none of the meaning.

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