In Norway, and I think in Sweden, the entire notion that someone can own property in a way that bans you from it is considered outrageous and unacceptable. I have no problems following their laws, which are very reasonable: you can camp anywhere you want as long as it's not a cultivated field or something like 150 meters from a residence. Very simple law, known as: every man's right. If I go there, I am fairly free. Unlike in the USA, where I can't camp anywhere within probably 10 miles of where I live, which to me is totally absurd and ridiculous. And most of the spots I could camp at are really nasty and unpleasant, and generally cost money to add insult to injury. And also keep in mind, by definition, almost ALL land in the USA was stolen by us in the first place, after we wiped out the original inhabitants. Ask them how they feel about our 'laws'. I think up to about 1910 or so California was still paying about $5 per Indian scalp, all legal and above board. And of course, Indians and blacks were not considered human, and so generally could not presss charges against whites here. I'll pass on a system that built itself on those kinds of laws if you don't mind, the level of hypocracy there is just too high to stomach.
Now, should the USA start to follow sane rational practices like every man's right, I'd be personally happy to obey all their laws. Barring that, some laws are fine to bend.
If we had a system where every law was created by good people for good reasons, that would be one thing, but we don't, so to blindly state someone should follow all laws because they exist is sort of silly. For example, on a bike, I slow for stop signs, look both ways, if no cars have the right of way, I go without stopping. This is not unlike LNT stealth camping in my opinion. The intent of the law was followed, not the letter. Other laws are so absurd they aren't even worth discussing in a serious adult conversation, many of those contained in the sadly misnamed 'patriot act', others in arcane laws still on the books barring a variety of vices and sexual practices long considered normal by reasoning humans, but still technically illegal. So no, I hope americans never lose their ability to think for themselves and to break laws that are unjust, criminal (as in most laws passed by and for corporate lobbiests), or just plain idiotic (as in laws designed to protect moral codes that don't even exist often any longer, ie, victimless crimes). Keep in mind, some decades ago, your attitude was a strong argument for keeping the n##gers out of your restaurants and in the back of the bus.
And if a power company gets a corrupt official or politician to endorse damming up a protected area solely to serve that power company's interests, how is that a law that should be respected?
Sometimes blind unquestioning adherence to things really is not a very good path to follow.
Re overimpacted places like Yosemite that require permits etc, I respect that, and if they have rangers that actually range, and who hand out tickets, that's fine, a good tip to just go somewhere else less impacted in the first place and skip overvisited areas. It's not like nature isn't going to be where I end up after all, and it's her I want to visit, not some name. But that has nothing to do with the law, that's just practical, nature isn't hard to find when you look for her, last thing I need is some big ticket to deal with, or having to deal with a bunch of annoying rules and regulations, that's why I'm leaving to backpack in the first place, to get away from all that garbage.
This was in reply to Scott McDermott's suggestion that all laws should be obeyed because they exist. And yes, that's a stealth, but not really illegal, spot I'm camping in in my avatar pic. But I would camp there whether it were 'legal' or not. This notion of 'pristine wilderness' really needs to be repaired and corrected, there was never such a thing in the past, we lived in nature with it. Pristine concept only came about once we had destroyed so much that we started romanticizing what we are ruining in our daily lives. You know, like driving a (legal) CO2 spewing vehicle over (legal) ribbons of congealed oil and concrete (legally) blasted through the mountains without a thought, to get to our local favorite hiking spot, in a vehicle (legally) built with between one and two tons of industrially treated raw materials, many totally non renewable, (legally) fueled by liquids increasingly extracted from the earth in horrifyingly toxic ways, and legal, because the extractors manipulated the legal system in their favor, and you won't ask what the real cost of that was because you know, cheap gas is our right, right?, all the while prattling on about how horrible it is to go for a night's sleep using lnt techniques? Now cars, there's something we should outlaw sooner than later, if we're lucky anyway as a species, if not... won't be so good long term.
I don't worry about people who bend the laws, I worry about the people who follow them without a thought, no matter where that might lead us.