Laws, Norms, and Order

Law and Order

Laws in many respects are a set of norms that a society adopts and then enforces those norms with force, using the institutions that have been put in place. In a democracy Laws are created through precedent by a judge, the legislature and occasionally through a referendum. Lawlessness and injustice would be the order of the land if we did not have governmental institutions. For example, the size of the Iraq military was reduced by the American government when Saddam Hussein was removed from power, the result, no public order. The job of the Government is to protect its citizens, from outside forces and from within. The way this is achieved is and will always up for debate.

In this essay, I will argue for the necessary use of force by the government for protection and keep peace among its citizens. Force, in this case, is anything the government uses and does to keep people from lawlessness, for example, Contracts are a form of force that prevents people from cheating. TORT law for reparation of wrongs done through damages and the criminal justice system is put in place to deter people from committing crimes. In my Opinion, a big part of why people follow the law is consequences that arise from not following them. For, example not many people would lodge their tax returns if the government did not put heavy penalties on Tax law. Consequences force people to follow the law if society did not have punishments for people who do not adhere to the norms, then why have them in the first place.

Why then is force needed​ for the rule of Law to survive? The question implies that people are most of the times good and will always want to adhere to the social norms every time. If people are mostly good then why do we have the justice system, police, and contracts etc.? Without societal institutions, there would be no justice, institutions keep us accountable for our actions. Religion is based on the premise that we are accountable to someone for our actions or lack there off. Government institutions in most cases are created to fulfill only one role, they work really well if most of the society agrees with the prevailing norms. The problem arises when there is a cultural and moral shift and this shift is not reflected in the Laws. Casing point Western societies definition of marriage had to change to reflect the change in societies values. “Culture determines politics “Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the people in power determine the law the law of the land. In a case where the law does not represent what majority of people want, you will soon find that people revolt.

The main issue of multiculturalism in the 21st century is, societies are changing and laws are not changing fast enough to reflect this change. How we live in harmony in the midst of our deep differences, is a big issue right now. Classical liberalism in my opinion only works if the majority of people ascribe to the ideals of liberalism. Liberalism values individual liberty over anything, what happens then when we start dealing with cultures that value clans or kingships more than anything and will refuse to change and integrate into our society. Cultures that have their own way settling grievances, cultures whose norms are fundamentally different from ours. For example, Arabic cultures have views about women that are fundamentally different from western civilization. How do we as a society enforce domestic violence cases when integrating cultures believe that it is OK to beat your wife to put her in line?

One of the reasons we had the Brexit and Trump, In my opinion, was just that, people were afraid.  And when people are confronted with anything new they cannot fully understand, they will either retreat in fear or confront it with passion. It has been interesting to see a shift in Americans and their view of immigration after September 9/11 and the change with every subsequent terrorist attack. After 9/11 Congress gave too much power to the executive arm of government to do whatever it takes to protect American citizens (American University, 2016).In an effort to combat terrorism, they created homeland security or the NSA which increasingly these spy’s on its own citizens.  And as Nathan Gonzalez of the Washington Post put it ” More than anything 9/11 desensitized the American public to an already overbearing government”.

Use of force is needed for peace and justice, force can be applied through the use of contract laws, laws that protect business transactions and the criminal code. It should be said that the force used should be what society has deemed appropriate, it has to be within the rule of law and proportional to the crime. Use of Force as to be fair and should be applied equally to all sections of society, whether rich or poor. Governments over the last 100 years have become very big with a lot of power, that is why the definition of force should continuously be defined, checks and balances should be put in place to regulate the use of force to prevent Government from going tyrannical.

Feel free to leave a comment. It is in the disagreements that we grow

Daly, K. (2011). Aims of the Criminal Justice System. Retrieved from https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/300988/Chapter-17,-Aims-of-Criminal-Justice-updated-22-April-11-for-webposting.pdf

American University. (2016). 4 Ways Presidential Power Has Changed Since 9/11.   Retrieved from http://www.american.edu/spa/news/presidential-power-since-sept11-09082016.cfm

Tort Law. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved October 1, 2017, from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Tort+Law