Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lawlessness Begets Lawlessness

Once Americans get it into their heads (and more of them do so every day) that we are ruled by criminals and that property rights have effectively vanished, they will learn to repay crime with crime. Karl Denninger comments on a case in California where foreclosed homeowners have stolen their house back from Conejo Capital Partners, the bank that foreclosed on them:

Why are you surprised? More to the point, why is anyone surprised?

Look, this is what happens when you sit idly by and countenance rampant and outrageous lawbreaking: The people decide they'll do it too!

As for the police telling you that they won't get involved, cry me a river. There's a lady here in Florida who was not in foreclosure, the bank did not have a judgment of possession, and they hired a company to break into her home and change the locks - with her inside. That's breaking and entering anywhere, it's a serious felony, and in Florida at least a homeowner confronted with this is within his rights to shoot the people doing it. Yet when the Sheriff responded he refused to arrest the perpetrators.

It sounds like Conejo ran into the same problem. I'd be sympathetic, but I can't be so long as they do not demand that the same sanction attach to all the illegal bank activities in regard to these repossessions as well.

Of course, Conejo didn't do that.

Two wrongs don't make a right - just more wrongs. But the lesson here isn't that a couple and their kids "re-took" possession and claim their original foreclosure was "illegal." I don't know if it was or wasn't - what I know is that the chain of lawlessness didn't start with them, and it is impossible to condemn their actions standing alone. [Emphases in original]

Vox Day recognizes a grim historical pattern:

It's not a question of the Rule of Law since it is an observable fact that there is no law as such in the United States anymore, there is nothing more than the public pretense of law and the sporadic enforcement of that pretense on parties who do not belong to the government-favored classes. The Rule of Law has been replaced by the much weaker and more delicate Rule of Force.

This is nothing new, as Cicero's letters make it clear that the latter days of the Roman Republic featured a similarly dynamic and amorphous pretense of law. America as you knew it, as you imagined it to be, is no more. It has been gone for some time now and it was laid to rest by the same cancerous forces of greed, lawlessness, and ambition that have brought every other great society in human history to its eventual end.

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