laws, a sense of anarchy or the ability to do whatever one pleases whenever one pleases,
without having to worry about punishments or negative consequences whatsoever?
could burglarize stores, drive at whatever speed they want, claim any piece of land they
chose and maybe even murder anyone they disagreed with because they knew they would
not be reprimanded.
Does this sound appealing? Well, if it does, then you are out of luck.
Since the beginning of time as we know it, people have had to follow specific rules and
behave accordingly in order to keep a sense of balance and structure for society and all of
the people who call it home.
In order to keep this delicate balance where people respect
one another and act rationally, certain norms and laws have been engrained into theses
societies that keep people in line and punish people who step out of line. Without these
rules, laws and norms, informal or not, life in these communities would be extremely
difficult and would end up in complete disarray.
Donald Black and Lon Fuller, two scholars in the field of law, each define what
they believe “law” is. Black argues that “law” is governmental, social control. Basically,
laws are guidelines that people must follow in order to not be punished and to keep social
order and the status quo. This would include behaviors such as theft, murder, and
narcotics abuse, what have you.
According to Black, laws are simply a means to control
and enforce order in a population. Lon Fuller argues that “law” is the subjection of
human conduct to the governance of rules.
He also states that not all rules are officially
made and enforced by government, but are still followed because people are socialized to
act in certain ways and also to maintain the status quo. “Law”, be it formal,
governmentally enacted law, or informal, simple rules and everyday norms, is extremely
important in how humans go about their everyday lives. This notion of informal norms