Category: The Society

In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.
– Byron

We all feel the oppressive presence of rules, both written and unwritten – it’s practically a rule of life. Public spaces, organizations, dinner parties, even relationships and casual conversations are rife with regulations and red tape that seemingly are there to dictate our every move. We rail against rules being an affront to our freedom, and argue that they’re “there to be broken”. But it is not really rules, norms and customs in general that are the problem – but the unjustified ones. The tricky and important bit, perhaps, is establishing the difference between the two.
Of course, there has long been an appetite among some people for a less formalized society, a society without government, a world where individual freedom takes precedence: an anarchy. The trouble with anarchy, though, is that it is inherently unstable – humans continually, and spontaneously, generate new rules governing behaviour, communication and economic exchange, and they do so as rapidly as old rules are dismantled.
A good place to start is to imagine life in a world without rules. Apart from our bodies following some very strict and complex biological laws, without which we’d all be doomed. In Byronic moments of artistic individualism, one might dreamily think of liberating himself from them. But would this new linguistic freedom really do him any good or set his thoughts free?