Notes on Authority VI – Custom

  • Custom, tradition or manners and such have the character of law. It appears to be enforced and formed democratically in a trans-generational manner.
  • They order the behavior of men in manifold ways. In fact there seems not an act of man that does not come under its influence or consideration. The law doesn’t bind against certain acts though custom and manners do.
  • Punishment for violation is frequently expulsion or exile from the community. Since this is a democratic law it has not the force of the state. Exclusion is its principal punishment which may include derivatively shaming and humiliation apart from strict exile. 
  • Different communities have different customs and ritual that are characteristic of them and binds the community. The wealthy and ghetto dweller have different customs that characterize these. Moving from one to the other requires some radical reordering that initiates into the community and binds them.
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