51 Harv. L. Rev. 201 (1937-1938)
Law Making by Private Groups

handle is hein.journals/hlr51 and id is 255 raw text is: HARVARD
LAW REVIEW

VOL. LI                 DECEMBER, 1937                         No. 2
LAW MAKING BY PRIVATE GROUPS
I
W E are increasingly aware of the fact that the most significant
Ľand powerful components of the social structure are eco-
nomic groups, competing and complementary in varying degrees.
In the official political philosophies and in the explicit provisions
of our constitutions, these groups receive no recognition as political
entities. With these philosophies and constitutions the prime
political entity is the citizen. The only legitimated group is the
organization of citizens territorially. These citizens, all of them
equal to each other, if not in interest at least in disinterestedness,
are the public. And they are moved by a common desire: to pro-
mote the public interest. Together they elect representatives who
are assumed to promote this interest and all of whose activities
purport to be in furtherance of it. This community is the State.
This activity is the law! I In eighteenth century America which
was predominantly agricultural, this conception, particularly inso-
far as it was based on territorial representation, had perhaps a
1 There are those who exalt the State as the expression of an assumed universal
good or of the general will . See, e.g., J. W. SCOTT, SYNDICALISM AND PHIO-
SOPHIcAL REAUSM (1919) 28-29. For contrary views: (i) of the anarchists, that
the idea and cult of the State involves the sacrifice of the real, local, and individual
interests to an abstraction, see Paul Douglas, Recent Times in MERRIAM AND BAmWES,
POLITICAL TnEoR ES (1924) ; (2) that the State is the instrument of particularistic
interests, see LASKI, STUDIES 3x LAW AND POLITICS (1932) 252 et seq. (this essay
attempts to establish a moral claim to disobedience of State force conceived as
disguised class force).

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