"Social Order" vs. "the Social Order"

The article the can often make all the difference in English.

Take the phrase social order. Without the article, it means, to me, peace and lawfulness: a society that obeys the law and has little unrest.

But the social order--now, that's a different matter altogether. The social order means, to me, the prevailing system of institutions and class relations.

So, the question, Would the new law disrupt social order? means will the new law cause rioting in the streets? The question, Would the new law disrupt the social order? means will the new law change our institutions and existing power relations?