• Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I, and any number of others, have been accused of not following social rules.

    My response to that is as follows. If you want your social rules to be binding, pass a law toward that effect. Have the Parliament or the Congress vote on them. Make them official. Make them real.

    If a rule is unofficial, then it is not subject to accountability, check and balance. That makes such rules an attempt at tyranny. When a rule is unofficial, there is nothing to check it against; which means that it constitutes effective tyranny.

    Which means that it is not only one's right to transgress such usurpations, but that it is in many cases one's duty before liberty and democracy to do the same.

    In many places in the supposedly free countries, the worst thing that one can be is different from people around them. This is a hideous monstrosity. Anyone who makes any kind of original contribution will have to think differently from people around him in order to do such a thing. If such people are portrayed as “narcissists,” “sociopaths” or anything of the sort, then the world loses its best contributors. And that leads the countries that have such attitudes to fall behind to countries that do not.

    When the media was running a feeding frenzy about Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinski, an independent media outlet called the Salon ran a story about the affair that Henry Hyde, the congressional leader of that feeding frenzy, had run for several years. The media accused the Salon of violating unspoken rules. What it actually violated was a vicious feeding frenzy; and in doing so it saved American democracy.

    We hear a lot about the so-called sexual deviants. The Right accuses homosexuals of sexual deviance, and the Left accuses “perverts” of sexual deviance. I would rather be dealing with a homosexual or a “pervert” over people of that kind. Liberty means just that: Liberty. Unelected, unofficial, unchecked and unbalanced organs of usurpation of power – whether oppressive communities or Third Wave feminists – do not have the right to dictate to a free country what kind of sexuality people can practice. Someone going after children, fair enough, make and enforce laws against such a thing. But stay out of the bedrooms of consenting adults.

    If it is thought rightful that a man break a child's skull, but not rightful that a woman leave him to be with someone she loves, then something is very wrong with the social norms in the place. If it is thought rightful for teenagers to get one another pregnant but a kid who is taking school seriously is thought of as a “know-it-all” or “thinks he's better than everyone else,” then something is also very wrong in such places. If the worst thing that one can be is different or a “freak,” then the country is going to lose its best contributors. The attention of freedom fighter type has been focused mostly on the government, but in the Western countries the government is not the worst villain. Communities are. School cultures are. Brutal parents and step-parents are. Religious organizations are. Corrupt networks in law and medicine are. All of these commit greater violations than anything that is allowed Western governments under Constitutional law.

    If you want your social rules to be binding, sign them into law. I would follow an official law; but I would not follow an illegitimate dictate. Illegitimate dictates have no place in a democracy or in a country that is intended to be free. If you want people to live your way, pass a law toward that effect. But do not at any point put people under an illusion that they are living in liberty.

    The rules that are unwritten are rules that are not subject to visibility or accountability. That makes them an attempt at de facto tyranny. At which point it becomes not only the right, but the duty, of anyone who holds liberty dear to confront such usurpations and free oneself and others from them.

    Should societies have rules? If you want your society to have rules, make them official. Pass them into actual law. Codify them. Then people will know exactly what they are faced with, and whatever social rule one claims to follow will have an actual existence in the law books.

    Codify in the law what kind of relationships people can have. Codify in the law how people can dress, how they can look, how they can behave. Codify in the law how people can think. Codify in the law what kind of personality people can have. But at no point give a false impression that what you are offering is liberty.

    I would follow an official law. I would not however follow an usurpatory dictate, nor would I advise that anyone else does either. You want your social rules to be binding, pass a law. Subject it to checks, balance and accountability. And then replace a de facto tyranny with official rules, that at least have the honesty to be official and subject to visibility, check and balance.
  • wax
    301
    yes, if something is passed into law, like you say, it can be scrutinised, and it can be challenged, and the ability to overturn it is then there.
  • Isaac
    714


    I'm not seeing the philosophical relevance.

    If you want to behave however you like, and to achieve that you're demanding that others desist from behaving however they like (grouping together to make and enforce social norms), then it's just a fight, you against them. Good luck with it and all, but I don't understand why you posted the details of you fight on a philosophy forum.

