The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 69.0°F | Overcast


The Meaning of Law

In his column “The Meaning of the U.N.” (Aug. 25) Ken Nesmith breathlessly informs us that law without an accompanying threat of force is “nothing but empty idealism.” Fortunately, the empty idealists who would take issue with his statement include the framers of the U.S. Constitution who deliberately chose to invest the Judiciary with only limited means with which to enforce their decisions.

They understood that law is an ideal and that it will only be respected so long as it is willingly observed. Law that must be force-fed to a people is no better than what Saddam Hussein offered and that, clearly, is less than ideal.

John Armstrong