Ming the Mechanic:
The Tyranny of Law

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Tyranny of Law2002-01-16 17:16
by Flemming Funch

On the road to creating a better civilization where we can experience unity and diversity, freedom and cooperation, where the world works for all of us - there are some key concepts that I think need to be re-framed and re-thought. One of them is the idea that a government, consisting of a few "representatives" of the people, is allowed to produce huge volumes of *law* that will regulate how people behave, and that somehow that is a good thing, a corner stone of civilization itself.

There are several problems with this. Primarily:

* Allowing for only *One* way of doing things in any particular field is killing diversity and creativity and intelligence, and is a counter-evolutionary force.

* Laws are implemented and enforced almost exclusively through violence. If you don't follow the law, your property will be taken away, or you will be locked up, or killed.

Now, let me first acknowledge that there are often good intentions behind even the most restrictive laws. There will usually be some politicians who see a problem and who are trying to solve it by making a law. They are not really aware that that almost never works.

Laws are per definition absolute, and they are enforcable. They're not just good ideas, or expressions of good intentions. Every single law is something that is backed by all the force of a state.

Politicians will often support laws out of simple and noble intentions such as "We need to protect the children", but the laws they enact might be wide spanning restrictions of personal freedoms, that in most cases have nothing to do with children. For example, censorship on the Internet or anywhere else.

What is generally not understood is that even the most innocent law is backed by deadly force. Let's take something really tame and simple like parking laws.

If there is a law that says you can't park on a certain part of the street at a certain time, what happens if you disagree and you do so anyway? Well, maybe nobody notices, and you get away with it. But just as likely, somebody will leave a ticket in your windshield with a fine you're supposed to pay. And if you moved your car and paid the fine, nothing more would happen. That is because you gave in to the very mild pressure that was applied to you. However, what if you truly didn't agree, and you insisted on keeping your car parked in the same place? Well, you would probably get a stack of parking tickets first of all. And then, after a while, a city tow truck would arrive to drag your car away from that spot where you're not supposed to park. It it succeeded in doing so, you would then get an even bigger fine, and would have to pay for getting your car back. And if you went along with that, again that would be the end of it. But what if you didn't? What if you took steps to ensure that your car wouldn't be dragged away, like bolting it to the ground? More specialized forces would show up and try to undo what you've done. But let's say you managed to immobilize your car well enough so they couldn't get it away, and let's say you decided to hang around and discourage anybody from moving your car. Then there would also be police units showing up to try to remove your person from the place. And how about if you then had decided that you really had a right to be there, and you were willing to defend your position, so you started barricading yourself, and you strapped a gun and some rounds of ammunition around your waist? The police would soon be firing tear gas at you, and they might bring tanks and helicopters and other powerful hardware. And, if you manage to successfully resist all of that, and you keep doing nothing but staying there, maintaining your parking spot, without having made a threat against anybody, it would only be a matter of time before there would be a police sniper on a roof who would put a bullet through your head and kill you.

Yeah, yeah, that is really far-fetched you would say. It is only because the guy resisted being towed away, and resisted arrest, and because he defended himself, etc., and it would never go that far. But that is exactly how the enforcement of laws work. If you go along with the starting level punishment, that is what you get. If you refuse it, then that is an offense in itself, and it warrants supplying you with a bigger punishment, etc. The final punishment, for any offense, if none of the previous levels of punishment are successful, is always death. Yes, of course the police would rather give you a fine, or put you in jail, but if they are hindered from administering those punishments, they'll kill you, with some regret, but feeling rightly justified in doing so, because you "resisted".

The activity of making laws is often euphemistically called "regulation". As if it is just a matter of opening up some faucets a little more over here, and closing them a little more over there. No, an example of regulation would be that you make the road you want people to travel on wide and comfortable to drive, and you make the road you'd rather they don't take into a narrow and bumpy road that takes much longer. And, sure, governments do some of that. But just as often they pretend that things will become the way they want them to be simply by stating it in a law.

But mostly things don't become that way because they're now a law. Particularly if the law is trying to govern some aspect of personal lifestyle choices. Trying to make laws about what people can eat, how they should have sex, what they should wear, what they should read and watch, etc., does not change what people want to do. It only counts on that people will be intimidated by the violence that will be applied to them when they make the "bad" choices.

And the thing is that it is often quite unnecessary to try to enforce the same choice on everybody. It is done as a solution to the fact that some people are complaining about what others do, because it makes them uncomfortable. E.g. a certain number of people will be uncomfortable if they see other people walking around naked in the part. So, they might voice their opinions to politicians and some of those might take up their cause, and they push through a law that says that it is illegal to walk around naked in the park. And remember that, once this is law, if the police takes it seriously, they will use whatever amount of force they have to, to stop you from walking around naked in the park, and the more you resist, the more force they will use.

The more sane solution is to allow the people who want parks without nudity to go to parks where there is no nudity, and to allow the people who want to be naked in the park to go to parks where that is accepted. That is a simple matter of logistics. There is no reason at all to try to make the same rules for all parks everywhere. Some parks can be for people who don't like dogs, and other parks can allow dogs running around freely.

