Saturday, September 11, 2010

the second-death pact

louis brandeis' closing remarks to his dissenting opinion in olmstead v. united states, 1928.

Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy [ed: obviously, chaos, not anarchy]. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal -- would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.

extra emphasis added, since today is september 11th.

if you read the full text, you will also be gifted with this little gem of legalism (the attempt to supplant grace, or to supplement grace with law or theory not derived analytically from the golden rule):

'Legislation, both statutory and constitutional, is enacted, it is true, from an experience of evils, but its general language should not, therefore, be necessarily confined to the form that evil had theretofore taken. Time works changes, brings into existence new conditions [277 U.S. 438, 473] and purposes. Therefore a principal to be vital must be capable of wider application than the mischief which gave it birth. This is peculiarly true of Constitutions. They are not ephemeral enactments, designed to meet passing occasions. They are, to use the words of Chief Justice Marshall, 'designed to approach immortality as nearly as human institutions can approach it.' The future is their care and provision for events of good and bad tendencies of which no prophecy can be made. [ed: sorry, john of patmos! fuck off!] In the application of a Constitution, therefore, our contemplation cannot be only of what has been but of what may be. Under any other rule a Constitution would indeed be as easy of application as it would be deficient in efficacy and power. Its general principles would have little value and be converted by precedent into impotent and lifeless formulas. Rights declared in words might be lost in reality.'

emphasis added.

rights declared in words will be lost in reality when their heart is humanistic trash masquerading as authentic revolution, and not the word of god: to engage in the former is to sign the pact for the second death, and i am sure you will find alexander hamilton there. to write its "graces" on your heart is to dance for the piped piper of state, while no music plays but the incantation of the lie is made again and again; a fiction of valour or honor for the solider, a fiction of wisdom or power for the bureaucrat, a fiction of love and hearth for the schoolteacher.