And here again we are reminded that law, whether written or unwritten, formulates the rule of the dead over the living.
— Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Sociology, vol. 2, 1884. [google books]
The law, whatever its form, is always a manner of rule of the dead over the living — to use Herbert Spencer's translation of Goethe's famous words.
— Eugen Ehrlich, Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law, trans. Walter L. Moll, 1936. [google books]
In a word, the living are always more and more ruled by the dead.
— Auguste Comte, System of Positive Polity, vol. 2, trans. Frederic Harrison, 1852. [google books]
Annulled be the fancy that gives Death power over Life, the Past o'er the Future. The law of the dead is their own law; it shares their lot, and dies with them; it shall not govern Life. Life is law unto itself. And since the Law is for the living, not the dead, and ye are living, with none conceivable above you, ye yourselves are the law, your own free will the sole and highest law, and I will destroy all dominion of Death over Life.
— Richard Wagner, The Revolution, 1849, trans. William Ashton Ellis (1899) [link]
"The usual Marxist vampire metaphor is that of capital sucking the blood of the workforce, embodiment of the rule of the dead over the living"
— Slavoj Žižek, For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment as a Political Factor, 1991; quoted by Stephanie A. Smith, household words, 2005 [google books], which also gives the referenced Marx quote
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