When politics and law are obsolete

There are many standards by which we may measure civilization. Aside from the formal definition of what constitutes a civilization (as described on Wikipedia: a community which combines “three basic institutions: a ceremonial centre, a system of writing, and a city.”), we tend to consider the presence of order, stable rulership and a clear set of rules as prerequisites. I would argue that the opposite is true: only when politics and law have become obsolete will we have achieved true civilization.

Laws and lawmakers are mere camouflage for the absence of a society’s intrinsic ability to only do good. One very basic problem with defining right and wrong in laws and regulations is that once you start you cannot stop until all possible variations have been covered. After all, once you decide that stealing is wrong and this becomes law, no other wrongdoings can be left unmentioned – regardless of how obvious they are. When that is done (if it ever will be), there is an unlimited number of variations and exceptions which need to be described as well. Considering the ever growing number of people on our planet and our progress and development, that results in an infinite number of possible interactions. It is truly a work that will never be finished.

The assumption we make is that human beings are incapable of deciding for themselves what is right and what is wrong, and that therefore they need rules and regulations to guide them through life. The reality is of course that the vast majority of people would be perfectly fine without all these laws. And on the other end of the spectrum, under the guise of morality or religion, or simply as the result of power-hungry politics there are many laws put into place which go far beyond the regulation of human interactions and which are meant to assert control over our actions instead of protecting our interests (a ban on advertising tobacco, laws that dictate whom we may or may not marry, etc.).

True civilization will come when we learn to form an autonomous, self-regulating society – evolved beyond war, corruption and crime. When we learn that our individual interests are best served when mankind as a collective prospers as well. It is a continuing cycle of empowerment: by working towards your interests as an individual you will also serve the collective, and the prospering collective will repay you with more means to further your personal growth, and so on. But as long as we perpetuate our dependence on institutions and law we will never learn to live without them.

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