Sunday, September 5, 2010

247 / Regulation Is Freedom

I know it sounds "Orwellian," but I actually do believe that "regulation is freedom," if we understand this phrase within the context of the metaphor that I have chosen to describe how we create a world of our own, within the world of Nature, which we do not create.

My metaphor is that we "legislate" our world. It is probably because I am a lawyer, and someone who "wrote laws for a living," as a member of the Santa Cruz County Supervisors, but I do think that the idea of "writing down" what we want to do (which is what legislation actually is) is a good way to explain how we create, individually and collectively, the world we most immediately inhabit.

If this metaphor of "legislating" our world has any validity, then our ability to write whatever law or rule we like means that regulation is, in fact, the realm of freedom, in which we discover our human ability to create a world of our own choosing. The idea that "regulation is freedom," and that we "legislate" our world, is a genuinely "revolutionary" understanding of the meaning of law and regulation, since this idea allows us to create what Hannah Arendt has called, in her magnificent book, On Revolution, a "new order in the world."

Hannah Arendt used this phrase before George Bush. We need a "new order," and a new world, but not the one that our imperial Presidents have tried to establish!

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