Why is the transformative role of law so important? Why is it such an important part of what we do? Why is what law does so crucial, not just in changing rules of law, but in changing underlying values? Law changes values in ways that may be awful or may be glorious or may be prosaic. But everything we do in law does this. One of the reasons this is so is the blessing and curse of human beings . . . we are so adaptable. It is the secret, I think, of our survival, but it is also a secret of some of the most horrible things that have happened. If you had asked “good Germans” in 1933 whether the first laws, the first rules against Jews would lead to the gas ovens, they would have said you were crazy. And yet in less than ten years, that society and its values had changed enough so that it all became possible.
Calabresi, The Honorable Guido
"Values and the Law: 2010 AALS Annual Meeting Luncheon Keynote Address,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 49:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol49/iss2/2