What if … ?

This is a narrative of what happened in the world transposed into what appears to be happening in the world. It is “borrowed” for exploratory reading, comparison, thought and discussion. It is “borrowed” from a lengthy piece published in a law journal in 1993. The long-read article, for those wanting to read it in its entirety, will be cited tomorrow.

The phrase What If written on a blackboard

The evolution and function of the legal system in this nation continues to merit our attention. How could a relatively advanced judicial system degenerate into barbarism? Events of this period also have profound import. Following this period, various governmental lawyers and judges who were responsible for erecting and administering the courts of terror were adjudged to be liable for crimes and crimes against its people. This prosecution clearly established that legal officers and officials have obligations which transcend the demands of domestic law. Those judgments (from another era) unfortunately gave had little deterrent impact. Non-democratic regimes continue to aspire to emulate this model of totalitarian law. In order to achieve this goal, these regimes have launched relentless attacks against the judiciary.  Various judges, unfortunately, have responded by tailoring their decisions to the demands of dictators. The current party in power’s ideology is permeating every aspect of the law in this nation.

An increasing number of citizens of this nation felt humiliated by the election of the previous President. The strains of race, immigration, taxation, climate concerns and the feeling of diminished white superiority propelled voters into the ranks of extremism in the party. Prior to the last election, attempts at alliances of reason fell victim to inter-party competition, backroom bargaining and conspiratorial connivance.

This nation, politically divided turned to the party in power.This was the death knell for the nation which had, “on paper, the most liberal and democratic document of its kind the century had seen, mechanically well-nigh perfect, full of ingenious and admirable devices which seemed to guarantee the working of an almost flawless democracy.”

The new president’s views on law were sketchy. He paid little attention to jurisprudence in his rambling, incoherent and often contradictory statements. Any attempt to summarize his thought runs the risk of crediting him with greater coherence that is merited.

His core belief was that people were divided into a racial hierarchy. At the top stood the wealthy white person. The role of the lower groups in his view was to serve as beasts of burden and funders for the brahmans of his choosing.

The principles of the ruling party’s view of law remained opaque. He derisively dismissed the existing legal code as individualistic and mechanical. By his reasoning, law should be the product of an altruistic and collective sensibility based on emotion and romanticism rather than of shared history. Of course, the call for the replacement of the so-called Roman codes with a new common law was a preposterous notion.

According to him, the content of the new legal tradition cound only be grasped and articulated by a single, seemingly omniscient figure — the leader.

The party was portrayed as the vanguard for creating this new “great nation.”  The first step toward making the nation “great again” was the eradication of immigrants and the elimination from the body politic those elements introduced by previous administrations.

The courts timidly fell into lockstep formation behind the party and broadly interpreted the concept of “Communist and socialist subversion.” They reasoned that the nation could not tolerate a marketplace of ideas. The free expression of opinion threatened to confuse, divide and weaken the unity of the nation’s people and weakened their resistance to the socialist virus.  The Court reminded people that the nation could no longer afford to indulge in the luxury of criticizing their government.

Then came the last democratic election in the nation. Convicted allies of the leader were acquitted and pardoned by the Courts. The party vowed it no longer would be constrained by the fetters of bourgeois law and moved to reconstitute the legal system.  One administration minion bragged “declaring all agency power ‘is invested in the attorney general’.”

The newly reelected leader’s next step was to free himself from the limitations of existing laws. He introduced, and the legislature passed, an act which abrogated the separation of powers and authorized the executive to promulgate proclamations without congressional consultation. And permitted the government to “deviate” from the requirements of the constitution. Another article in the act authorized the executive to enter into treaties without legislative approval.

The leader now was free of the constitution. Parliamentary democracy had been abandoned. As one observer noted, “street gangs had seized control of the resources of a great modern state, the gutter had come to power.”


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