From Rules to Anarchy
Are all societies based upon the need of a leader? Or can they exist without one? More importantly, what happens when a society goes from having rules to being one where rules are non-existent? The answer to these questions could simply be that humans biologically require a form of leadership, if that is true then does that justify that humans need a leader and a set of rules to follow in order to keep them in line. Otherwise, they resort to acts of violence
In the novel Lord of The Flies by William Golding, a group of kids gets stranded on an island because their plane crashed. In the book, they have to go through the struggles of founding a society and they try to work together to survive. In the beginning of Chapter 2, the boys start to create a society with rules. This is directly after Ralph called all the boys with the conch after he was declared a leader. In the quote, the boys become really excited at the prospect of rules and they have a minute of cheering because of it. ”’That’s what this shell’s called. I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking’... ‘We’ll have rules! He cried excitedly. Lots of rules!’”(32). The reader could gather from this quote that the first things humans lean towards in a society are rules and order, but it could also be considered the first step to its downfall. Rules have to be there before a downfall because for their to be a society there has to be rules in the first place. It is also interesting to look at how excited the boys were to make rules and how fast they did it, but they still ended up breaking them later on, turning their society to rubble.
Early in the book, two boys are coming back from a hunt, and they come out of the forest wanting to take a swim in the ocean, and as they head towards the water, they kick down all of the sand castles the smallest kids on the island made. “Roger led the way straight through the castles kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones...In his past life he and Maurice received chastisement for filling a younger eye with sand. Now though there was no parent to let fall a heavy hand,”(60). This shows the beginning of people trying to break the rules, while it might not have been a rule to be nice to people it should be common sense. The most important part of the quote is the last part, which states that Maurice wouldn’t have done it if there was a parent around. The example shown in the book can be related to the conflict that happened in Somalia during the 1990s because the people in Somalia also lost rules and leadership, leading them to have increased harassment.
According to “The Daily Sabah” (a Somali news website), Somalia even after the war is still faced with the lack of a functional society and leader. Currently, in Somalia, there are millions of people who are displaced and 70,000 kids at the risk of death. The situation that arose in Somalia wasn't because of natural occurrences, but instead was caused by human action. It was a perpetual cycle of having no food and killing to get it so there was no one that produces food. What happened was a prime example of human nature at work. To the reader of the novel, it might seem like the things that Maurice and Roger do aren’t as severe as this but the problem in Somalia is just a scaled up version of the one that took place in the book. The fact of the matter is that no matter what type of violence happened these are both still examples of humans losing control of reason when society crumbles.
In Chapter 11 Jack and his tribe start to hunt the other boys who are Ralph and Piggy. Their fight turns into something that is very real and no longer the fun and games that occurred before. In a previous chapter there was a catapult and in this scene, they ended up using it. Jack hit Piggy in the head with a rock and Piggy fell down into the ocean with the conch. “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore!”(181). This is Jack's reaction to Piggy dying, he shows no remorse and instead ridicules Jack. Unlike the other quote that is somewhat excusable, this one is not, Jack legitimately meant to kill Piggy for the purpose of furthering his goal. Even after Jack killed Piggy he tried to kill another when he threw a spear straight at Ralph “Viciously with full intention, he hurled his spear at Ralph”(181). If Jack was truly sorry about Piggy he wouldn't have tried to kill another person right after, and because he did it without repercussions the first time he had no problem doing it again if he wasn't going to get punished. This situation of crime can be comparable to the crime rate in Somalia.
The Somali crime and safety report states that the Somali average crime rate is high above the US national average. There are many differences between the US and Somalia but the main one is the lack of leadership. With a lack of leadership, violent crimes are commonplace in Somalia and the infrastructure of the country has fallen into ruin. With no society and leader the criminals, there have no repercussions. Just like Jack in the book people with no rules will continue to perform these violent acts.
Human nature strives for leadership, and when it's not there humans strive and lean towards violence and crime. Even if it seems like humans want rules at first when there is no ruler with support from the people, society will eventually collapse. When society does collapse people will act out violent acts for whatever reason when there is no punishment later on. But why is human nature like this, is it reinforcement from society or something ingrained within our DNA?
Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.
Paksoy, Yunus. "Scars of Civil War, Terrorism Still Visible in Somalia." DailySabah. N.p., 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017
"Somalia 2016 Crime & Safety Report." Somalia 2016 Crime & Safety Report. N.p., 2016. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.