What do we do with the law?
A few years ago, in Frankfurt, something happened to me that left me thinking to this day in the true sense of a law. It was dark and it was very cold. A lot but a lot, cold from Germany in winter. I was going back to the hostel where I was staying and at one point I had to cross an avenue. It was green for cars, red for pedestrians, that is, for me. I looked both ways and nobody was coming. When, guided by common sense, I was about to throw myself into the street to cross, I noticed that in front there was a girl in the same situation as me, but she didn’t cross. I was waiting.
Convinced that I was atérmic or that I was having a problem, I crossed the same way. He looked at me. When I got to his side of the sidewalk, I asked him if he was okay. He said yes. I asked him then why he wouldn’t cross if nobody came. He said, “Because it’s red and the law says I can’t cross in red.” I immediately replied: “but no one comes, it makes no sense to wait cold if there is no risk.” And there he gave me the answer that I still remember today: “But the law is the law, it cannot depend on what it seems to everyone at the time of making the decision. For a reason it’s a law.” Touché.
To abide by the law or discuss it?
Now, anyway, I wonder: is every law to be enforced? Should we abide by the written, even if it is foolish, or worse, if it is unjust? It’s an answer I can’t give myself. If a law is unfair, it should be changed to a fairer one, but I am not sure that breached it is the solution. At the same time, laws often run back to societies, that is, first there is a social need or a will for change, and only then is it voted in the Senate. I can even go further and say that without civil disobedience perhaps that modification would never have come. What should we do? So soon, read Civil Disobedience of Yankee philosopher Henry David Thoreau. It may not clear this doubt, but we will learn something. That’s for sure.
Hipólito Azema nació en Buenos Aires, en los comienzos de la década del 80. No se sabe desde cuándo, porque esas cosas son difíciles de determinar, le gusta contar historias, pero más le gusta que se las cuenten: quizás por eso transitó los inefables pasillos de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Una vez escuchó que donde existe una necesidad nace un derecho y se lo creyó.
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