denis bider, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, writes:
> I am looking forward towards a time when technology will enable us to limit
> ourselves to good behavior by means of technology rather than by means of
Of course he got raked over the coals by the knee-jerk libertarians here,
but Denis makes a good point. Given that you are going to have laws
at all (whether privately enforced, public, negotiated or whatever),
it makes sense that uniform and consistent application is preferable to
haphazard and random enforcement. One of the great advances of Western
society was the move towards the "rule of law" rather than the "rule
of men". Removing the element of capriciousness from law enforcement
makes it easier for everyone to make decisions.
Imagine that other aspects of life, such as contracts for employment,
were enforced in the same random way that most laws are today. There's a
certain chance you won't get paid at all, another chance that you'll
get paid what you should, a different chance that you'll be paid twice
as much, and so on. Would anyone argue that such a system is superior
to one where you have consistent and reliable expectations about the
outcomes of your actions?
I understand the fear that greater consistency of law enforcement will
automatically lead to a more restrictive society. But this assumes that
society does not already have the degree of restrictiveness that people
desire on the average. If that were true, people would already have
increased penalties and/or spent more money on law enforcement. The fact
that society is (roughly) in a steady state on these issues indicates that
the degree of restrictiveness is approximately what is already desired.
With more effective law enforcement tools, Denis is entirely correct
that we should expect the laws to be relaxed correspondingly.
If you want to gamble, go to the casinos. But in your legal relationships
with society, predictability and reliability is preferable.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:26 MDT