Eh, norms are important. Again, consistency of expectation as a reflection on the quality of behavior is integral to the social fabric. But law is also the foundation of authoritarian systems. It is their primary tool for ensuring cooperation on a broad scale. All legal systems are inherently authoritarian, as they use the threat of force to encourage compliance. Democracies are just nicer about it....

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... It doesn’t matter to the powerless whether the rules are made by an authoritarian cabal or by a lawmaker bought by a corporation. It feels exactly the same at the bottom. As I noted recently (here), your view of how authoritarian a system is or who the authoritarian is are directly proportional to your proximity to the agency offered to you by the powerful, and by extension the system itself....

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