A Hedge Around the Law

People are interesting.

I have led with this statement on a number of subjects because it is simply true…in so many ways people are interesting and odd.

One way we are interesting is in our tendancy to build hedges or walls around laws.

There are people who are generally not content with simply seeing a law and obeying it. Rather they like to create laws around the law the logic being –

“Hey, if it is so important not to cross this boundary maybe we should create more boundaries around this law to keep people from getting remotely close to breaking it.”

I don’t think everyone is like this but there is definitely a strong tendency amongst some people to take a boundary and move it even further out.

You can see this in quite a few places during our current Covid-19 crisis. If there is a law that says people need to be six feet/ two meters or more apart someone will say “why not just stay in your home and not come out”.

A law will be created stating no more than 10 people together at one time and someone will say heck – how about just 1 person and no groups at all…and so on and so forth.

Now it is not that the logic is wrong so much as I question the motive. It is as if there are people waiting for the opportunity to take authority on themselves by developing new boundaries. Like a kind of self-deputization or social vigilanteism.

Having created the new, more stringent boundary I am now authorized to enforce said boundary through public shaming and other forms of pressure with zero context for why a person is breaking this new boundary (which they know nothing about) in the first place.

Of course this simply creates resentment with people wondering who the heck gave these other people the right to tell me what to do etc. In fact there is a danger that people can begin to resent the original laws that were legitimately put into place for our benefit as a result of a myriad of other laws being set up like so many ill-constructed, corrugated tin roofed shanty towns surrounding the city proper.

After a while you fail to see the beauty and logic of the original city (law) because of the garbage you have to wade through just to get to it and ponder its meaning.

Some would say –

“Oh you know these people mean well” but I am not so sure they do. Really these types of people do not trust the original law to be effective enough. “Sure that front door is a solid defence against thieves but wouldn’t it be better if we simply welded an inch thick piece of rolled steel in front of it?”

Maaaaaybe…but then the whole functional point of the door is lost in the process.

No I generally do not think these sorts of people mean well so much as they are demonstrating a will to power; A desire to rule over and/or control others by taking advantage of a legitimate law or barrier and making it ridiculous.

The did it in school, they do it in their homes and they do it in society.

So what do we do? Well for one we recognize that this tendency is driven by hidden motives. Focus on the original law and its intent and ignore efforts to hedge you in even further “for your own good” and/or “the good of others”.

We throw in “the good of others” as it is often seen as the trump card of such people that one cannot argue against. Of course you can – by simply stating that there is a law put in place by those we have authorized to do so and you fully intend to follow that. Then go about your day and ignore the pseudo-lawmakers around you to their great consternaiton.

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