In its recent Kelo decision (see Professor Bainbridge's essay), the U.S. Supreme Court gave its approval to what might be called "Socienics," in that it put the social benefit before individual rights. When the government of the city of New London claimed that it had a higher social purpose for Mrs. Kelo's property, the majority believed that the opinion of the government officials was beyond question. In effect, the Court ruled that "there is no definition of right beyond that."Now consider James Madison:
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.I agree with Madison. It seems to me that any government that acts as Kling describes, is a government that is just.