The law, by making right and wrong a function of obedience, thus nullifying morality by nullifying choice, does not provide any fundamentally rational incentive for the individual to avoid the behavior the law forbids under threat of punishment via the state. The law tacitly proclaims the individual irrelevant. Even more than irrelevant. Counter productive; an aberration; anathema; a mistake; unnatural. The individual, you see, is self-aware, which means that he thinks for himself, and has an absolute frame of reference from himself (singular) that demands that he exist and act to and for himself. This is of course not what the state wants; it is not reflective of what the state needs and what the state is. The state, by its nature, demands that all individuals view reality from the perspective of the state, and act to and from and for ITSELF. Because the state is Authority. It is the incarnation of the collective ideal to which all men are then bound. The collective ideal is the reality which necessitates the Authority of the state…to compel individuals out of their individuality and into the collective.
But the individual of course cannot do this…for he only observes reality from a single existential position: himself. By his nature and because of that nature the individual chooses. He must chooose. He must will.
Because knowledge (thought) is rooted in distinctions between truth and lie, and good and evil, knowledge is the practical working out of these distinctions. And the practical working out of these distinctions implies choice. But the law sees choice as anathema…as completely unnatural. The law is force, and force has nothing to do with choice. Man cannot choose to obey because obedience implies force, and force makes choice irrelevant.
Absent choice—absent will—man has no frame of reference for himself. A man whose choice is considered illegitmate must also consider his existence illegitimate. For absent choice the distinction between right and wrong and true and false and good and evil are irrelevant to him, and thus any knowledge, even that of his own SELF, is entirely meaningless. And this, taken to its logical intellectual conclusion, means that no one actually exists to obey the law in the first place. As soon as the law becomes the ethical standard the individual ceases to exist. He cannot obey because he isn’t real. His very nature is anthethical to reality as defined and accepted by the state. And thus the state’s law delegitimizes man at the level of his root existence. And because he has been delegitimized, he cannot be truly, rationally, incentivized to obey.
The state will claim that the law safeguards the best interests of the individual (sometimes by explicitly collectivizing him, a la Marxist totalitarianism). But this is impossible because it cannot recognize him. And the individual, I submit, understands this fact in his base instinct, and therefore the market for crime goes up because the law provides no meaningful reason to obey it. All it can offer as a disincentive is punishment, but this inevitably fails because for man to be perpetually under law he is, implicitly, already punished, and perpetually so…for existing. And so if the desire or reward for committing a crime outweighs the chances of getting caught or the penalty, then crime, by the very ethics which underwrite the law, is going to be worth it. Crime thus has implicit value. And this, dear readers, is why there is a market for crime.
Further, and even more troubling, is that a given individual may view the commission of a crime—the disobeying of the law—as an expression of his truth…of his individuality. And thus he may feel empowered and even free by his crime. Of course certain acts defined by law as criminal can certainly also be immoral—as in the case of theft or murder, for example—but the criminal, should he intuit in his soul nothing more than that the law renders his individuality meaningless, will not apprehend this. He may engage in crime as a sort of means of self-expression, not understanding that just because an act is illegal does not mean that it is not also actually immoral.
Now, for those of us who do understand that violations of other individuals are immoral, the law at root has nothing to do with why we do not commit such acts. We do not commit them because they are illegal but because they are immoral. We reject them upon the truth of their immorality in spite of the law, understanding that the law has nothing to do with evil or good, but only with power. I submit that if someone refrains from murder simply because he does not want to be punished then he has committed murder already in his heart…because he has conceded the law’s false morality and rejected the value of the individual. For there is nothing truly immoral under law because the law does not recognize morality’s one true and rational standard:
You, and me.