Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Rules That Exist Are Those Enforced

(Note: This post follows on from last week's post.)

The thing that distinguishes the Law of Nature from the Law of Man is that the latter does not enforce itself. Even children grasp this fact, summarized so brilliantly in this playground retort: "Make me."

Government is about control. You can proclaim all the rules you want, but if you cannot compel compliance then your words are senseless blather and what respect you have soon drains away. When speaking of self-government, starting with the individual, we term this "discipline" and rightly regard a lack of it as a mark of poor character. Individuals do what they do not want to secure benefits or necessities they want or need. As it is for individuals, so it is for groups of any size.

The difference is that enforcement externalizes in groups. The rule-maker relies on enforcers to compel compliance. This is true when the rule is reasonable, right, and proper as when it is not; the reason it is so is because the power to compel compliance means removing the power to act from those one seeks compliance from.

This is why competent rule creation rests upon shaping the ability of those targeted to comply, instead of relying upon argument of any kind; if the capacity to disobey is crippled, depreciated, or eliminated then you need not rely on enforcers as often or as severely to gain compliance. Use technical means over other options whenever you can, because their opinion of the rules is irrelevant is they lack the means to defy it.

Go back to that retort: "Make me". That's what has to be kept in mind when you go about making rules; if you can't make them comply, then your rule will be defied. It is the same if the defiance is reasonable or not, because you lack the means to enforce your will. Control over others necessarily requires possessing the means to destroy what they value most, for otherwise you have nothing to negotiate with.

Make no mistake; enforcement is negotiation. You're using violence (actual or the threat thereof) to say "Compliance is your better option." If you are unable to do this, then your rules--for all intents and purposes--do not exist. Being unwilling is the same as being unable, with the sole difference being the speed of remedy.

This is the practical part of power being in the ability to act, and never in deliberation or judgement. There are plenty of people deliberating on anything and everything; they lack the ability to act, so their opinions can be (and often are) ignored as they can't act on them. Plenty of people make judgments, but also cannot act on them, and are just as impotent so they too get ignored. The open hand and the closed fist matter far more than tomes of law or the councils of the wise, as every man whose dealt with the unruly and predatory knows to his cost.

And it is because human predators exist that the rules must be enforced--and seen to be enforced; invisible enforcement is no enforcement--for them to have their desired effect. The unruly can be cowed; predators must be exterminated without mercy or hesitation, as they brook no other limit to their predation, and they regard non-resistance as weakness (and weakness as consent to their predations).

Fortunately, this is a solved problem. The issue now is the unwillingness to apply the solution.

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