-scale=1.0,maximum-scale=1.0" : "width=1100"' name='viewport'/> Plum Street Chili: The Rule of Law is More Fragile than We Know

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Rule of Law is More Fragile than We Know

Poster Art from the WPA.

It is against the law to sell an ounce of MaryJane. Or sell a couple of your Percocets to get cigarette money.  And both those events go on in my Hood on a regular basis.  And the people committing these "crimes" are just everyday good folk. I know them. They are my neighbors. Draconian drug laws caused the Philly police to illegally search my daughter one day when she was coming home from work. Just putzing along one block from our door. They ridiculed her, they attempted to intimidate her, and they searched her.

We have many people in everyday and political life who are "moral indignation junkies." They love being able to pounce on people and prove what morally superior people they are. And they genuinely believe they are morally superior. Kind of like Religious Authoritarians do. They have no idea how off putting and morally offensive they themselves are. Too bad malignant scrupulosity is not painful, except to others.

For the powerful, this moral indignation and scrupulosity and enforcement does not seem to apply. Being a SCOTUS Justice is a license to cheat on your income tax evidently. The IRS will ignore your August Ass "forgetting" to file all your income, although Al Capone went to jail for that. What would happen to the Average Joe who hid thousands from the IRS for years?

Being a law abiding person is not a sane strategy in America any more. When the government takes money from us to run things properly, and we see corruption at every level of leadership, what is the incentive not to be a Crook or a Corpo? There is none. Public corruption destroys more than the economy. Public corruption destroys public trust. Public corruption is turning our cities into wastelands, our roads into rubble and destroying our souls.


Govern the country by regular rules;
Direct the army by cunning moves;
But win the world by avoiding fuss.
How do I know that this is so?
Inward light!

Beneath heaven,
The more rules and prohibitions there are,
The poorer the people become.
The sharper the weapons there are,
The greater the country's confusion.
The cleverer the people become,
The more cunning acts take place.
The more laws and orders there are,
The more thieves and robbers appear.

Therefore the sage says:
I do nothing,
And the people of themselves reform.
I love stillness,
And the people of themselves grow straight.
I don't fuss,
And the people of themselves get rich.
I don't want,
And the people of themselves grow simple.

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