Sample Admission Essay: What Happens When Rules Disappear?
Rules and laws are the backbones of society. They establish correct human behaviors and ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of civilization. As such, governments set up policing bodies that instill rules and punish disobedient citizens. So when rules and laws suddenly disappear, society loses its backbone and falls into anarchy. People would realize they can do whatever they want without consequences, leading them to exercise absolute freedom. However, despite disorganization becoming rampant, the fallen society will eventually attempt to reorganize as they recognize the importance of rules to survive.
Anarchy in the Early Stages
The disappearance of rules means that governments will cease to exist and countries will lose their decision-makers. The policing bodies that uphold the laws would also disappear, leaving society without law enforcers and officers to rely on to address criminal activities. Without governments and policing bodies, people will have absolute freedom. Utilizing the philosophical application of Murphy’s law, one can assume that people would do the worst things (Chatterjee, 2015). They will ransack stores, assault people, and commit other crimes. Radical and terror groups , such as private militias and religious extremists, will attempt to take over regions and instill their ideologies in others. A real-life example of this was in Somalia when the country had no government for 15 years (Turner, 2018). There will be infighting as some citizens and groups attempt to fight against possible usurpers.
When rules and laws are gone, prisoners are free to leave confinement facilities. Serial killers, serial rapists, cult leaders, terrorists, and other criminals re-enter society which will increase the dangers in the lawless world. Using a real-world example, Arthur John Shawcross, or the Genesee River Killer, went to jail for less than 15 years. After leaving the prison, Shawcross committed 12 killings within 21 months, showing that mentally disturbed criminals are likely to re-offend. Without policing bodies, these types of criminals will have no problem breaking into homes, kidnapping and assaulting civilians, and satisfying their disturbing desires. Recognizing these dangers, people may start arming themselves with firearms and other self-defense tools. They may also realize that there is strength in numbers, leading them to establish communities that will look out for each other.
Despite the disappearance of governments and rules, services can persist. Owners of transportation companies, banks, electricity and water services, Internet and mobile service providers, and other services can choose to continue using their systems. This has happened before in Germany and Belgium when there were no governmental leaders (Turner, 2018). However, since criminal activities will be at an all-time high, companies are at risk of theft, property damage, and other similar problems. Companies, especially the large and influential ones, will hire private armies to protect their properties and act as the policing bodies within their territory. Since there are no rules regarding the consequences for disobeying establishment rules, these private armies may use lethal force when dealing with disobedient groups. Punishments become absolute and the world becomes a kill-or-be-killed environment.
Organizations Rising to Power
As mentioned earlier, various groups will attempt to control regions when rules and the government disappear. Organizations will see the absence of governing bodies and laws as an opportunity to establish their ideologies. Depending on the organization, they may use force or propaganda to acquire power. Take for instance how the Nazi Party rose to power . Germany was in an economic and political collapse which the Nazis took advantage of to promote propaganda and get the support of the public and the elite (The Nazi Rise to Power, n.d.). In a lawless world, many organizations will imitate this and attempt to gain the support of the public. They may promise a better world and better opportunities. This will create different groups and organizations, each with supporters and opponents, leading to the return of politics.
It is also important to note that some of the would-be most powerful organizations in this scenario are large companies, especially those with access to weapons and information. Billion-dollar companies can hire private armies that will defend their properties and even whole regions. This can turn businessmen into pseudo-governors, as they take control of areas and establish rules to protect their properties and consumers. People will also realize that raiding stores and stealing products are not efficient ways to survive. If service and product providers cease their processes, there will be food shortages and society will struggle to survive unless they go back to hunting in the wilderness. So the powerful organizations in a lawless world will be the influential ones; mostly those with political ideologies and intent, and the capitalists; who can conserve economic activities and ensure that people have access to necessities.
Reestablishment of Rules
With various organizations rising to power, society will eventually reestablish rules. According to the Nobel Prize winner, political economist Elinor Ostrom, rules arise from social and economic interactions within societies, especially when there is a common interest among parties (cited in Chater, 2020). As long as people interact with each other, they will eventually start to make rules. For instance, large companies may fear that their competitors will resort to unethical and even lethal means to compete in the lawless world. To prevent this, the companies may establish a rule that they will only meet on neutral grounds. A lesser example is within small communities where the members will establish roles, schedules, and supply rationing. They will create unwritten and written rules to make sense of their purpose and feel secure. So despite the anarchy and dangers in a lawless world, rules will eventually reappear since they are a natural occurrence and necessary for a society to survive.
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Chater, N. (2020). Could We Live in a World Without Rules? The Conversation. Available at https://theconversation.com/could-we-live-in-a-world-without-rules-128664 . Accessed: September 25, 2022.
Chatterjee, A. (2015). Is the Statement of Murphy’s Law Valid? Arix.org. Available at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.07291.pdf%3B. Accessed: September 22, 2022.
The Nazi Rise to Power. (n.d.). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Available at https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nazi-rise-to-power. Accessed: September 26, 2022.
Turner, E. (2018). The Countries That Get By Without A Government. BBC. Available at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-42570823. Accessed: September 25, 2022.
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