    If, on the other hand you think you should be allowed to behave how you want, but the others should not be allowed to do what they want (despite both being legal), then I think you'd probably need to present your case as to why you should get this special treatment, otherwise we've got nothing to discuss.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    If a rule is unofficial, then it is not subject to accountability, check and balance. That makes such rules an attempt at tyranny. When a rule is unofficial, there is nothing to check it against; which means that it constitutes effective tyranny.Ilya B Shambat

    Is this an official rule, or an attempt at tyranny? :death:
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I am saying that rules, to be valid, must be official. Otherwise we have an attempt at de facto tyranny.
  • Isaac
    714


    Yes, I gathered that. I'm asking you why it is you think that level of 'tyranny' is bad. Why is is that your preferred behaviour (whatever this 'tyranny' is trying to prevent you from doing) should be allowed, but the preferred behaviour of those enforcing these rules (which is obviously to make and enforce social rules) should not be allowed.

    Basically, why your behaviour and not theirs?
  • wax
    301
    Basically, why your behaviour and not theirs?Isaac

    it takes time for things to be moved to the status of law.

    So some discussion about how people should behave is probably the best way to go.

    The OP might want some discussion about his idea, and can form groups with people who agrees with him, and gradually move his idea and try to raise it to the formal level of law.
  • Isaac
    714


    Well yes, but that's politics, not philosophy. What I was asking is where the philosophical question is?
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    Social rules should be enforced if they are official.

    If they are not official, then what we see is unofficial tyranny that is unelected, unbalanced and unchecked.

    I do not seek to enforce tyranny against anyone. I seek to prevent tyranny from happening. And that is what is happening when we have unelected, unofficial, unchecked and unbalanced rules being put forth as the will of society.
  • wax
    301
    Well yes, but that's politics, not philosophy. What I was asking is where the philosophical question is?Isaac

    well I suppose, if you agree that there has to be some non-law based forces in society, then the question is how strong do you let these forces get before they should be raised to the level of being put into law?
  • Isaac
    714


    Yes, I didn't ask you to repeat your assertions, I asked you to explain them. What moral guide, or perhaps religious instruction, are you following by which causing the kind of tyranny you describe is 'bad', but the behaviour the tyranny was trying to stop is not 'bad'?
  • Isaac
    714
    if you agree that there has to be some non-law based forces in society, then the question is how strong do you let these forces get before they should be raised to the level of being put into law?wax

    Yes, that would be an ethics question, but the OP did not want his own behaviours to be subjected to restraint resulting from ethical rules, so I'm confused as to why he would now want to create ethical rules to restrain the behaviour of others.
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I say that rules, in order to be valid, have to be made official. If they are not valid, they are an attempt at de facto tyranny. So rules need to be voted on by the Congress and the President before they become binding.
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    No, I said that rules have to be made official before they can be valid. Anything else is an attempt at de facto tyranny.
  • Isaac
    714


    Yes, I know what you are saying. I'm asking you why? It's a simple question.

    Why do you think you are morally entitled to restrict (or seek to restrict) the behaviour of those causing this 'de facto tyranny', but they are not similarly entitled to restrict (or seek to restrict) your behaviour?
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    Because I am not perpetrating any kind of tyranny. I would respect a real law, but I will not respect people perpetrating de facto tyranny without check or balance upon it.
  • Isaac
    714
    I am not perpetrating any kind of tyranny.Ilya B Shambat

    You're seeking to restrict the actions of people who are carrying out legal activities. How is that any different to what you are suggesting they are doing.

    You're saying that your behaviour is allowable because it is legal and as such no one should pressure you to behave otherwise.

    But you're saying the behaviour of these others (the behaviour of ganging together to exert social pressure), even though equally legal, is something that you have a right to seek to repress.
  • ssu
    1.2k
    I say that rules, in order to be valid, have to be made official. If they are not valid, they are an attempt at de facto tyranny. So rules need to be voted on by the Congress and the President before they become binding.Ilya B Shambat
    How about rules in school or kindergarten, in sports, in games? How about rules of thumb or rules in Mathematics? The fact is that we have and apply to vast amount of rules where basically making the part of law would be absolutely crazy in my view. In fact, it's actually sometimes great when group of people came to agreement of how to behave or how to act without any official guidelines. If you assume only rules written in law apply and otherwise are bad or something (as they attempt at de facto tyranny), you'll have problems in really following what you preach.

