Friday, June 2, 2017
--- Notes on law ---
The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intentions of public policy..., even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow men, have a good deal to do... in determining the rules by which men should be governed.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
As a social psychologist, I look at organizations as I do individuals. I look at the law as a conscience of a country. I have said before that, if an organization is to have a conscience, a sense of morality, it has to be built in from the inception, and like a moral compass in a person, that conscience, that body of law, can be lost in time.
As a person's ethic embodies their development (as the older folks say, "Their upbringin'"), a nations laws embodies its history.
I'm not sure what good the idea that laws should be just does. Laws can be just but that's not their purpose. Laws exist to attempt to establish internal equilibrium in a social organization. If the "central nervous system", the governmental bodies that provide whatever central control to the organization, thinks that accommodating the powerful individuals in the body is what is required to maintain equilibrium, then that is what they will do. If they are wrong, it leads to disequilibrium. But, evidently (to any reader of history), the "revolution" that follows in the organization is as likely to lead to more disequilibrium before it dies down to "business as usual."