Most people, most of the time, follow along with whatever is going on. This is precisely what being a “law-abiding citizen” means. That this is considered an ideal is, in itself, a norm that supports the willingness to do what the law says. Often enough many of us do what the law says because we find it helpful, or at least not too difficult, or it’s a deep habit that we don’t even question.

“Laws, by their nature, create a threat of what would happen to a person who doesn’t follow the law. In our modern nation-states, laws are enforced by the police.” (Photo: The state and the law. Image source:

Then there are those of us who do question the law: either specific laws or the entire institution of there being laws at all. Laws, by…

This article has been in the works consciously for at least three years, and, implicitly, since 1995, when I first heard Marshall Rosenberg speak of the protective use of force. Here’s one way he described it in a video interview: “The protective use of force is necessary when another person for whatever reason is not willing to communicate and meanwhile their actions are threatening our needs. So we need to take whatever action can be made to protect against that happening but we can do that without violence.” In that same interview he also said: “Use force to prevent violence.”

Image of an interview with Marshall Rosenberg

Miki Kashtan

Miki Kashtan is a practical visionary pursuing a world that works for all, based on principles and practices rooted in feminist nonviolence.

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