“The shadows in the early morning don’t tell much. The shadows rest at that time. So it’s useless to gaze very early in the day. Around six in the morning the shadows wake up, and they are best around five in the afternoon. Then they are fully awake.”
Carlos Castaneda

The Second Ring of Power

Illegal, Unfair, Normal


Law as a social framework (including legislative, judicial, enforcement, punishment and public perception aspects) seems to be deteriorating … and I believe that’s a good thing. I believe the law, at its best (a rare combination of legislation & implementation) provides, at best, mediocre social norms. Typically it seems to describe the lowest level of tolerated behavior which will go unpunished by society. A far cry from being a motivating force for progress and growth.

Though I do feel there is potential for law to improve within its own domain I don’t expect much of it. It is too committed to upholding too many notions that need to be scrutinized. As with many things, progress will need to come from outside the box.

ILLEGAL: I believe change will come from conscious and aware members of society who are able to challenge norms and strive for better. Their efforts will be illegal in the sense that they go against the written laws but they may do so without causing any losses or damages to anyone or anything else. They will, for the most part, go unnoticed, working from the fringes of society mostly unknown to mainstream society. They need to be free to explore on behalf of society without the burdens of society holding them back. Since these people usually strive to uphold society they experience a tension and need to develop a certain capacity for illegality.

UNFAIR: Some of their discoveries will eventually (this is a process then can take decades) be noticed by mainstream society. They will cause debate. Some of these people, those whose discoveries are most digestable by mainstream society, will be invited in (maybe even tempted with celebrity). Others will be discovered and prosecuted and sometimes punishment. Their contribution will become a measure of how much unfairness they are able to accommodate peacefully.

NORMATIVE: Eventually wild and illegal discoveries will sink in and become normative. When they do their histories will be lined with social oucasts and unfair treatments … and eventually the once radical now normative patterns will also be challenged … over and over again in a never ending cycle of evolution.

I am tempted to say that a healthy society needs to cultivate such “research outposts” on its fringes … but I don’t think that is possible nor necessary. Fringe is a natural phenomenon. Society needs to be careful not to overrun it, to facilitate (create, nurture, protect) a space for the fringe to do its thing.

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