Rules and order prevail over human independence. (Sounds menacing, right?) But unlike their "Traditions and Customs" counterparts, they do not hide behind the scenes like some Illuminati-type conspiracy group. They take charge from the front lines in the form of laws—political, religious, and natural. People accept the rules because they provide a façade of order, even at the cost of individual liberty. But Mike and Jubal's conflict with rules and order is not based on a simple idea that rules are bad. After all, Jubal has rules in his house and Mike in his church. Instead, people get fussy in Stranger in a Strange Land only when rules are created and wielded for the sole purpose of granting one person power over another or to limit an individual's liberty.
The political rules of the World Federation entrap Joe Douglas just as much—maybe even more—than Mike.
Madame Vesant's astrology demonstrates that the desire for order will make us follow rules we know to be bunk.