Monday, September 2, 2013

Politics VII: The Law

Modern law has become an absurdity. 
Laws are supposed to be rules of how people should interact with each other in a state. The first requirement   for obeying a law is to know it. Unfortunately this is impossible in a modern state due to the sheer number of laws. No single human being is capable of knowing every law in a state. A special profession had to be invented for specialists in laws, the so called lawyers. But even these lawyers can't know every law. They have to specialize on a small fraction of laws. But that small fraction is still too much for a single person to know, so usually a lawyer has to look up the exact wording of a law in order to give an advice.
So what is the sense of rules that nobody can know because their number exceeds the storage capacity of a human brain? How can people be expected to obey to rules that they cannot know?

To make things even more difficult, laws arbitrarily vary from country to country. What is legal in one country is illegal in another one. It is therefore not enough to know the totality of all laws, it is necessary to know all laws of every social community you are moving in.

So since it is impossible for a human being to know all laws, how do people manage to obey them?
The answer is quite simple. People don't care what the law says, but every human has more or less an idea what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in a human society. So he assumes that the law in accordance with this concept of "right and wrong". And mostly people get it right. Everybody understands that everything that causes unprovoked harm to others is wrong and that there is probably a law against it, even if he doesn't know which particular law it is, and what the law says exactly.
This means people are totally ignorant about the laws and don't need them, but they manage to obey most of them anyway.

So why do we have laws at all? What do we need them for, if nobody knows them and everybody acts simply according to his general understanding of right and wrong?
The truth is, there is no logical reason for laws, at least not in the form laws exist in a modern state.

One of the first codes of law was the Code of Hammurabi. It was a collection of laws written on a stone stele and made visible in a public place. It was possible for every citizen to read and know all existing laws. So the Code of Hammurabi still made some sense.
Meanwhile the number of laws have been inflated by many magnitudes and we have a permanent legislative power, which invents a flood of new laws every year making the problem even bigger.
If we want to give back any meaning to the institution of the law, we need to reduce the number of laws drastically.Their number must be limited to something every citizen can learn and remember. Therefore all laws of a country should fit on a letter-sized piece of paper. If a new law is added, an existing one must be removed, so that the total number of laws never changes. Only if the citizen of a state can actually know the laws, they will make sense for the state. Laws that are not known by every citizens are a waste of paper and have no effect on the life within the state.

Another irrational aspect of modern laws is that they are permanently changed. How can the citizens make any plans for their life, when the rules that they have to obey to can suddenly be different the next day. This is a similar situation like a football game where the rules are changed during the match. This would undermine the whole idea of the game. In the same way laws that can be changed undermine the whole idea of laws.
A law is no law, if it can be changed. Laws have to be immutable.

The only possibility to change a law should be by unanimous consent of all citizens. When all citizens are asked for their consent, it is made sure, that every citizen knows about the change and that this change will not interfere negatively with his plans that he made based on the former law.

So there are two requirements for laws to make sense:
1. Their number must be limited to something that every citizen can easily remember (one letter-sized page).
2. They must either be immutable or only be changed by a consensus of all citizens.

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