Does our society have enough public order or too little?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is, of course, a matter of opinion.  There is no amount of public order that is objectively better than any other amount. 

We can start by saying that there is more crime than we would like to have in our society.  It is impossible to have a society where there is no crime, but our crime rates are higher than those of most other rich countries in the world.  We incarcerate many more people than any other rich country.  This implies that we do not have as much public order as we probably should.

However, crime is not the only aspect to public order or the lack thereof.  Public order also includes our general behaviors when we are in public.  Here, it is even harder to define what an appropriate level of public order is. For example, there are many people who would prefer that young people (and others) should refrain from using bad language in public places.  We do not have this level of public order in many places in the US as it is easy to hear bad language from young people.  We periodically see efforts to force young people to wear their pants higher rather than allowing them to “sag.”  There are others, however, who would argue that we do not need to try to enforce these sorts of ideas of public order.  These people think that we should allow people to express themselves even in ways that are objectionable to others.  The appropriate level of this sort of order is a matter of personal preference.

Thus, we clearly do not have enough public order when it comes to crime, and there are those who would say that we also lack other kinds of public order.  However, this is merely an opinion.

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