The Rule of Law or Power

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

To understand where our country is at the moment only requires a simple thought experiment and a simple question.

(A) does (B). As a result, the government does (C). Does the identity of A matter?

In an ideal world, the identity of A should not matter for C. Granted, this has not always been the case. In fact, throughout much of history, the opposite was true. The identity of A mattered a great deal to C.

One of the great achievements of civilization is the Rule of Law, the idea that the identity of A does not matter. There is more to the Rule of Law, but this part is essential; you cannot have the Rule of Law without it. Without the Rule of Law, you have simply the rule of power. Whoever has the power, rules, and those with power receive different treatment than those without it. The power can be wielded by a King, a governing body, or a mob. Still, the simple fact remains if the identity of A matters, you do not have the Rule of Law, you have the rule of power.

Sadly, at the present moment, the identity of A matters a great deal. In fact, the idea that not only does the identity of A matter but that it should matter is at the core of the social justice moment. If A is a member of a disadvantaged group, they should get special treatment. If A is thousands of protestors who are supporting a favored political group such as Black Lives Matter, then they will be encouraged. If riots break out, they are justified, the perpetrators released, and it will be the police that apologizes. Don’t think that at the moment, the identity of A matters? Ask yourselves what would be the reaction if a Neo-Nazi group took control of a portion of an American city?

In short, at the moment, we are not under the Rule of Law; the government is buckling to the mob. Some in government are doing so because they see this as a route to power. Others see a chance to accomplish goals they could not achieve within the rule of law. Still, others are just acting out of fear. Whatever the reasons, they are all playing a very dangerous game, as the mob cannot be controlled.

One of the big differences between the American and French Revolution was the influence of the mob, which played a much bigger role in the French Revolution. The early leaders of the French Revolution sought to used the mob to achieve their aims. They found the mob impossible to control. Before long, the revolution became a Reign of Terror as the former ruling class went to the guillotine before the cheering mob. But it did not end there as the mob marched its earlier leaders to the guillotine and then their successors and then their successors. The mob is very difficult to satisfy. In the end, the revolution collapsed into the dictatorship of Napoleon.

In the present day, what does the mob want? Justice for George Floyd? Who doesn’t? The polices officers involved have been charged with murder and are awaiting trial. The major claim now is to defund the police. How is that going to end? They are beginning to get their way with the predictable results of huge increases in crime, including murder.

While defunding the police is irrational, it should not be surprising. The mob does not rule by reasons and debate, but by power and fear. Law and order stand in the way of the mob. To resist the mob directly is to risk your life; many people were killed during the riots. If you object to the mob, you can lose your job, as many others have found out. It does not matter how rational or reasonable you are. It does not matter whether or not you are right. The only thing that matters is are you in the way of the mob. You are completely free to disagree all you want, as long as you keep it to yourself. What is important is that you cower and kneel when the mob demands. In short, keep quiet, stay out of their way, and give them what they want.

I will not stay quiet. Too many have died to establish the Rule of Law. To many have died to preserve it. So I will stand for Rule of Law. I will stand for the truth. I will stand for liberty and justice for all. I will gladly say black lives matter, but only because all lives matter, equally. To say otherwise is racist by definition.

Jul 2nd, 2020

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