It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope,” Niccolo Machiavelli, a 16th century thinker wrote in The Prince.
The law, scholars have argued, was not born out of the good of man. On the contrary, it is a product of the evil of man.
If man was not evil, there would be no law. Human beings need the law to protect them from themselves.
Further, the likes of Machiavelli have argued, humans need to be under the control of a government that is in total control and is able to influence human behaviour through the coercive means of violence.
Violence is the language of the evil.
Isn’t that ironic? After being given dominion over all things, the children of Adam and Eve turned out to be a danger to the very world they are meant to protect.
The recent rise in armed robbery cases is a good example of the inherently evil nature of humans.
On Tuesday, a gang of 13 armed robbers ambushed three Securico Security Services cash-in transit vehicles, about nine kilometres from How Mine and got away with 11,9 kilogrammes of gold worth US$450 000.
The incident occurred at around 7.30AM at the 21-kilometre peg along the Bulawayo-How Mine Road.
The robbers who were travelling in three cars, a Toyota Hilux GD6, Nissan Hardbody single cab and a Nissan March, ambushed and blocked the convoy before disarming the security guards and loading the gold into their vehicles.
Fortunately, the long arm of the law yesterday caught up with three suspected members of the gang who also got away with four guns.
Armed robberies are not the only problem in the country at the moment. Elsewhere in this paper we report that residents of Mpopoma suburb in Bulawayo have gone for two days without electricity after thieves stole copper cables in the suburb.
The incident comes barely a day after thieves stole copper cables in Entumbane suburb resulting in an outage.
This has become the order of the day – power outages as a result of copper cable theft.
If leaving fellow Zimbabweans in the dark is not evil, we don’t know what else is.
Humans will always “act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope”. The only way to deal with such wicked behaviour is through the severity of the law.
We all need the law and a heavy-handed government to protect us from ourselves. That is our nature, our dominion over all things.