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Over many years, laws shape culture though.

With all problematic behaviours, citizens fall into three groups: 1) those who refrain out of a healthy sense of personal responsibility; 3) those who persist out of a pathological understanding of personal freedom, and then 2) those who refrain only because they fear personal consequences (ostracism, fines, jail time).

My suspicion is that a well-written, well-hated law can push a healthy chunk of people from pompous group 3 into reluctant group 2. As the next generation sees less of the problematic behaviour growing up, group 3 shrinks smaller and smaller over time.

That's how progressives ended slavery, got women to vote, made gay marriage mainstream, banned public smoking, and how we are now reining in the war on drugs; it's not clear why it shouldn't work to address energy decadence and meat overconsumption.




That's also how "progressives" sent thousands to the guillotine in 18th century France and starved millions in 20th century China. They wrote laws. People who couldn't get behind those laws (or who were just associated with the wrong people) got screwed.

"Get on board or we'll screw you over", which is exactly the dynamic a "well-hated" law creates, is not how a healthy society is run.

NY-SAFE is an example of a "well hated law". How is it working outside the areas that wanted it in the first place? Culture isn't shifting very much as far as I can tell.


By shaping the culture? That was quite a reach.




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