    Comes to my mind Vladimir Putin's idea of "the dictatorship of laws" for some reason with this argument.
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I have the right to confront wrongful attempts at control, especially when people doing so are in violation of the law. If I wanted to exert wrongful control over people, then I would expect reaction against that.
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    It is great when people come up to an agreement as to how to behave - except when in doing so they decide to put people in gas chambers.

    There are all sorts of ways to have wrongful agreements on things.

    I am saying that in order to be valid rules need to be made official. Otherwise what we have is de facto tyranny in countries that are intended to be free.
  • Isaac
    714
    I have the right to confront wrongful attempts at control,Ilya B Shambat

    But you just said that people do not have the right to try and control behaviour purely on the grounds that they don't like it. Yet, here you are claiming you have the right to do exactly that, confront behaviour you think is wrong (the attempts at control). Why do you have this right but others do not?
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I am saying that in order to be valid a rule has to be official. That means, subject to checks, balances and accountability. At no point am I controlling other people. I stand up to people who seek to control other people without checks, balances and accountability. I seek for people to be free of unofficial tyranny, and that means, of unofficial rules. If someone wants a rule to be valid, he needs to pass it into law. That way his inclinations are made official, and accountability, check and balance is exerted upon people.
  • ssu
    1.2k
    I am saying that in order to be valid rules need to be made official. Otherwise what we have is de facto tyranny in countries that are intended to be free.Ilya B Shambat
    Yet then the procedure just what becomes official has to have strict rules too (like the system being a democracy and the state being a justice state that embraces rights of the individual).

    Perhaps you should define more accurately just what rules do you have in mind. Because legal micromanagement of stuff that should having nothing to do with jurisdiction can be a hindrance too. Or do you think that rules in football should be in law? Not only can you get a red card as a player in a football game, you also get a fine, just like a speeding ticket, that if not paid, will get you in serious trouble with the judicial system.

    It is great when people come up to an agreement as to how to behave - except when in doing so they decide to put people in gas chambers.Ilya B Shambat
    Do I see a Hitler card used?
  • Isaac
    714
    At no point am I controlling other people. I stand up to people who seek to control other people without checks, balances and accountability.Ilya B Shambat

    But the only thing you have actually given as an example of people engaging in the attempt at 'de facto tyranny' are;

    "... accused of not following social rules.

    ... accused the Salon of violating unspoken rules.

    ... accuses homosexuals of sexual deviance, and the Left accuses “perverts” of sexual deviance."

    So unless everything is actually fine and you've got nothing to say, then I presume it is this behaviour (the accusing) that you would like to stop. But your means of stopping it is to accuse them of de facto tyranny. You are doing exactly the thing you want others to stop doing namely - labelling some behaviour as bad purely on the grounds that you think it is harmful to society.
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    "You are doing exactly the thing you want others to stop doing namely - labelling some behaviour as bad purely on the grounds that you think it is harmful to society."

    Is there anyone who does not do that?
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    If a rule is unofficial, then it is not subject to accountability, check and balance. That makes such rules an attempt at tyranny. When a rule is unofficial, there is nothing to check it against; which means that it constitutes effective tyranny.Ilya B Shambat

    The United States has the First Amendment to the Constitution. That protects freedom of expression from government restriction. It doesn't say anything about restrictions on speech from other institutions or individuals. That's the way it should be. It's not always fair, but if you say what you want, you have to face the consequences.
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I most certainly know that.
  • Isaac
    714
    Is there anyone who does not do that?Ilya B Shambat

    Not many, no. That's the point. You want them to behave a certain way (don't accuse people in the way you describe), they want you to behave a certain way (don't do whatever it is they're accusing you of).

    It's just a fight between two groups who want conflicting restrictions on behaviour. Where's the philosophical interest?

    Now, if you want us to judge the behaviours ethically, then there'd be philosophical interest. But that would have to apply to both parties and you've made it pretty clear you don't want your behaviour to be judged. So why engage in judging others?
  • Ilya B Shambat
    142
    I am used to my behavior being judged, frequently very wrongly judged.

    The point of the OP is that for rules to be binding they have to be made official. Making unofficial rules is a way of creating de facto tyranny. An unofficial rule is unelected, unaccountable, unbalanced and unchecked. That makes it an insidious form of dictatorship. At which point it falls up to us as people who hold liberty dear to confront these unofficial rules.
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