Friday, February 11, 2005

A Man For All Seasons

I'm having a discussion over at Belmont Club with Buddy.

It was started by this comment of mine:

All our constitutional protections have been flattened in the name of fighting drugs. Now that the laws no longer protect users of the wrong drugs there really is nothing standing between the American government and its citizens except inertia.

The right is more than willing to give up its traditional protections to fight drugs. There is nothing to stop the left when they regain power from using this machinery for their own purposes.

Every time we weaken the protections on the least favored we open the way for the precident to be applied to the rest of us.

It dosn't seem to scare most people. It scares me.

The machinery is in place. It just needs the right marching orders.
Buddy so kindly explains to me why the laws for taking property of people accused of drug crimes is a good idea. You see those devils will give the property to realatives or friends and horror of horors crime will pay. As if the Government Cocaine Price Support and Gang Finance Program was not designed for that very purpose.

Robert Bolt wrote a play about it which I will quote here. Thomas More is arguing with Roper about the seriousness of swearing an oath:

More: There is no law against that.

Roper: There is! God's law!

More: Then God can arrest him.

Roper: Sophistication upon sophistication.

More: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal.

Roper: Then you set man's law above God's!

More: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact - I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I'm a forrester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God....

Alice: While you talk, he's gone!

More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!

Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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