Very few issues require a whole city, a whole country, or a whole planet to make the same choice. There is plenty of room here, so can quite easily have spaces with different preferences.

As a matter of fact, the rule in nature is that diversity is what makes things work. A rich diversity of many different ways of doing things is what allows evolution to work. Amongst the multitude of different experiments, those variations that happen to work really well are those that will survive and expand. There's no need for an agency that will try to enforce just one way of doing things. Actually it would kill off most of nature if anybody tried that. Monocultures destroy ecosystems. The more free-moving diversity there is, the more nature thrives, and the more synergies will spontaneously be found between these different expressions of life. There is a tremendous native intelligence found in the diversity of an ecosystem.

In the human sphere of things, the trouble with making one law for everybody is that we reduce our collective intelligence million fold. I.e. instead of harnessing the collective intelligence of millions of people being creative at the same time, we let a small group of people make *one* decision about *one* right way of doing things. That instantly reduces the collective intelligence of all these people to less than the intelligence of one person. It is less than one because the legal choice will only work for a certain percentage, less than 100% of these people, and for another percentage it will be wrong.

The same problem appears in many activities of us humans. It is generally a blind spot or an area of misunderstanding for us. In our relation to nature we've mostly tried to turn it into a uniform garden, with the same thing growing everywhere, and we continuously try to get rid of stuff that we don't think fit in. Our religions try to make everybody think the same way. Our educational systems try to teach everybody the same things in the same ways. Our mass media try to show everybody the same thing. Advertising tries to make everybody buy the same stuff. All of it is about Monopolization. A central tyranny of the few is trying to control how everybody else is doing things.

As far as evolution goes, that means death, extinction, destruction of natural synergies.

Luckily there are many trends that are going in a different direction now. So, if we are to succeed at all, it will be the centralized thought control systems that will die, not our whole ecosystem and our species with it.

The only laws worth making are those that express and protect natural laws. And those are always laws that apply equally well to everybody, no matter what their preferences and observation is. And they are mostly meta-laws, not dictating specific behavior universally, but rather setting the framework to safeguard diversity and free expression, global harmony, and widespread cooperation.

There are laws that most everybody can agree on, and the real task of legislation is to discover what those are, and to express them into terms and into systems that most people will be happy to go along with.

There is only a need for violence when the shoe doesn't fit, and somebody has a fixed idea that it MUST fit. The right laws will create harmony and there will be little need to enforce them.

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17 Jan 2002 @ 06:16 by istvan : A question of evolution
Ming...It is good that you bring these subjects up for possible discussion and contemplation. The deeper we endavor to venture into creating a new cicilisation the deeper we have to examine the meaning of just what it is to be human. Shortly, just what it is to be.
We have to allow each individual to formulate their ownn conclusions on any way they see the purpose, or meaning of their individual aliveness.
Aliveness to me is the basic reality that we can claim to be a part of, and a function of the phenomena (miracle if you please) of LIFE.
This phenomena in itself contains all that exists we can be avare of through our senses.
We talk of the natural way of life without examining the meaning. Nature is so immensely diverse that it seems impossible to contemplate its overall purpose.
While it is perfectly natural for an ant to attack anything that approaches its domain it also seems natural for a kamakazi pilot to ram into a building,or a black hole to swallow a perfectly beautiful planet., it does not seem natural to me, only because i do not consider it my nature.
At times it seems the universe is a huge robot following its programming built into it. Humans are just following its "natural" robotic programming, by actig as inflexible perfect robots. To me the pilot of the airoplane that drops bombs in Afhganistan and other places is just souch a robot,the policeman who throws you on the hood of your car at gunpoint for a burnt out taillight is souch a robot, the politician that passes and enforces laws that you are talking about is souch a robot.They seem to be a totally different species from what i consider to be a human being. Does that make me better than they are? No, it just indicates that i am a different kind or robot with a different programming.
What i see in a new civilisation is the possibility and freedom of remooving all programming wheather they are existing by nature itself(genes) or by other humans(laws of societies,ideologies,isms,etc.) or by by my own limitations set by my ideas of self importance.
To me it really does not matter much what we name the road that leads out of the robotic behavior of societies as long as there is a clear vison of it's possibility.  

17 Jan 2002 @ 10:09 by ming : Further evolution
I actually think that comtemplative beings like us humans have a quite likely role in being able to take evolution to another level. Yes, a lot of nature and a lot of the universe seems kind of cruel and indifferent. It works as a system, but it seems rather indifferent to suffering. Yeah, we can say that the Universal Intelligence loves it all equally, but it doesn't particularly seem to intervene. So, I think a possible next step in the evolution of the universe might well be that it isn't just an intelligent, working system, but that it becomes compassionate at all levels. And we might well be part of discovering what that would look like. So, maybe we will find better ways of running the universal ecosystem than having defenseless little animals being eaten up by predators, and asteroids wiping out all life every few hundred million years. There might be better ways of creating new civilizations than having the old ones sink cataclysmically into the sea, and there might be better ways of adjusting the resource use in nature than letting the weakest specimens die of starvation.  

