“When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”Frederic Bastiat, The Law
When one looks at political leaders in the US and abroad, it’s hard to respect them based on their actions currently. When observing history, this has always been the case at some point or another. This is not to say that every politician that has ever existed was a horrible person, but time and time again, it seems that horrible people become attracted to power and gain it at any cost while the majority suffer for their actions. These same politicians then create more laws and restrictions to give themselves more power at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.
If looked upon with open eyes, it’s easy to see that larger portions of citizens in any given country have simply given in and followed whatever outrageous laws the government places on them unquestionably. While there has been some resistance in the past 2 years, the majority of Americans have simply folded at the threat of losing their jobs, friends, and livelihoods. Americans today are at a crossroads in choosing between their morals and ethics or being able to simply follow the law and not bring any trouble their way. For many citizens across the world, it seems that their values end where the law begins as seen with the division between Americans when it comes to the political left and right as well as their responses to covid.
Where does one draw the line in doing the right thing? Do we simply follow the law? Does a person decide that wrong is wrong no matter what the law states? In previous times, people held their religious views sacred regardless of the laws of modern man. Today, most religions have become subverted thanks to influence by lawmakers and media. Many religious denominations fold simply because of the threat of their tax exempt status otherwise being removed by the government. It then becomes harder to trust even those in the religious community.
This is where one’s philosophy comes into play. If one is to follow the constitution of their country to the letter despite the wishes of those in power, they become an outlaw in the society their taxes pay. Society begins to understand that there is now taxation without representation. You effectively pay for your overlords to openly disrespect and despise you. The law can no longer be respected because it simply does not respect individual liberty or values.
A world without values simply follows the law to avoid jail time. Such a society is one where everyone lives in fear and the community has no bonds. Everyone snitches on one another. The average American is then dvided by their politics, race, or other minor factors. The law is not a subsititute for culture, religious, or familial bonds.
One must then ask themselves the question of whether or not the law is worth following. Can one truly live under a doctrine they do not believe in? What is one willing to do to preserve their freedom to practice their religion or live in their community. Is personal philosophy worth breaking the law for? This is something every individual is going to have to ask themselves in the near future.
Until the next Daydream…