This is my position. But for some reason I'm sure I'm not the first to accept it (I guess some anarchists would have it). So, there likely should be other people with this position. Is there a name for it? Or is it unnamed?

Under 'law' I mean enforceable rules, with judgement and conviction, typically associated with the state. A standard idea is that it is good or even necessary for society to have such rules. Thus, to argue against law is to argue that we need no such laws.

  • 3
    What law? Natural? Criminal? Argues how?
    – Conifold
    Feb 3 '19 at 11:42
  • @Conifold Legal law. Argues how does not matter.
    – rus9384
    Feb 3 '19 at 12:18
  • 6
    Legal nihilism?
    – Conifold
    Feb 3 '19 at 12:32
  • @Conifold I think it is correct.
    – rus9384
    Feb 3 '19 at 13:38
  • In the US Constitution, Article 1 Section 9 provides limits on legislative power. A little further on, Amendment 9 of the Bill of Rights states very clearly: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. The implication is that there are important human rights which naturally belong to people. Incidentally, it was my father who taught me the importance of understanding my rights as a human being and citizen of my country.
    – Bread
    Feb 5 '19 at 11:24

It is important to realize that "established" positions that argue against the law may be difficult to find. "Established" means "socially recognized" here, and that is not likely to occur because of a normal bias: human societies do not tend to look favorably at philosophies that challenge their own basic principles (let us consider it as a stimulus-response mechanism for self-preservation).

It does not mean that such positions against the law do not exist, or they would not have any validity, etc... It means, however, that they are less likely to get credence in a human society; or if they do, any state (including "democratic" ones) are unfortunately likely to put their promoters on a list of suspects, or actively suppress them, since police are established as:

A body of government employees trained in methods of law enforcement and crime prevention and detection and authorized to maintain the peace, safety, and order of the community. (American Heritage)

That being said, refusal of any form of government would go under the heading of anarchism, which according to the Online Etymology Dictionary derives from Greek: an (absence) + archia (government); to which the suffix -ism is added to denote the philosophy.

Please note that even though the state is what enforces the law, there might be a subtle distinction between rejection of the state and outright rejection of any social law (which would be nihilism, from Latin nihil, nothing and -ism).

An intellectual figure of anarchism was Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin (1842-1921), a learned man who promoted a new form of social organization based on cooperatives.

His theories were not particularly well received by the government of Imperial Russia; Western European states were not favorable either to anarchists (it is important to remember at that time that anarchist was the common name of what we call today a terrorist; so anybody who claimed to be an anarchist risked being put on police surveillance; and if some political figure got killed, they were on the list of prime suspects).

Experience seems to indicate that if someone intends to pursue anarchism as a form of active, social philosophy (rather than theoretical philosophy, or intellectual history, etc.), their mileage may vary, but freedom of thought is all what they might get (providing they live in a democratic state were civic rights are respected). In general, they might not get all the social support and public funding they might expect. And if they become "established" in some way, they will probably be graced with a fat file at the competent state security agency.

It is a paradaox that a society where rule of law exists and is respected, might be the only place were anarchists do not risk being brutalized by the police (or worse, by thugs or an angry mob). As a self-preservation measure, I would suggest to anyone who harbors elevated anarchist feelings, to first support the rule of law with all their heart.

  • If there is no established term for something, that thing is not important enough. I hold this position. My own position is that there can exist rules how to act, either in everyday life, or in experimental science. But the optimal idea is to assume that humans are above rules. No rule should be placed in the absolute, because a rule is something like a manual based on experiences, knowledge. And as we live we acknowledge more things. That's why placing rules to the absolute is a bad idea. So, I don't know if this position is nihilism as you put it.
    – rus9384
    Feb 14 '19 at 9:43
  • 1
    I see that there may be a misunderstanding about the meaning of position, as in "established position" (Position: A point of view or attitude on a certain question, American Heritage). The established term does exist: anarchism or else nihilism. The issue was if a sufficient number of people are likely to support or at least tolerate that position so that it can be considered established.
    – fralau
    Feb 14 '19 at 10:01
  • Regarding your last paragraph. I disagree. Well, I agree with it if we talk about crude anti-law position. That is of permissiveness. My philosophy is: friendly => good, unfriendly => bad. Hence I take a position that I never justify my deeds. But I elaborate on them. Which means I won't tell people why I did something if they start from an assumption that I acted badly. That is an unfriendly assumption. But it is imprinted into legal systems.
    – rus9384
    Feb 14 '19 at 10:17
  • No problem: what you are talking about is a personal moral code or a sense of ethics, which transcends the need for a law. Mine is a utilitarian observation and disregards whether states are moral entities or not; merely that when states perceive a threat, real or imaginary, they will hit back hard. And since states do commit injustices occasionally (especially when they feel threatened), it is best to have the rule of law as a shield if that happens. Hence a self-professed anarchist might need a lawyer and hope that the justice system works sufficiently well to pull her/him out of trouble.
    – fralau
    Feb 14 '19 at 11:03
  • Or anarchists just need to unite into a strong enough force (real one, not a legal one) to be capable of overcoming it.
    – rus9384
    Feb 14 '19 at 18:09

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