One unfortunate side effect of utopian ideology is the quest to create a system of government so righteous and noble that nobody would even try to tear it down. This is absurd and childish. Civilization is always under attack. The forces of anarchy and barbarism never go away.
There will always be people who believe The System is so fundamentally unjust that they are justified in ignoring or undermining the Rule of Law. The more I hear of that phrase, the more I find it a hollow rhetorical dodge, especially since it has become a fetish of so many people who clearly don’t believe in the Rule of Law, prominently including Barack Obama. Obama’s ideology envisions Law as an instrument through which the powerful and righteous impose their will; the mark of the truly powerful is their personal ability to ignore the burden of the Law, and waive it for the benefit of their special friends. Law, properly understood and faithfully executed, dilutes power, because each law binds the Ruling Class as strictly as the little guy, placing a burden of duty upon those who accept the responsibility of government service. Such an arrangement provides few opportunities for fun or profit among the elite, so they prefer the creation of a massive, protean body of regulations they can bend and ignore at their convenience, turning good political connections into the most valuable resource in the land. By the way, you serfs have got about 3500 new regulations coming your way before the end of the year. Merry Christmas from the Obama Administration!
Not only is the Rule of Law a hollow phrase in America today, it lacks the proper intrinsic weight. Even the most hideously savage regimes have laws, and they bloody well expect everyone to follow them, Or Else. The Islamic State has all sorts of laws, with divine authority cited for many of them. They’re even minting their own currency these days. If you know absolutely nothing else about a particular society except that it features absolute obedience to the Rule of Law, I suggest asking a few more questions before deciding to purchase a summer home there.
What we ought to be refining, and defending, is civilization. That’s what keeps coming under assault, both in America and abroad. Respect for the law is just …read more