Some people enjoy making rules. Some people enjoy enforcing rules. Some people enjoy obeying rules that other people create.
I suspect all three types of people were emotionally abused in childhood. I believe their compulsive rule-making, rule-enforcing and rule-obeying behaviors are almost always pathological symptoms of unresolved childhood traumas. Whenever I encounter such people I attempt to distance myself from them as quickly as possible because mentally ill people can be unpredictable and dangerous.
I cannot prove that such people are always victims of child abuse, but that doesn’t stop me from avoiding them, just as I avoid every tiger even though I have no way to prove that each and every tiger is a dangerous, unpredictable man-eater.
I admit this: I am deeply prejudiced against rule makers and enforcers. I am equally prejudiced against obedient sheep-like individuals. And I deeply loathe the numerous fawning apologists for rule-makers and enforcers that one commonly finds throughout academia, the media and in the courts. I reflexively think of them as damaged souls who are crippled by past traumas that they have failed to resolve with appropriate therapy. I pity them. I also fear them. I shun them when possible.
I certainly do not respect any of these peoples’ behaviors and beliefs about rules, which I think are the outward scars of their emotional injuries.
The proper and healthy attitude about rules, in my opinion, is that they must evolve spontaneously in social groups (see my previous post, about the Rules of Conversations, for examples). Proper rules of behavior cannot be formulated and decreed by any person or small group of people. They can only be discovered after they have evolved and have been tested and improved incrementally, countless times within large groups.
People who attempt to make and impose rules on others interfere with the spontaneous evolution of ideal rules. They seek to short-circuit the evolutionary process by prohibiting experimentation and creativity. Their rules, which are almost always created by a few individuals representing a vanishingly tiny fraction of the world’s population, are always inferior to rules that evolve spontaneously by means of billions of actions and reactions among millions of people.
This is why the Common Law is always superior to Statutory Law.
Common Law has been (and is still being) “discovered” and recorded in courtrooms, by observing how people generally expect each other to behave in a civil society.
Statutory Law, by contrast, is a set of rules written by pathological liars (i.e. politicians) who write such rules merely to reward themselves and their supporters, and to punish their enemies.
If you are a rule-maker, a rule-enforcer or a person who reflexively obeys rules, I think you’ll probably benefit from knowing that I do not respect you. I pity you. Please help make the world a better place by seeking treatment.