What must we, as individuals, sacrifice to facilitate public order?
Do we ever give up too much in the unterest of public record?
If so, when.
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The main thing we are asked to sacrifice in favor of order is individual freedoms. If the government can search anyone's house at any given time without a warrant, they can very easily cut down on crime and drug trafficking in particular, but we have given up a crucial right of privacy and given the police expanded power over our daily lives. If we give up the right to protest, or to free speech, the society will certainly appear more orderly, but the disorder would remain beneath the surface, and we would have much less of a democracy.
The concept of public order as a function of individual scarficing is erroneous. Public order is maintained when individuals are able to exercise rights. This is the concept of freedom. One has the right to do whatever one wishes, as long as that does not violate the rights of another. The purpose of government is to safeguard rights. By maintaining rights, governments, not individuals, establish and maintain order.
I think public order gives us much more than what we sacrifice to maintain it. If it was not so, public order will just not be worth having. To maintain public order, the main thing that we need to sacrifice is our temptation to get some advantage for ourselves at the expense of others. Of course, by giving in to our temptation we man not necessarily achieve the desired benefit. Because chances are that our attempts to get that advantage will only start a chain reaction of indiscipline leading to public disorder, putting us at even greater disadvantage. How this happens can be illustrated by a simple example.
Let us think of a big crowd of people standing and watching something in front of them. People in second and third rows of the crowd are unable to get a clear view of what is happening because their view is blocked by people in front of them. So they stand on their toes to get a better view. But this blocks the view of people behind them. So they also stand on their toes. This kind of thing is repeated row after row till almost everyone except the people right in front rows are standing on their toes. But are these people really getting a better view? No? Thus a lot of people undergo the discomfort of standing on their toes without getting the intended advantage of doing so.
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