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August 25, 2002
Reading around the web today, I am reminded of something that struck me a couple of years ago.
Why do people comply with court orders? Its an interesting question, and I think one that few people actually get a chance to think about. I thought about it in the commercial context as EMusic swam the litigious channels of the music industry from both sides of the aisle.
The answer is that, if you don't, sooner or later someone shows up with a gun and tells you to either comply, lose your liberty, or be shot.
I think too few folks realize that this is the basis on which even a benevolent and generally good government functions. I'm certainly happy that we as a society have reached a level of civilization where we take all of this for granted - even to the point that most people forget that the real coercive factor is violence, however I think that folks who fear the capacity for violence or decry force really have lost touch with the reality of human interaction.
The key is, has been, and continues to be placing violence into rational processes with due process. Intellectually recognizing that force is a legitimate component, arguably a precursor of the continuum that is the rule of law just seems to be lost on so many folks. It certainly seems to be a large source of contradiction in their arguments.
Posted by hoffmang | August 25, 2002 01:03 AM