One frequently hears: "Do not take law into your own hands." It is worth asking: "Why not?"
The truthful answer has to be: "Because you cannot be trusted to be just."
The law is a surjective mapping of states of anguish and outrage to procedural remedies.
If somebody does you "wrong", then you file a complaint, and watch as the circus unfolds.
Since the Law takes care, your masculinity, or bravery, or courage, or cowardice are irrelevant.
The law is meant to protect the weak, and thereby weakens the strong. It is a move towards equality. An effective law-enforcement system is essential to social equality.
The Western genre of films and fiction is a celebration of masculinity precisely because law has not been delegated to institutions.
The Hero exists because he directs (or resists) his fate. If the tools of engaging with fate are relegated to others, then heroism is going to become extinct.
There are no heroes in a metropolitan city. There are only those who know the process well, and others who are relatively ignorant.
The nerd is the future of man. The nerd is not an actor, but a twiddler.
"The opposite of manliness isn't cowardice; it's technology." (N N Taleb)
"Knowledge is power", but when it replaces "Will power" then it leads to emptiness and psychological impotence.
War is the absence of Law. There have been efforts to internationalize law, but to little effect. Countries fight with their neighbors using all the means at their disposal, but criminalize the same activity between two individuals within the nation. Even shouting at your spouse is a criminal act in many modern societies.
Some say, and I agree, that modernity is the dominance of the intellect over the emotional. Intellect is procedure, and procedure is by its very nature a wet blanket for the fire of emotion.
The Law can be considered a further step in the same direction. To not only relegate to reason, but to relegate to others whose job it is then to work within reason to address a wrong.
Unless it consists of psychologically neutered individuals, a law-abiding society is an alienating one.
The more law-abiding a society, the more it will need faux outlets for fulfillment.
The tribal does not need enlightenment. The city-dweller does. What the city-dweller seeks nostalgically is a feeling of aliveness, which has been usurped by the machinery of the city.
Consider (simplistically) the three levels of living: physical, emotional and intellectual. The city values only the third, with the first two being artifacts instead of being natural, spontaneous parts of one's day. How can it be a fulfilling life?
The Law is institutionalized and formalized conflict-resolution. What people seek is revenge and to hurt the other and to see tears on the other's face, what Law cares about is written argument and whether the affidavit is notarized. It is not nearly the same thing.
It is an interesting question to ask whether an advanced and evolved society will have more laws or less. Whether it will be able to trust its citizenry to be just and therefore take law into their own hands.
Gun control laws are opposed by "conservative" men unwilling to become applicants to the state to redress their wrongs, but are advocated by "progressive" feminists, leftists and believers in democracy and its institutions.
(to be continued)