Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great Recession and the Failed Rule of Law

These two segments of the Rachel Maddow show discuss the general American feeling that there is no longer a rule of law here in which everyone, from the President, from CEO's and from the wealthiest Americans, are held to the same standards of law as the rest of us are.

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Here Rachel Maddow interviews Glenn Greenwald about his new book "With Liberty and Justice for all Some."

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As Francis Fukuyama makes very clear in his new book The Origins of Political Order one of the key elements of modern states and nations is the legitimacy that is provided by the assurance that the Rule of Law applies to everyone, not just to the peons. Today the Occupy Wall Street movement is at its core a reaction to the belief that there is one set of laws for the 99% and another for the top 1%.

The core element of legitimacy of the American government has been the belief that the rule of law has applied to Americans. The fact is the financial collapse of 2008 and the lack of any investigation into the collapse and application of blame to the clearly guilty has made it clear that neither the American elites nor the American government actually operate under the rule of law any more. This may well be the most significant reason for the poor ratings currently given to Congress.

Unless the rule of law is brought back and the parties who caused the collapse of the economy are investigated and punished there is a strong likelihood that no party is going to be able to regain and keep control of the American federal government for any period of time. Blame and punishment is going to be more important to the survival of American institutions than the false stability provided by ignoring wrong-doing.

It should also be very clear that the conservative movement and the wealthy elites who created and funded it are directly responsible for the collapse of the American economy.

Addendum 5:04 PM CST
Check out this article on Rule of Law.

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