- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I don't think we're on the same wavelength.

Posted by: MDG on March 01, 19100 at 18:49:22:

In Reply to: Agreed posted by Garloo on March 01, 19100 at 18:27:49:

: : [pro-cap stuff, snipped.

: : : We have something in America known as the Rule of Law. Not the rule of men, or trend or wimsy. The rule of objectively defined law under which we are all equal. That's freedom. Communism/Socialism would force equality upon you at gun point if necessary. Surely you would be more equal than the men with guns. Force of this kind is illegal under our Capitalist system, the men with guns would go to jail.

: : The Rule of Law. It's a fine thing, and I support it wholeheartedly. Now, how does it play out in a society of impoverished masses, struggling middle-classers, and a staggeringly wealthy minority? Two letters answer that question: O.J.

: : The United States: the best Rule of Law money can buy.

: I'm very pleased to know that you support the rule of law. I think it's the best way to safegauard our people from any number of loonies that accidentally get in to office,( I'm speaking specifically about Jesse Ventura.)

: I'm not blind. The rule of law gets corrupted all the time but I still believe it's the standard we should hold ourselves to. And rather than reject it entirely, we should go after the kind of people that would pervert it to their benefit.

It's that last point you made which I take issue with. When you say, "the kind of people that would pervert it to their benefit," you seem to be saying that individuals will corrupt the Rule of Law to their own ends. Of course I'm against that, but I was arguing that, put bluntly, the rich can afford the best lawyers and biggest law firms, and therefore win in a court of law more easily than the rest of us. You must agree with that -- O.J. versus the nameless ghetto kid in jail with the court-appointed lawyer is a prime example.

Even if the lawyers are of equal talent, litigation costs money. A crusading public interest lawyer may take on a poor client, but if the other side has a major Wall Street law firm crawling with lawyers and paralegals and interns, who is better armed (legally speaking)? Which side can afford to inundate the other with discovery requests, a.k.a. burdensome and expensive paperwork. Which side can afford to drag it out for years?

Case in point: I'm a lawyer and a member of a neighborhood association that has several other lawyers in it. We're fighting a real estate developer who, if he gets his way entirely, will seriously hurt the quality of life in our 'hood. None of us, as it turns out, are real estate/zoning lawyers, so we've had to hire one. He's good, but we're almost out of money, whereas the developer can keep this thing going almost indefinitely. Fortunately, we're well-educated enough to put up a good fight even without a lawyer, but if the zoning officials don't end the process soon, we'll be at a severe disadvantage. As our neighborhood group says, it's too bad we're all from (the modest middle class neighborhood of Silver Spring) rather than from (the fantastically wealthy neighborhood) of Potomac, because if we were from Potomac, we'd have enough money to fight these guys fairly.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that in a society of rich and poor, the Rule of Law is bound to be exercised in corrupt ways.

By the way, I like Jesse Ventura. He may be flamboyant, but he's better than the Bushgoremccainbradley thing.

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