Whenever law ends, tyranny begins
And our people add to this ancient United States of America (1600s) wisdom that when your neighbour is busy eating butterflies and you do not stop him, or her, the rumblings of that particular stomach will definitely keep you awake at night.
Examples of the end of law exist around us in our household, in our neighbourhood and in our district, state and neighbouring country. Take an abusive partner, who lives next door to us. You try to intervene, to rescue the abused partner and you get lectured about minding your business. Because the same wisdom that produced that interfere to save your future sleep also cautions you to mind your business else a bird of pray will snatch it away!
The neighbourhood is even worse because the wisdom of our people insists that only the insane fights the fight of the larger human group.
Still locally, we do notice that the exercise of justice does not work out for all of us equally. Like the animals of Animal Farm, some animals, over time, become more equal than others. A homeless, penniless child gets thrashed for helping himself to a mango to still the hunger pangs of his stomach while a rich man finds all sorts of dodges to avoid paying his share of tax. Who is going to stretch the rich man over the head master’s table and give six of the best caning of his life. They are usually men by the way.
With the proliferation of lawyers in our midst, what could be settled amicably, now goes to law. Around our law courts, looking for work are law graduates and not-so graduates seeking employment. These are the ‘charge and bail’ “lawyers”, “liars” who give the law profession a bad name at the lowest level.
At the higher level are the highest lawyers who charge a lot of money to keep our very rich and comfortable men and a very few women from having their day in court. Initially, a mere doctor’s sick certificate is enough to convince the judge. Juggled with overseas travel for health reasons could keep the well-heeled felon out of court for months if not years. In the meantime, witnesses retire and go back to their home states and towns. Some witnesses die and many cases go cold and sterile and not worth pursuing.
But there are judges who are not satisfied perpetually with the sick certificate and health travel especially since the time of coronavirus lockdown. One must wonder what has become of that arm of legal defense now that our richest no longer go on health travel.
Ultimately though, it is the end the law in our country that submits us to the power of tyranny in our land.
Democracy is the rule of law under which we live today. And democracy being the government of the people by the people for the people, it has become fashionable for the most fascistic government on earth, to adorn itself with ‘democratic’, like North Korea or the People’s Republic of China. Since democracy is more than periodic elections like the four yearly turn out in the USA or the Chinese ten yearly previous change of guards, it has become necessary to send observers to elections in parts of Asia, Latin America and especially Africa.
Until the recent coming of Donald J. Trump, nobody would have dreamed of sending election observers to supervise presidential elections in the United States of America. Now, countries such as Greece and Italy and especially and Great Britain and India need observers, thank you.
Election observation and supervision begins with the observation and supervision of the environment of Democracy. Do all the parties have equal access to the media? If you have the money, says the United States of America. Should this be so? Can anyone aspire to be the president of the USA except a billionaire? Can the result of the elections of the USA be seen as the result of a contest of the people by the people for the people?
Some laws in the United States of America are passed to keep black, brown and minorities as far away from the polling station as possible. The idea that the USA was a democracy must have made such countries as North Korea and China laugh and given the effrontery that they too guarantee food, clothes and home and employment for their citizens. These countries, along with the former Soviet Socialist Republics of Russia, argue that freedom from hunger, from nakedness, from homelessness and unemployment are more important than freedom of speech, freedom to gather and meet freely and freedom to express one’s opinion anywhere and everywhere.
Environment of elections includes the statements that the election candidates make in relation to the forthcoming elections. In the case of the USA were a tin-pot dictator from some abused little African country were to say half of what the present Republican presidential candidate has been saying, he would have been taken off the ballot. Encouraging racists, refusing to commit to a democratic transfer of power should he lose the election, promising to stay on in the White House even if he loses the election, all these in the most powerful democratic government on earth.
The Republican Party, aka the GOP, whose animal representation is the elephant as different from the donkey for the Democratic Party, can hardly recognize itself the way and manner Donald J. Trump has battered it to fit his narrow capabilities.
The quotation is long and we can only take a little of it: “Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate, and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another man.” The further details are set out in John Locke’s (1632 – 1704) ‘Section 202 of Chapter 18 “Of Tyranny” in Book 2 of the Two Treatises of Government that magistrates must abide by the law:’
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