Character, Civil Law, and Positions of Authority

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There are people who are filled with hatred, who wish they could kill objects of their hatred. But then they weigh costs implied by civil law, consider containment of their hatred prudent.

If shoplifting were not a crime, absent positioning of a person at the door who can chase down, triggering of door alarms would not deter shoplifting. We have then that Walmart probably would have two big guys at each door staring people down as they exit the store, daring them to attempt to take out of the store stuff for which they had yet to make payment. In the same vein, when people loot in context of street demonstrations, they unleash the inner self that always had been contained by costs inherent in running afoul of civil law.

Were it not for costs inherent in civil law, there are stuff people would be more bold to attempt.

Mitigation of everyone’s potential excesses is essence of civil law, which is, setting of boundaries that protect everyone’s reasonable rights to life, happiness, accumulation of property or wealth, and health. In so far as Aristotle the Greek philosopher is concerned, this mediation of interactions between people is entire essence of civil law, is entire essence of civil government.

Importance of civil government is evident in the fact that an illegal contract never is enforceable in court. The reason this is the case? A person can be coerced in secret to agree to an illegal contract. Given such a contract is not enforceable in court, a person coerced into an illegal contract can, supposing he or she subsequently were to devise protection for himself or herself, default on an illegal obligation without any consequences.

With knowledge illegal contracts are unenforceable, historically some wise persons have agreed to such contracts with full intention of default at signing of agreement. Whenever a hero in a movie agrees to give up a person of interest in exchange for his or her daughter who is held hostage, then defaults and gets away without implementing his or her side of the contract, it is because default is non-costly, it is because the obligation to deliver that other person is not enforceable in court.

Whenever people assume positions of authority, whenever people come into power and surprise their acquaintances via their unapproachability, the conclusion typically is, they are corrupted by power. That old adage then comes to mind, which is, ‘power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely.’

The truth of the matter? People who become unapproachable in context of assumption of positions of power are not corrupted by either of power or absolute power. Rather, having assumed positions of authority, and protections afforded by such positions, such people are emboldened to carry out implications of hatreds that hitherto had been concealed. It is not the power that corrupts, rather there is a sense that costs which ordinarily would accrue to misbehavior prohibited by civil law are mitigated in context of assumption of positions of power or authority.

Whenever people become unapproachable in context of assumption of positions of power or authority, they reveal who they always had been that they had been unable to reveal out of fear of costs inherent in civil law.

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Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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