26 Oct 2022


Legalism: What it is and What it isn’t

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Academic level: High School

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 548

Pages: 2

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Legalism is the act of people following the law to the letter but not from their heart. People do not have to believe in the law, neither do they have to understand it, all they need to do is follow what the law say or face the consequences. They do not have to think critically or question about it. A legalism society believes that giving people the freedom to speak out their mind and exercise their thoughts freely will give them a chance to scheme for selfish profit and thus, spreading corruption. The purpose of the paper is to show that legalism is not the best way of ruling a society. 

Legalism rulers believe that the best way to make a community stay in an orderly way is to change the law and make it tight such that it governs the deeds of everyone. The leader does not give the followers a chance to be intelligent and thoughtful. All they need is to make rules clear to everyone so that every person action can be consolidated to acting in a certain way. This school of thought believes in making all people economically equal such that no people have too much all too little. They believe that the rich will oppress the weak if they continue earning more and the poor will hate the rich. I agree that making people economically equal in a society may bring harmony. However, such a society may not grow economically as there are some forces pulling the hardworking people down. One will fear to accumulate resources as they will be taken away from them. Such thought encourages laziness and extravagant living and discourages economic growth. The rich do not always steal from the poor. In fact, they help them earn a living by paying them for jobs. It is therefore not wise to take away farms from the rich and give them to the poor. Each person should work towards attaining resources. 

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In this school of thoughts, the light offenses are punished heavy to ensure that people follow the law. Heavy punishment will eliminate the light offense, and thus, there will be no heavy offense. The school of thought believes that people cannot do well by themselves and have to be guided by strict laws. While this statement is true, I tend to defer with the thought of very strict law and severe punishment. People do not always live in fear of punishment. They only follow the rules for a time and start thinking critically about it. They will not continue supporting it if it oppresses them in one way or another. Most people will be ready to die as they try to break the strict oppressing law. Such a society will be full of demonstrations and hatred between the leaders and the citizens. It is important to make people understand the benefits of doing well to others instead of dictating a law to them. People follow the rules better if they get involved in making them. 

Legalism is a way of governing a society through strict rules. People are supposed to follow the rules without questioning and are not expected to exercise their thoughts freely. Such a society tries to balance economic status of every individual which might lead to laziness and extravagant living. Small offenses are punished heavily to avoid repetition in future and thus, eliminating significant offenses. It is important to include people in the process of making rules and let them understand the importance of doing well instead of enforcing law unto them. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Legalism: What it is and What it isn’t.


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