Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Lawyer's World

(Continued from The Ethics Of Conscience

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."  - Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President, First Inaugural Address

- The lawyers world. Tell me about it.
- "To be crossed in little things, until your spirit is broken," according to de Tocqueville*. Crossing of little things breaks your spirit by forcing you to comply with other peoples expectations, not act on what you know from your own experience is good. That's according to Rousseau. In politics obedient, in personal life apathetic.
- And according to you?
- I'll tell you about what I saw on the bus coming here tonight. In L.A., you ride the bus if you are poor, in fact very poor. Or crazy. Or a tourist who doesn't know better. It is expensive, crowded, and slow.
- Ok. The lower class. And?
- On the bus was seated a middle aged man, clean shaven and wearing a dress shirt.
- Upper class.
- He said to two 12 or 13 year old girls, pressed by the crowd against him, "You're in America now, watch it!"
- They were speaking Spanish.
- Yes.
- And?
- And the passengers, about half immigrants, looked on at this guy, who fixed a smile on his face and locked eyes with anyone who dared look at him, and asked, "Where were you born?"
- What happened?
- The guy standing in the aisle next to me told him he shouldn't be talking that way.
- What did the crazy guy say?
- "Where were you born?" He caught me looking at him, transferred his fixed smile and stare to me, asked me where I was born. I looked back, and he made a sign firing a pistol, extending his fingers toward me. That put his hand near the face of a passenger seated next to him, who swatted the hand away. "You're out of order", the crazy man protested. The other guy didn't reply. No one replied.
- Why are you telling me this story?
- When the lawyers in the government tell you corporations are people and are allowed to bribe government officials as exercise of rights to free speech. When lawyers in the government tell you torture is not torture, secret prisons and midnight abductions, assassinations and stealing your communications all are legal, everyone adjusts.
- The government is the crazy man on the bus in the clean shirt and fixed smile, offending the innocence of childhood, and getting away with it.
- That guy next to him did slap his hand away.
- Yes, he did.
"The Revolution was effected before the war commenced," John Adams, the second president of the United States wrote. "The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the real American Revolution."
"A revolution without a prior reformation would collapse or become a totalitarian tyranny." - Saul Alinsky, Rules For Radicals

*"It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life. For my own part, I should be inclined to think freedom less necessary in great things than in little ones, if it were possible to be secure of the one without possessing the other. Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day, and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated; whereas that obedience, which is exacted on a few important but rare occasions, only exhibits servitude at certain intervals, and throws the burden of it upon a small number of men. It is vain to summon a people, which has been rendered so dependent on the central power, to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however, important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity." —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America