17 Jan 2002 @ 10:34 by istvan : Thanks for understanding
Thanks for understanding of what i was trying to say.
When Sharie says it is a beautiful Universe i tend to react with an Oh Yeah, really? Yet She is right to.
Yes i think we are here to make the world as beautiful as indicated in our dreams. That leads to another question, but can we? Well according to Sharie we can. (Blessed be the Peacemakers)
I think the method(idea,example) of transcendence can lead us to a diferent reality and take us from Homo sapien to Homo novus.
A prayer: May our assemblage points be allowed to shift in the right direction.  

17 Jan 2002 @ 14:25 by sharie : My friend Jim talks about heaven...
My friend Jim says heaven is a place where everyone can have, and do, whatever they want. In his view, this is exactly what this world offers us all. There's a place for the people who want to be strung out on crack, a place for people who want to race to control the world, a place for people who want to meditate in nature, a place for people who want to have sex day and night, a place for people who want to fight and recover from their wounds, a place for people who want to suffer and die... I tell Jim that the secret isn't out. Most people don't know they're the ones choosing what they're experiencing. Most people want to say it's not their fault that they were stabbed or shot or raped. Most people want to say it's not their fault that they were born blind, or born to abusive parents... What if we all accepted the response-ability that we are creating what we want to experience... How would that impact us? How would that influence our sense of self? It was vital to my survival that I took this perspective on my life. I would have died otherwise. To me, I create everything I experience. There's no one else inside me who is perceiving, interpretting, and responding. And everyone else has their own world within their mind which they are invested in... so it has to be me who is response-able. I want to create a new world. I want a world where people are loving, truthful, happy, peaceful, healthy.... this means I need to find people who are as invested in this as I am. I'm grateful to you Ming for analyzing this process of law. It's truly beautiful what you say. This is why I want a community of people working toward a shared vision. Unhealthy practices undermine the well-being of everyone in the community, and I don't want to pay for the thoughtless choices that others insist on making... with love,

17 Jan 2002 @ 18:57 by sharie : a possible next step in the evolution...
That's a lovely thought, Ming, that a possible next step in the evolution of the universe would be toward more compassion. But maybe the universe has already thought of that, and decided to have exactly the level of compassion it has. Afterall, many people suffer, but there comes a time when the suffering ends. What if suffering were eternal? That would indicate of a lack of compassion. -?- On the other hand, many people learn from their suffering, and grow to become better people and more compassionate. What if none of us ever suffered? Do you think the universe would be a better place? Thank you for suggesting that possibility, it really got me thinking. All this networking has lead me to look at the universe from a whole new perspective. Maybe we always have everything we want. Maybe enjoying everything just the way it is, appreciating all of life would give us far more satisfaction and fulfillment than doing anything else.  

20 Jan 2002 @ 04:58 by maxtobin : Beautiful threads
Is that not the grand assencion of which you/we all speak. Our 3dimensional world hovers in the doorway of the 4th (time) and then in quick sucession the 5th (no time/sacred space co-created) through the 6th (unconditional love) and so on through ever finer realms of the now/multidimensional universe (one song). Yes I do believe that Ming has 'seen' a key aspect of the human purpose, through reflection comes the understanding and the compassion. And we are God's indeed when we love unconditionally. I am in awe of the process, bless you all.  

20 Jan 2002 @ 14:03 by ming : Suffering
I think, actually, that abstractly thinking beings, like us humans, are who invented suffering. What we call suffering is just our reaction to certain aspects of how nature currently works. In the evolution of life, it was a great triumph when death was invented. The first one-celled organisms and even the first multi-celled organisms didn't grow old and die. They just kept regenerating, and they just divided if they needed more of themselves. The invention of a life-cycle of an organism, from birth to death, provided some significant advantages in evolution. The old model could be scrapped and re-used altogether, and a whole new model could be rolled out in each generation. As compared with keeping the same model going forever. Most animals in nature seem rather indifferent to death. I am not going to believe that an ant has any regrets about dying prematurely, or about losing a leg or something. It has no doubts that it is part of something bigger that will keep going, and other ants are born as quickly as they die. So, it is only beings who are thinking and feeling in separation from things, i.e. abstractly, who even think of having feelings of suffering and regret. And that is something relatively new in evolution. And, possibly, that is surprise to the Cosmic Intelligence, something new and unexpected that we can't just be in harmony with the bigger cycles. And, since that problem appeared, evolution will probably adjust things a bit to make things work with less friction. And that might either become that we again learn to feel unified with all of nature, and in harmony with all its cycles, or that our consciousness changes how things work around us. I'm leaning towards the latter. Or, maybe both at the same time.  

Other stories in
2011-11-08 03:20: Do what you do
2007-11-09 00:55: The ends justify the means
2007-09-19 00:36: Fractal brains
2007-06-06 00:13: Ten incredible things we get for free
2007-03-26 21:12: Ken Wilber stops his brain waves
2007-03-21 14:45: Free Thought the simplicity of life
2007-03-09 23:46: The ends justify the means
2007-01-29 21:44: Free will in a ten-dimensional universe
2007-01-24 20:42: Assuming Somebody Else's Viewpoint
2007-01-16 16:28: Free Will

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