Russia is not the only country with a negative attitude toward the law. What matters is what this negative attitude concerns: the commandments not to kill and not to steal, or more detailed procedures that regulate the norms of human behavior and relationships.
The number of traffic accidents due to the fault of drivers, including drunk drivers, has recently increased. It seems that respect for the law is not the most favored mode of behavior in Russia. There are two ways to get people to respect the law: convince them, or force them. The number of accidents has decreased, when harsher responsibility has been introduced for crossing a solid line and for driving into the oncoming traffic lane. Moreover, these violations are recorded by overhead video cameras, which have reduced the corruption potential of traffic police.
There are three ways to combat corruption. The first option is to reward non-corrupt behavior.
Traffic police are not the most highly paid group in the United States, but they receive an advance “incentive” that stimulates non-corrupt behavior: a large loan for buying a house, car or equipment, part of which is written off for each year of blameless service. Those who complete their service period without any violations do not have to repay the loan. But those who are caught taking a bribe or committing some other crime incompatible with their public duties are fired and have to repay the loan or surrender their property. So US police officers will not take your $100 not only because they are honest, but also because by accepting $100, they risk losing $1 million.
The second option is to install video cameras to prevent corrupt behavior.
And the third option is to preclude the very possibility of corrupt behavior. When fines are imposed by technology rather than police officers, offenders do not have the opportunity to “convince” equipment not to fine them. The same method could also be applied in other spheres. Furthermore, respect for the law is partly based on the understanding of the unavoidability of punishment. Most importantly, people respect the law when they understand that the law comprises fair rules that correspond to moral values and God’s commandments.
Russia is not the only country with a negative attitude toward the law. What matters is what this negative attitude concerns: the commandments not to kill and not to steal, or more detailed procedures that regulate the norms of human behavior and relationships. People in many countries have a negative attitude toward the laws on specialized spheres of life that are not connected with morals. Expensive law firms in the West sometimes help people evade laws that can be skirted for moral reasons. But avoiding a law becomes unacceptable and shameful if the law corresponds to public morality.
Unfortunately, few people believe that laws are designed to protect individuals and are the main rule of communal life. For most people, the law serves to ensure comfortable life for the authorities and to restrict the rights of the majority of the population. Such a law is immoral, and so the violation of such a law is considered a virtue rather than a crime against public morality.
The improvement of legal subjects will make it possible to improve legislation. As long as we mistrust government institutions and their representatives, we will also mistrust the law.