First proposition of civilisation.  Among barbarous peoples there exists a species of customs whose purpose appears to be custom in general: minute and fundamentally superfluous stipulations (as for example those among the Kamshadales forbidding the scraping of snow from the shoes with a knife, the impaling of a coal on a knife, the placing of an iron in the fire  and he who contravenes them meets death!) which, however, keep continually in the consciousness the constant proximity of custom, the perpetual compulsion to practise customs: so as to strengthen the mighty proposition with which civilisation begins: any custom is better than no custom.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Daybreak
Book I - Aphorism # 16

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