05 August 2012

Glenn Greenwald On the Rule of Law: With Liberty and Justice For Some

"Most of the events that we consider to be progress in American history were driven by the reverence for this concept that we are all equal under the law, that equality under the law is how we determine if we are perfecting the union...And what I think is radically different about today is not that the rule of law suddenly is not always being applied faithfully, because that has always been true. What is different about today, radically, is that we no longer bother to affirm that principle...

You can often, and I would say more often than not, in leading opinion-making elite circles, find an expressed renouncement or repudiation of that principle...All of these acts entail very aggressive and explicit arguments that the most powerful political and financial elites in our society should not be, and are not, subject to the rule of law because it is too disruptive, it is too divisive, it is more important that we should look forward, that we find ways to avoid repeating the problem...the rule of law is not that important of a value any longer...

The law is no respecter of persons, but the law is also a respecter of reality, meaning if it is too disruptive or divisive that it is actually in our common good, not the elite criminals, but in our common good, to exempt the most powerful from the consequences of their criminal acts, and that has become the template used in each of these instances."

Glenn Greenwald

I have been thinking along these lines for some time, that the rule of law in the West is becoming supplanted by a new kind of utilitarianism, relying on expediency in the service of power and the faux science of amoral economics, in order to excuse the massive frauds and criminal acts of the Anglo-American Empire that seems to be increasing.

Any concerns about the rule of law are roundly dismissed as a false concern with moral hazard as we saw so clearly in the great push for $700 Billion TARP based on a couple of handwritten sheets of paper, and a general amnesty for the perpetrators.