Rulership and Subordination Intrinsic to Common Right

Althusius in Politica, on the communion of right (jus), or the law of association, which is the process by which symbiotes live and are ruled by just laws in a common life among themselves:

‘Common law (lex communis), which is unchanging, indicates that in every association and type of symbiosis some persons are rulers (heads, overseers, prefects) or superiors, others are subjects or inferiors. For all government is held together by imperium and subjection; in fact, the human race started straightway from the beginning with imperium and subjection. God made Adam master and monarch of his wife, and of all creatures born or descendant from her. Therefore all power and government is said to be from God. And nothing, as Cicero affirms, “is as suited to the natural law (jus naturae) and its requirements as imperium, without which neither household nor city nor nation nor the entire race of men can endure, nor the whole nature of things nor the world itself.” If the consensus and will of rulers and subjects is the same, how happy and blessed is their life! “Be subject to one another in fear of the Lord.” ’


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