The driving forces behind actions can be roughly divided into two categories: Cultural incentives and economic incentives. Cultural incentives are motivations instilled by cultural institutions and the socialization process. Cultural incentives are things like values, traditions, and beliefs regarding duties. Economic incentives are motivations that are based in pursuit profit, and perceived ownership rights. It is important to note that whether the incentives are based upon accurate perceptions and beliefs is irrelevant, so long as they provide motivation.
Law differs fundamentally from these two forces. It acts through other incentives. Law acts by shaping or sanctioning cultural forces, changing economic incentives or resorting to the use of force. As I examine both the application of law to disorder and whaling it will become clear how law acts as a modifier of the underlying incentives.
Disorder generally falls into two broad categories, people acting in ways that are socially undesirable and people occupying places that either the authorities or property owners consider undesirable. Loitering people are usually there to do business, either illicit of licit, or simply homeless. Economic incentives are behind both businesses and homelessness.
The law has begun to act not as a criminal punishment and enforcement means but through and on behalf of the perceived stake holders in the community, the property owners.