Fergusondisaster, the law was the greatest casualty. Civilization cannot long work if youths strong-arm shop owners and take what they want. Or walk down the middle of highways high on illicit drugs. Or attack police officers and seek to grab their weapons. Or fail to obey an officer’s command to halt. Or deliberately give false testimonies to authorities. Or riot, burn, and loot. Or, in the more abstract sense, simply ignore the legal findings of a grand jury; or, in critical legal theory fashion, seek to dismiss the authority of the law because it is not deemed useful to some preconceived theory of social justice. Do that and society crumbles.
Some people will actually not recognize the Ferguson drama from that description. What happened in Ferguson is happening all over the USA. The President of the United States is not a civilized man. He is more of a shaman, a Ju-Ju priest or a tribal leader.
…no government agency will in six months prosecute the looters and burners, or charge with perjury those who brazenly lied in their depositions to authorities, or charge the companion of Michael Brown with an accessory role in strong-arm robbery, or charge the stepfather of Michael Brown for using a bullhorn to incite a crowd to riot and loot and burn.
Like the illegal who rear-ends your car on the highway, or the gypsy cabby who rolls his fare after midnight, the police don’t even bother to investigate. What’s the point? The DA won’t prosecute, the judge will release the Skell on personal recognizance and subsequently he won’t show up for trial. (I have personal knowledge of this.)
More disturbingly, we have engendered a strange culture of justifiable lawlessness: those who are deemed exploited in some ways are exempt from following the law; those without such victim status are subject even more to it. Executive authorities compensate for their impotence in not enforcing statutes for some by excessively enforcing them on others.
… I burn a single old grape stake that has been treated with a copper-based preservative, I will be facing huge fines by environmental protection agencies, whose zeal will not extend to nearby residents …with jerry-rigged wiring and stop-gap sewage or who dump wet garbage along the side of the road. In the old days the dumpers at least used to sift out incriminating documents with names on them; now they leave them in, without worry over the consequences.
Our bureaucrats thirst for the single infraction by the law-biding citizen who can pay — to compensate for their impotence amid endless crimes by the law-breaking who are deemed unable to pay. That idea of redistributive enforcement permeates the entire federal government.
First they created criminals amongst the law bidding by criminalizing what wasn’t a crime, but common practice. Then they made what was looked on as politically correct the “unwritten law”. Enforced at the workplace where there was no force and hence no protection of law. Now, as Prof. Hanson writes, they only concoct laws that limit and are the coercion of the (old) law abiding.