Is it Ever Justifiable to Step Above The Law?

A democratic society that can provide safety and freedom cannot exist without law. It is an indisputable necessity to the fabric of such a system. But as a human, even as we recognise that the law is here to keep us all safe while ensuring a fully functioning society, when is it ever justifiable to step outside of the law?

It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
— Aristotle

Take a look around our planet today. Many of the laws worldwide are placed alongside ideologies and religion that most certainly conflict with other societies. Laws are always relative. And depending on where the lottery of life drops you onto this Earth on day 1 of your existence, you’re going to be entrenched within a predetermined set of rules that will be enforceable by punishment. 

Excellent, but you’re a freethinking man. So with rational thought and open-mindedness on an issue, perhaps such rules conflict with your own morality? What then? History has repeatedly shown laws that directly violate a person’s basic human rights time and time again. Same-sex marriage laws, slavery laws etc. These laws are a tool for obedience rather than the benefit of the people and arguably set up the precedent to brake the rule of law. It was only in 1955 when Rosa Parks found herself arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on the bus to a white person. We look back at that incident in utter disgust today, but that might as well have been yesterday in the relative time of human civilisation.

Today is no different. Laws all over the world continue to conflict with what we decide is morally right and wrong. There are places on earth that still enforce the death penalty for homosexuality. When you sit up, and actually take the time to analyse the justification of a rule of law you can often find yourself conflicted internally about your obedience to such an order. Contradictions can suddenly become clear. Take a substance like alcohol that freely sits on a shelf at your local grocery store. Alcohol-related deaths were responsible for 8000+ deaths in the UK in 2013, costing the national health service over 3.5billion pounds per year to deal with. Meanwhile, want to smoke a bit of weed? Absolutely not, it’s deemed wrong to do so. 

Before you grab your pitchfork, this discussion isn’t anarchist, SJW nonsense. As a rational citizen, it's important to look at this stuff objectively, and not blindly doing everything you're told because somebody else told you so. And this is coming from somebody who fully respects the concept of l aw as an essential tool of civilisation to ensure safety and to punish those who are corrupt, unjust and continuously exploiting others! Nation states world-wide face a continuously changing battlespace in their efforts to appease their people and retain power. This battlespace is highly affected by corporate influence, foreign nations, religious & ideological dogma and more. But we’re not robots. To be capable, one shouldn’t blindly sit back and follow all laws without question, simply due to a rule placed on a piece of paper backed up by a threat. Social progress has continuously relied on those whom question the status quo and act against unjust rules that prevented women from voting, holding slaves in shackles and gave justification to throw scientists in prisons. Think about that for a second. How did society treat those outlaws when they decided to rebel?

History has often held law breakers in high esteem who walked out of the darkness with a positive impact on mankind; Figures like the mighty Spartacus leading the slave rebellion against Rome comes to mind. The rules are always changing with the wind, based on many different social and political factors, and that may compromise your morality when you press into the finer details. What if you’re ahead of your time? When history looks back at this period of time, will it be questioning how it was possible that so much corruption, corporate greed and vast resource imbalances could exist without a rebellion? And what if you’re able to produce a valid argument as to why you disagree with a policy? Do you sit back and wait for the legislature to enact your policy while the injustice continues? Good luck with that, you may be waiting awhile.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
— Robert A. Heinlein
Spartacus leading the slave revolt

Spartacus leading the slave revolt

One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

The founder of Capable Men. 

Currently operating personal projects while he simultaneously attempts to develop the Capable Men platform. John served five years in the British army, with a tour of duty in Afghanistan before eventually departing the forces to begin a career in the private security sector.

John attended several private protection courses dealing with security strategy, close-quarters combat training, firearms and advanced driving. This new profession took him worldwide Including the protection of government assets in South America, VIP tasks on the Côte d'Azur and security work within the French Alps.

His interests include global affairs, philosophy, hiking, sports and fitness.