Which matters more in making a society successful: its laws or its language?
"An enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another: A community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests ("Society")."
"Society." Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, 2012. Web. 29 Dec. 2012. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/society
In common culture, the general use of the term "society" tends towards the second definition above. Society is often differentiated along geographical worldview with terms such as Western society being the most popular. The most irreducible, or biohistorically original, meaning of the term "society" is to that unit of multiple-human relationship without which there could be no other kinds of multiple-human relationship: male and female, one man and one woman, compatible as mates and as companions. The civil institution of marriage is for the preservation of that unit, within a world in which there exists ontological disharmonies between individuals.
The law is a code of rules that all people in a certain society must follow. The law is a combination of those rules and principles of conduct promulgated by legislative authority, derived from court decisions, and established by local custom. In the United States, the law is comprised of legislative acts creating statutes, court decisions, executive orders, and rules and regulations promulgated by administrative agencies. In certain circumstances, censoring ideological activists, especially of the liberal spectrum, have taken the position that the "law" also includes any action by government actors, including school teachers' prayer. It is through this flawed assumption that liberals have been successful in censoring school prayer, while conservatives failed to block their efforts. The position that the school teacher's actions are tenuous at best, and had no basis in real law until liberal activist judges gave it substance in school prayer cases in order to further their ideological preferences.
A language is a collection of symbols (called vocabulary or lexicon) and rules for connecting these symbols (called grammar) that facilitates communication. The origin of language has been debated for long time among linguists, biologists, cognitive scientists, theologians, and anthropologists, along with many other disciplines (e.g., history, law, politics, and sociology). Currently, the most widely held belief is that language has evolutionary origins (Pinker). However, this belief has not been definitely proven. Evolutionary theory suggests that all languages are descended from a common ancestral language, and for a century (1860 to about 1960) scientists clung to that view. But now most linguists identify many different families of languages that have no common ancestor, just as described in chapter eleven of the Book of Genesis with the Tower of Babel.
Pinker, Steven. How the Mind Works. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. Print.
Language differs from call signs used by primates in that it can be used without prompts (reminders or cues) or a stimulus, and is necessary for higher thinking. Call signs are merely regarded as forms of communication rather than abstract symbol use. Although linguists have been able to allocate most languages to a small number of language "families", they have been unable to find a common origin of these language families. According to linguistics author Lyle Campbell, a few of the largest and oldest language families include: Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, and Nigar Congo families.
Campbell, Lyle. Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998. Print.
Which of the two factors mostly matter in making a society successful: its laws or its language?