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Does society actually need a legal system

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Does society actually need a legal system.

Many philosophers, from Plato to Karl Marx (German founder of communism born 1818), have argued that law is unnecessary:


Plato argued that man is naturally good and simply needs education to guide his behaviour, while Marx saw law as a tool of class oppression that we could be do away with, once a truly socialist society had taken over. History has shown that his theory has many practical difficulties and few states have retained a truly communist system.



Marx saw the law as an instrument of control by capital of the working classes. Sometimes law appears to work in their favour but in reality only serving capital.   Property laws in the UK serve well those that are landed and have goods and chattels.


This is not to suggest a conspiracy by capital, but simply how the system operates so that capitalism survives, and ergo the nation is more prosperous; it is axiomatic that law favours capital.   


Even legislation aimed at protecting the worker does not work against capital.   Factory safety regulations found necessary following the industrial revolution may have been more about handicapping competitors than the welfare of workers. 


The provision of schools and health care may have had more to do with providing an educated work force and a fit population from which to recruit soldiers than the general good of the population and of the individual.


Respect for Law

On the one hand, If a custom or norm is assured of judicial backing, it is, for practical purposes, law.  On the other hand, a statute that is neither obeyed nor enforced is empty law.


The role of law in China and Japan and modern Russia, for example, is different from role of law in western nations.  In those countries there is a low respect for the law, except in business and industry.  Tradition features highly. Resort to law is a last resort; conciliation is preferred for social control.


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