Are laws necessary?
A dialogue between Irinas the dead leaves and Emmanuelles the turtles. The Irinas believe that life is wait and mystery, but they are willing to seize the opportunities of the moment while remaining nostalgic for the past. They fear evil which can take on deceptive appearances. The Emmanuelles are reasoners who prefer to trust logic rather than feelings.
Emmanuelles: Irinas, did you hear Davina and Peter’s last show?
Irinas: about the rights of rivers in India and pigs in Canada?
Emmanuelles: yes, that’s the one. What do you think?
Irinas: always the same thing, dear Emmanuelles, they are going to get us in trouble by dint of commenting on human affairs.
Emmanuelles: but haven’t you seen that the ideas they discuss are false? Humans don’t think the world is made for them any more than we think.
Irinas: what do you mean?
Emmanuelles: the pond is our domain and we rule it in the depths. The tree fed you and you took carbon from the air without wondering if it was right. Peter, as we have said before, ignores the suffering of frogs and Davina ignores the suffering of the grass. It is a natural tendency to develop at the expense of the environment
Irinas: so why give rights to part of it as they do?
Emmanuelles: what Peter and Davina don’t see is that this idea is the brainchild of a small minority who have lost common sense. The day when the pig are so protected that they will no longer be eaten and the rivers so sacred that they can no longer be used, how will they manage to live?
Irinas: you are right; Peter and Davina love the sensational without realizing that to talk about it is to risk sowing dissension in the communities.
Emmanuelles: headlines for the large audience even if their stories have no substance.
Irinas: and the idea of compassion then, what do you say?
Emmanuelles: that the first inhabitants of Canada like those who said the spirits were everywhere in India obeyed only to their fears. They begged for forgiveness or were respectful because they were afraid food would run out or things would rebel. They lived in superstition and not in the pure and primitive morality that Peter puts forward.
Irinas: this is correct because as soon as humans understand the laws of the world better, their fears disappear.
Emmanuelles: what Peter and Davina also don’t see is that compassion is a flaw that only some humans have because it is well known that in helping others, one loses oneself. The same goes for the obedience that moral laws presuppose. By limiting freedom, they limit possibilities and often only benefit those who enacted them.
Irinas: they are fascinated by the bizarre without realizing it’s still a balance of power.
Emmanuelles: we agree; only logic and reflection can avoid errors.
Irinas: what to think of the human actions they quote?
Emmanuelles: nothing, that does not concern us and I join you on this point, it would be better not to speak. Not that this is going to get us in trouble, but it is unnecessary. The idea of law does not exist in plants or animals because everyone accepts the place they have and the consequences that this implies. That’s life and the freedom that comes with it.
Irinas: yes, for us as for the rest of creation, what happens happens, the laws would not change anything. On the other hand, prudence and ingenuity allow us to prosper.
Emmanuelles: that’s right. We understand that whatever happens has meaning and this knowledge enables us to make choices appropriate to the circumstances. That’s enough. If we make mistakes, we pay for them.
Irinas: besides, the polluted river remains a river and if it makes sick those who pollute it, it’s its just action to prosper. The pigs with or without water will go to the slaughterhouse because they were intended to go there and they are the actors of their fate for not having known how to free themselves. There is no need for laws for things to return to order.
Emmanuelles: the idea of rights supposes an imbalance but the imbalance doesn’t exist in nature therefore the laws are a useless human invention. The best proof is that few follow them anyway.
Irinas: some of the most foolish want to control nature without seeing that it is leading them.
Emmanuelles: exactly. We could also say some of them use the laws to control the others. Peter and Davina pretend they’re human and discuss the ideas of a small minority. In reality, they are two birds with large beaks, no more.
Is a world without law possible?
For Irinas, the discussion of laws falls into the category of the spectacular which occupies the minds of a minority but diverts from the immediate demands of existence. You have to accept the circumstances and play with them to survive because in fact, nature is the stronger. The laws only complicate things.
For Emmanuelle, the laws or customs that limit the possibilities of survival are aberrations that lose those who follow them because life is a fight that is not won by being generous or obedient. Only reason allows us to know how to best act to prosper.
Is anarchy a solution to conflicts of interest?
Is the law of the strongest a law?
Want to think a little more? See, for example, The politics of obedience where La Boétie shows that freedom implies nonviolent revolt against power.
Want to contribute to these dialogues? Write your comments and questions below.
Want to know more about the tastes of Irinas and Emmanuelles? Their favorite books are in the domain library.