There is something I do know. The two most important concepts for a civil, peaceful society to function are to have a clear definition of “what is okay” and “what is not okay.
In your own life you determine “what is okay” and “what is not okay.” For society, “What is okay” has laws, customs and guidelines. “What is not okay” creates its own law, which in truth is the rule of men and their decisions at the moment as to “what is okay,” not law, along with their own special customs and guidelines. When “what is okay,” is not enforced, then “what is not okay” takes over. This is when lawlessness becomes the law. Fear sets in.
And people when people see and feel this, they become scared. They are not themselves. They will pander to the fear in hopes of pacifying it and that the threat that is causing the fear will go away. In reality, nothing is being done to curb the source of the fear. There is no pushback. Without pushback, what is unreasonable becomes reasonable. And this is dangerous. As a result, the fear starts to appear in people’s minds to be stronger and more pervasive than it is.
When it comes to fear, everyone’s feelings are valid. It is how we choose to act on them that can ultimately bring us together or tear us apart. What happened in Minneapolis to George Floyd is horrible by any standard. It is inexcusable. What is happening to the rest of the country as a result, is inexcusable. There is a huge difference, obvious even to the casual observer, between peaceful protests and rioting. The pain and suffering of countless individuals and businesses along with the economic destruction is unwarranted because “what is happening is not okay.”
One of the basic underpinnings of government under the rule of law is to protect us from us. Government is here for several reasons but one of the big ones is to protect our property rights. When government fails to protect property rights then people feel compelled to take the law into their hands. When that happens, civil society as we know it gets torn apart. Anarchy sets in and society as we know It disintegrates.
Over 50 years ago, I saw it in Chicago from afar and experienced it personally during Kent State in Ohio. It was not okay then to destroy property and to kill and hurt people. And it is not okay now. That is something I do know.