10 Laws for a New World


Once, I started writing a science fiction novel about a society recovering from the end of civilization. Then I realized it wasn’t particularly good. The rules I made up by which this society functions, though, were worth something, I think. I do reckon that maybe a new society could function under these laws. And maybe we don’t need the world to end and be rebuilt for them to work. Maybe. I called them the 10 Laws of Tribe.


The end of the world was not sudden and apocalyptic. A tragedy is always worse when it is slow. It was so cruelly slow that we had time to see it and to understand it. When it was finished, there were many fewer of us left behind. Most of us banded together in tribes. Ours is the biggest. These are our laws.

  1. Knowledge must be protected at all costs. This law above all others.
  2. Tribe is all, family is next, self is third, outside is last. (Last is fourth, not least.)
  3. Nature is tribe. Take from her only what you need and what you can replace.
  4. From each according to his skill, to each according to his needs.
  5. No member shall willingly hurt another, or cause harm through negligence. Only The Mark is the exception.
  6. Nothing will be wasted or hoarded – no member will want above another.
  7. Purity of heart and goodness of intention will be presumed. Malice is to be proven.
  8. Beauty is truth and truth is knowledge. Unfounded belief is evil.
  9. The young are sacred.
  10. Common sense and the common good trump all other laws.





  1. Fascinating thought. So simple, and yet profound. Truth is, I have been actively searching for more optimistic ways of seeing the world, and your response strikes a chord. (Oddly enough, the more I look, the more I see.)


  2. I would love to live under those rules. They are, plain and simple, what is right and good. But we will always have, I’m afraid, those who will twist and distort those rules and use them for personal gain. There will always be those who know how to talk the talk, who will pretend to believe in and follow the rules while secretly ignoring or undermining them.

    Despite my “pessimistic” beliefs (I see them as realistic, but then don’t all pessimists?), free will compels me to believe in the possibility of a utopian society such as you describe. My limited experience, however, fails to show me the circumstances under which it might be accomplished.

    I love reading your blog. You remind me to think about the real questions in life and what is truly important. It so difficult to find a like-minded soul and such souls are so fragile. Thank you, and please keep posting.


    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I have to wonder if those who try to bend and break the rules do so out of some fundamental unhappiness or alienation. And perhaps if those no longer exist, might they no longer feel the need to exploit and cheat others for personal gain.
      Keep reading and I’ll keep writing!


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