Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Criminal injustice

‘Whoever has the most gold makes the rules’

In describing the justice meted out by nineteenth-century England — which is like our own because it is the model on which ours was constructed — Charles Dickens never let us forget “that it is not our disorder but our order that is horrible; that it is not our criminals but our magnates that are robbing and murdering us.”

Money outweighs fairness in U.S. 'justice'

What price justice in America?
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Today, we can see what Dickens had in mind, for in recent years our ruling elite’s greed and fecklessness have come to outweigh its prudence and pragmatism, and it has grown remiss in concealing its fundamental collective psychopathy. It has become routine, thanks to the efforts of the “law-and-order” conservatives cultivated by the elite to deter any trespasses against its wealth, to sentence petty thieves to decades-long incarceration for nonviolent crimes that cause minimal harm. Meanwhile, thieves on a far greater scale rob us all with impunity all the days of our lives, secure behind the ramparts of a system of “justice for hire” that makes it easy for well-paid corporate attorneys to exploit loopholes that well-paid lobbyists have crafted and well-paid legislators passed into law.

So long as parties with a financial stake in the proceedings continue to exert their unwholesome influence upon lawmakers, and those compromised lawmakers continue to appoint jurists; so long as jurists are drawn with virtually no exceptions from the privileged classes; so long as the side with the more expensive lawyer continues to triumph without regard to the merits of the matter in question, true justice will remain an impossible dream, forever out of reach of all save the elite. It is not clear to me, in fact, that U.S. jurisprudence represents anything better than its equivalent in Egypt under Hosni Mubarak.

Perhaps we should do more than cheer on our fellow ordinary people in quest of freedom across a rejuvenated Middle East. Perhaps, rather than merely sit here on distant sidelines waving our pompoms and chanting words of encouragement, we should learn from our counterparts in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain. We, too, have learned all too well by now what justice we can expect from those who govern us; and perhaps we should now learn to fight for justice and freedom as others have.

When the streets of Washington are filled with thousands of angry citizens who ignore curfews and refuse orders to disperse, and the cry on every tongue is “... With liberty and justice for all!” we can build a new order in which no magnate robs and murders us at his pleasure. When torches and pitchforks close in upon the White House, the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court, the leaders selected by our ruling elite for us to ratify may seek exile in Saudi Arabia, and the officers of corporations that poison our air and water will find themselves, at long last, on trial with their liberty at stake.

Are we capable of such direct actions? Or are we going to leave taking control of their own affairs to the brave people of the Middle East while we cower in our homes and whimper as our corporate masters abuse us at will?

Originally published as a review of a article on mercenary justice.

Peace, liberty, unity, justice, equality
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