Bad Faith in the Law
I find it hilarious–downright knee-slapping, kick-me-in-the-crotch, shoot-me-in-the-head, choke-me-round-the-neck, devil-stuck-in-the-ice, rip-roaring funny (I only laugh because I’m tired of crying)–to witness so many obviously free, intelligent, and hopefully lucid people excrete blivets on top of blivets of bad faith in their understanding of and actions in relation to THE LAW.
Now, by bad faith, I do not mean to impugn everyone as completely double-minded or duplicitous dopes (though some of those people, e.g. politicians, do exist.)
Rather, I mean bad faith in the Sartrean sense.
Our friendly Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia, defines the term quite well:
“Bad Faith is a philosophical concept used by existentialist philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to describe the phenomenon where a human being under pressure from societal forces adopts false values and disowns their innate freedom to act authentically.”
Yes, due to societal forces, or cultural roles if you will, many people have been adopting false values in regards to the law, believing or expounding upon the law in ways that not only undermine human freedom, but also demolish the very foundations of justice in a free society, i.e. to serve as a defensive threat and use of force against unjust invasions of persons and their properties.
The law is meant to protect our natural right to life and liberty against criminals and tyrants with clearly defined and defensive force.
Yet, I could hardly say with a straight face this is the societal role of the law and those who administer it today.
No, bad faith, having leeched onto the minds of so many of our fellows, has transformed the law into an assortment of devilish specters.
Some people see the law as blind, as an objective rule (and a source of employment) made so objectively objective by the processes of a political system carried out by men with their subjective wishes and wants. These folks do not like being reminded that they are free human beings subject to their own subjectivity.
Other people see the law as a useful tool, a set of guidelines for “our” big social club to organize ourselves, or put another way, for them to organize other people. These folks don’t like being reminded the law is actually more a “club” for beating people over the head and not a “club” for meeting with our fellows, sipping cocktails, and discussing how “we” build the perfect society.
Yet, some other folks, see the law exactly as a big club meant to clobber others, as a tool of, by, and for those who never peacefully earn power but only demand it at the point of a gun. These folks don’t like being reminded of people’s natural right to life and liberty. They assume that if you can blow something up, say a building or a human being, then that something never existed in the first place.
And finally, there are those good-hearted yet unfortunate souls who once naively assumed the purpose of the law was to defend their right to life and liberty only to find the law was actually a nightmare, a tyrant, a busybody, a heaping bramble patch, a crown of thorns, a house of horrors. Just see Josef K. These sad saps are lost to being reminded of much of anything; once one discovers nightmares while one is still awake, it seems impossible to wake up any further. I can relate.
Thus, the pressure of human society weighs down upon the free individuals of the world. The people forget not only the point and purpose of the law; they forget their freedom in the first place, and they fall into the heavy lifting that is fighting a nightmare of one’s own waking creation.
Much like the Satan of Dante’s imagination, we are stuck in a barren wasteland, a prison of ice that only stays chilly because we refuse to see the folly of our own self-deception. We continue to flap our powerful wings, thinking power, power, and more power will be our salvation when it is our undoing.
So let it be said:
THE LAW is not objective. The “rule of law” is a myth. The law properly understood does not seek to rule over others, but to defend against political control itself whether criminal, tyrannical, or nugatory.
THE LAW is not some tool or harmless guideline for the social engineering of “our” big social club called society. It is always backed by the threat of force and ultimately death if one resists enforcement pure and simple. And when a human being understandably resists law, even an unjust law, that person will most likely suffer and die.
THE LAW is not the product of authority or sovereigns, but one of content as gleaned by human reason. Authority does not grant law. Law grants authority and only justly so when done in a limited fashion to protect human liberty.
THE LAW is and will remain a nightmare until we rub the sleep from our eyes, endure the sting of the sun through the blinds, and wake up in good faith to the fact of our innate freedom.
Let us rebel against unchecked power not freedom.
"The fool doth think he is wise..."