chapter  4
34 Pages

THE PROBLEM OF ORDER

Culture provides support for rules. In the culture of the West, the prominence of directive-rules has inspired in political and legal theory a preoccupation with enforcement as the external dimension of support for rules. (The abundance of commitment-rules matches a preoccupation with obligation, which, as this culture's preferred abstraction for the support of such rules, does not discriminate clearly between internal and external dimensions of support.) Order breaks down in the absence of rules that are effective because they are enforced. Talcott Parsons called this "the problem of order," concern for which he dated from Thomas Hobbes (although Hobbes used the term "order" and its cognates infrequently). Parsons rejected Hobbes' contractarian solution and ignored his successors, emphasizing instead the internal dimension of support for rules. For this, he drew on Emile Durkheim, but not, as he should have, on Max Weber.