Laws are essential to everyday life all over the world. Whether they’re preventing dangerous activities, protecting constitutional freedoms, or insuring safety, laws are put in place to maintain a stable society. In a broad sense, they keep us protected and set a standard for what is, and isn’t, acceptable behavior in a country or region.
As the reading explains, without law, people would not know what to expect from one another, and there would be no certainty surrounding the future (Schmalleger 62). But law isn’t such a simple concept beneath the surface. It is not surprise that law is different around the world, and what is viewed as acceptable in one country is illegal in another.
The purpose of law is to keep order and structure in a society. In western democratic societies, the rule of law is used in order to insure that peace and fairness maintains constant. The rule of law encompasses the belief that no one is above the law, regardless of status or position within society. This concept of the rule of law has been considered the greatest political achievement of the western culture (Schmalleger 63). It is pretty amazing to be able to be in a society where you are allowed to disagree with the government, as long as you also agree to obey it. The idea that nobody is above the law is there to insure that everyone gets the same treatment for the same crime, and that every individual has the same rights and freedoms.
It is an unfortunate truth that many countries do not have these freedoms, and go by the rule of man, instead of the rule of law.The rule of man is the idea that laws apply only to those in which the people in positions of power say they apply to. Basically, the people in power set laws that they do not have to follow. These people become all powerful when they are making the rules, while doing whatever it is they want. This can often create countries full of oppressed people.
North Korea is a prime example of a country that is under the rule of man. Kim Jong Un is leading the country under the rules he instated. There is a lack of fairness and justice for citizens in North Korea, as the rule of man does not offer the advantages the rule of law has.
Countries that are ruled by a communist government often follow the rule of whatever dictator is in charge. There are many other examples of evidence of the rule of law which can be found when studying the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Nazi Germany. These places were all controlled by dictators and regimes that unevenly distributed power in a way that the rule of man does not allow. The basic rights of humans were all diminished in these countries and cases. These examples serve as proof that laws can only protect people if they’re applicable to every person, regardless of rank or status in society. Laws are undoubtedly necessary in today’s world, but they only prove to be effective if they apply to everyone.
The rule of law makes sure that every citizen is protected and treated with fairness. Additionally, it insures that those who create the laws are expected to abide by them as well. These expectations set forth by the rule of law are extremely different than the harsh reality those under the rule of man face. In dictatorships and regimes, the rule of man controls citizens and creates an atmosphere lacking in freedom, and full of oppression.
The idea that the individuals who make the laws are not expected to follow them is extremely concerning. It makes it very easy to see how the rule of law offers greater stability in across the board, socially, economically, and politically.