Fri | Jan 21, 2022

Threat to social order

Published:Thursday | March 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Civilised societies are built on the foundation of a social order. This social order may be defined as a stable state of society in which the existing social structure is accepted and maintained by its members.

Social order enables society to function smoothly. Any deviant behaviour, no matter by whom, is considered a threat to social order. Obedience to the law is an expectation of the social order. Driving on the highway does not allow a motorist to speculate as to which side of the road to travel on. The Road Traffic Act makes it clear that motorists must drive on the left.

That has become both a norm and an expectation of the social order. We stop when the traffic light is on red, although no police are there to give a number-one signal. We pay our taxes without anyone rifling our pockets because paying our taxes is part of the social order.

Banks are entrusted with people’s money and are not expected to embezzle the funds of savers, as that is part of the social order relating to trust. Governments in whom the people place their trust should not use corrupt means to defraud the citizens as that would be a deviant behaviour which threatens the social order.

The incident which occurred in Spanish Town on the weekend, where a man with an illegal firearm shot and injured a policeman, and was praised by onlookers for his criminal behaviour, is a serious threat to the social order which must be condemned and dealt with in a manner that will have the requisite deterring effects.

This strong action is being called for against the background that any form of deviant behaviour, no matter by whom, is a threat to social order.

Winston Quest