Invitation to a Talk on Binding Ourselves Together – Is It Worth It? The Individual, The Collective, and the Law
We are pleased to inform your goodselves that the Sub Committee of the Professional Development / ADR of the Perak Bar Committee presents a Talk on Binding Ourselves Together – Is It Worth It? The Individual, The Collective, and the Law, which will be held as follows :-
DATE : 1st February 2013 (Friday)
TIME : 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
VENUE : Perak Bar Secretariat
SPEAKER : Mr. Shaun Tan
A war of all against all’ was how Thomas Hobbes described life in the state of nature. Throughout history humans have required strong laws backed by force to curb our natural tendency to selfishness and violence. We enter into a social contract as a necessary evil, and we bind ourselves with laws so that we can bind others. We form collectives to check each individual’s will to power, and in exchange for a measure of our individualism and our freedom, we receive order and peace.
But is this exchange always worth it? At what point does collectivism become undesirable? Excessive collectivism leaves us vulnerable to demagogy and groupthink, and the worst atrocities in our history have been committed by highly-collectivized societies, often supported by vast legal machinery, their crimes all the more monstrous for their legality. In Malaysia we often see individual rights curtailed, allegedly for the sake of harmony, national unity, and public morality.
How should the law navigate the tension between the individual and the collective? This lecture is for anyone interested in the darker side of human nature, and the role of the law in keeping it in check.
Shaun Tan obtained an MA in International Relations from Yale University, an LLB from King’s College London, and was called to the Bar at the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.
He writes on international relations, politics, history, philosophy, sociology, and education. His writing has appeared in The Yale Daily News, The Politic, The Yale Journal of International Affairs, The Yale Film Review, CEKU, LoyarBurok, Malaysia Chronicle, The Malaysian Insider, and The Sun. He enjoys reading, playing tennis, and talking about himself in the third-person.
The talk carries 2 CPD points.