Understanding our post legal society

Here is a compelling summary of some of the key events in the last few years that show just how far the rule of law has been abrogated in America.

2 thoughts on “Understanding our post legal society”

  1. Thanks for sharing. On a positive note, more people seem to be coming to similar realization. There is hope, even though I can’t imagine how this could play out well.

    Along the same lines, did you read (on Wired) about the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act?

    I’m not huge on the Constitution, but it is telling how far astray the system has drifted. Ron Paul in his latest book has a number of examples. For example, it struck me how the Prohibition required a constitutional amendment, but the drug prohibition somehow didn’t. Or how wars have lost their due process and now go undeclared by Congress.

    I don’t know why things change at different rates in various countries. Maybe some corrupt slower. But it seems these are designed into the system of government. That is what you get when a single entity has a monopoly on the definition, interpretation and enforcement of law. The checks and balances fade away.

    Some other instances: video taping cops, warrantless wiretapping (national security letters), civil asset forfeitures, … I’m really concerned about the recent expansion over the internet too (net neutrality, ICE blocking of domains, privacy regulation, etc.), with very little questioning of the legitimacy of such authority. These all seem harmless until they are not.

    1. I am aware of the issues related to the ‘secret’ interpretations of the Patriot Act as announced by Senator Wyden. Nothing he said seemed particularly surprising, these kinds of abuse of power are all but de rigueur.

      In my mind the real issue is the excessive centralization of power and the age of the infrastructures of power. Power tends to accrete and we have had hundreds of years for all the power to accrete in Washington. With so much power in one place at one time corruption is all but guaranteed.

      That’s why challenges to particular egregious acts like fracking with (almost certainly illegal) laws against it on a local level are so interesting. Along with Medical Marijuana these are attempts by localities to abrogate the excessive powers exercise by Washington. The really interesting dynamic however is that these laws are typically illegal since we have absolute federal preemption and even at a state level most states have laws the preempt local laws such as the ones against fracking.

      This conflict between the different levels of government is really healthy and if pushed long enough could even lead to changes in power distribution. But it will be a very, very, long fight. Too many people make too much money from the corruption that our current system enables. They won’t give up their sinecures easily.

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