Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm studying for an exam (can't you tell) on the common law tradition. I've never been any good at history and have managed to avoid learning about it up until now. Strange how legal history was what finally gave me an understanding of European history from the Greeks to now-ish...

But between that and the sociology bits and pieces I've been learning about, I have started to think that the world really looks like it is at the end of an era. By this I don't mean economic collapse and chaos and lawlessness in the next few years, I just mean that I think we are some way into perhaps a 200 year transition. Our legal systems are looking inadequate, some of the principles they were predicated on (at least in the western world) are no longer being observed. The most obvious of which is equality before the law. There are some good motivations for why this is not being observed - specific treatment for indigenous people would be one example. Others are not so great.

I'm not suggesting there was some golden age when these things were all good, women were never equal before the law, but that used to match with society, now it doesn't. Our society is changing faster than traditional mechanisms for handling change can cope with.

There are more doom and gloom predictions about our economic system than you can poke a stick at, but I think they are all summed up in the mind boggling statement "We can't afford to look after the environment". I mean, has there ever been a more insane assessment?

So now I am pondering what the new world order will be. I think clearly that jurisdiction must become global. In what form I am not sure, but I do think that whilst understanding of all cultures is necessary, tolerance of all aspects of all cultures is not.

I often wonder why economists study economics as though it was a found science. To me, at least some of their efforts should be going towards finding a new system with a better appreciation for our current requirements. Clearly capitalism was a great step forward from feudalism, but I don't understand why we think it is the final solution. Surely it is time the human race moved on from slavery to money. It was created as a tool, how did we let it become an end in itself, and how do we restructure the world to put it back in its place?

Oh well, if I have any great inspiration, I'll post it. Of course, if you have the solution, I'd like to hear it!