NORMATIVE STRUCTURE

The implication of this is that there are arbitrary characteristics of the legal structure, and as a result normative characteristics of the society as a whole, which depend on which kind of system the society's members believe the normative structure has turned out to be. As we can see, this depends on how the members of the society see themselves in relationship to the creation and maintenance of their laws. This does not necessarily mean that the members of the society must actively or physically participate in the choice of norms. In a theocracy for example members of the society have no hand in the determination of the norm structure yet because they have an inner feeling that the norms chosen are those they agree with, they feel that they are part of the system. At the same time, in a democracy strong minority groups can influence legislation that will alienate the majority while bigoted majority opinions will inevitably alienate some minorities. It is also important to realize that these images do not have to be real, they need only be the consensus of the prevailing beliefs of the society, or in extreme cases Just those members of the society who are affected.

Social systems which do not serve the society they develop within will not continue to exist. At the same time, the society as a whole emerges out of the Interaction of people who act through social systems. The purpose of a legal system, as we have gone over before, is to provide a congruence of social norms. The laws of a society make up one level of the complex legal system. A level that occurs at the interface between the serial Interactions of members playing out those roles which involve the legal system and the parallel communications media that exist between members and which is relative to legal problems, by these we mean problems relating to normative disappointments.

When we say along with Luhmann that through legal structures norms are counter factually stabilized we mean that the norms fixed by the legal system have no non-social Justification for their existence that would not be Just as applicable to norms which have not been selected. Thus the only validity that legal norms have is that they can be changed but have not been. Therefore, the only criteria an individual has for assessing the validity of a particular law is his own personal commitment to Its longevity. Such commitment is derived from the responsibility he feels for its enactment, either through his own activity or through some other who he feels speaks with a sympathetic voice and is in some responsible to him. It also depends on the faith he has that should the law prove to be detrimental to his own Inner beliefs he, through some agency he has faith in, could have it changed or restricted. Since no law could ever stand such scrutiny In more than a very limited society, all laws require some higher constraint. This must choose from among all possible Interpretations those which will result In the best consensus among those who are subject to the legal system. This level corresponds to Luhmann's level of values

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