It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Law-1) a binding custom or practice of a community , a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority (2) the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules (3)
For ages and ages mankind lived without any written law, even that graved in symbols upon the entrance stones of a temple. During that period, human relations were simply regulated by customs, habits and usages, made sacred by constant repetition, and acquired by each person in childhood, exactly as he learned how to obtain his food by hunting, cattle-rearing, or agriculture for some thousands of years.
As society became more and more divided into two hostile classes,
one seeking to establish its domination, the other struggling to escape, the
strife began. Now the conqueror was in a hurry to secure the results of his
actions in a permanent form, he tried to place them beyond question, to
make them holy and venerable by every means in his power. Law made
its appearance under the sanction of the priest, and the warrior’s club was
placed at its service. Its office was to render immutable such customs as
were to the advantage of the dominant minority. Military authority
undertook to ensure obedience. This new function was a fresh guarantee
to the power of the warrior; now he had not only mere brute force at his
service; he was the defender of law.
If law, however, presented nothing but a collection of prescriptions
serviceable to rulers, it would find some difficulty in insuring acceptance
and obedience. Well, the legislators confounded in one code the two
currents of custom, of which we have just been speaking, the maxims
which represent principles of morality and social union wrought out as a
result of life in common, and the mandates, which are meant to ensure
external existence to inequality. Customs, absolutely essential to the very
being of society, are, in the code, cleverly intermingled with usages
imposed by the ruling caste, and both claim equal respect from the word.
“Do not kill,” says the code, and hastens to add, “And pay tithes to the
priest.” “Do not steal,” says the code, and immediately after, “He who
refuses to pay taxes, shall have his hand struck off.”
Such was law; and it has maintained its two-fold character to this day. Its
origin is the desire of the ruling class to give permanence to customs
imposed by themselves for their own advantage. Its character is the
skilful commingling of customs useful to society, customs which have no
need of law to insure respect, with other customs useful only to rulers,
injurious to the mass of the people, and maintained only by the fear of
The indolence, the fears, the inertia of the crowd, and thanks to the continual repetition of the same acts, they have permanently established customs which have become a solid basis for their own domination.