Saturday, August 17, 2013

How does a society agree that a law is unjust? Some thoughts and ideas…

In a civil society, we take rules and laws for granted; they must exist in order to prevent anarchy, conduct business, and progress the state of humankind with civility. We also associate “laws” with the “government”, and the enforcement of those laws rests in a power that resides above us.

But what happens when the laws no longer represent the consensus?

What of laws that do not reflect the current social mores and tolerances of the times?

What recourse is available to the proletariat when those in power enforce rules that disenfranchise one or more classes of society?

How does a civil society agree that a law is unjust?

 Sarah Iozzio writes:
For me, the definition of an unjust law is a law that perpetrates more harm than it prevents. Getting society to agree to this definition would take more people waking up an(d) becoming aware of that harm rather than believing the propaganda of what that law is supposedly accomplishing.
Sarah’s first step is to create a definition. I also agree, as it seems reasonable to me that reasonable people would then find a reasonable argument compelling.

While publicly elected legislatures create most laws, they are administered and enforced through Executive administrations, and upheld by the court systems at both Federal and State levels.  This three tiered system of checks and balances is designed to prevent abuses, yet it is also slow and cumbersome, fraught with politics and plunders.

So even if we can get people to agree, can we get change?

In order to get people to agree that a law is unjust and therefore should be changed, the mindset that created the law in the first place must be denounced:  People will have to admit that they were wrong. Changing minds can be a difficult row.

I hope this has sparked some ideas of your own on what it takes to change a law that is unjust. The “Law” could be a local ordinance that limits the parking on your street, a State regulation that prevents a fair hearing in child custody, or a Federal policy of criminalizing cannabis. It doesn’t matter if it is at the local level or if it is a Federal issue, if the law is contrary to the social beliefs of the voters, how do we convince those whom we’ve elected to change their minds and champion our causes?

I appreciate your comments and ideas.  You may post them here, or on Facebook at or


k rojas

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