Sometimes laws are kept yet society still seems broken — jobs are scarce, wages are low, food is quite expensive, housing is hard to find, things simply still go wrong. Whether it be corruption, tax loopholes, or social injustice it seems the law doesn’t always preserve right. What then is the purpose of the Law? Is the purpose of the law to determine what’s good or bad or what’s right or wrong? I don’t think so. Certainly it must observable that the law is blind by nature, it cannot on its own determine between right or wrong. The law can only determine what’s legal or illegal. Legality, in practice, is different from morality.
Slavery was once legal. Colonialism was once legal. The colonial borders in African countries were once legal..and they still are legal. Torture was once legal. Loopholes in tax codes for large corporations and the so-called elite 1% are still legal. Does legality determine what’s right? When the law justifies the legal killing of unarmed citizens (in both developed and undeveloped nations) does it mean the killings are right? To assume the law has an ounce of moral fiber is to misinterpret the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law is to determine legality — legality often in favor of those in power. The law often defines legality based on those who enact and approve its laws. If the practical purpose of the law is to often favor and protect those who create it one must immediately perceive an incentive in being involved in the making of law. A society must entirely be involved in the law making if the law is to benefit society.
The law isn’t constant, eternal and moral on its own. In practicality the law is blind, static and depends wholly on its creators’ moral compass. The law is merely a reflection of the foresight or shortsightedness of it’s creators. Social justice, Democracy, Equality, as a result, simply cannot be left to the law. These dynamic and progressive ideals, must be treated as living entities — extensions of the people –that must be left entirely to the people. The law is the consensus of a people at a particular moment in time. If the people’s consensus has changed then the law must change as well. Do we live in a misaligned society, where our collective consciousness is not reflected by the law?
Today we have more tools to be involved in the process of aligning our collective consciousness with legality. We can blog, tweet, crowdsource our concerns in creating a collective consciousness — a tool that can be used for social good. Technology can play a role in making it easier for information to spread, for voices to be heard and for the participation of every citizen in determining the fitness of the law. Big Data can give us insight into society’s collective consciousness. Big Data can give the public insight into how broken or functional our laws are. Dysfunctional laws create an unequal and chaotic society.
I believe through simple scalable technology and social tools we can become conscious of our laws and their effects and in turn the law can become conscious of our desires.