Have you noticed that despite the over abundance of laws, that lawlessness continues to increase? That is because laws do not cause, or even coerce, positive action. They exist to teach what a society views as productive, and provide a framework to penalize destructive behavior.
Thinking of law in this light, it is impossible to legislate happiness, health, safety, or a robust economy. These outcomes are the result of a moral society. This is one reason why some societies experience better stability than others.
The principle is that a civilization must have productive morals to maintain a positive direction.