The Law Don’t Mean Shit
“We are accustomed to classify States according to the different ways in which ‘the supreme might’ is distributed…Might against whom? Against the individual and his ‘self-will.’ The State practices ‘violence,’ the individual must not do so. The State’s behavior is violence, and it calls its violence ‘law’; that of the individual, ‘crime.'”
— Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own
“Always and everywhere, bumping into laws, into boundaries, into morals, into conventions, into rules, into judges, into workshops, into prisons, into barracks, into men and women in uniform that protect, maintain, defend, an order of things that is mortifying and gets in the way of the expansion of the individual. And you — you lovers of ‘life’, incense-bearers of ‘progress’, all of you who turn the wheels of the cart of ‘civilization’? —YOU CALL THIS LIVING?”
— Emile Armand
“The Law basically comprises a list of things which the upper classes do not want the lower classes to do, because they (the upper classes) would find it irritating, unpleasant, or inconvenient. These things are set out on paper so that the lower classes can readily find out what they are not supposed to be doing, and thereby avoid doing it.”
— GURPS: Goblins
You’ve lived in a lawless world your entire life.
Every moment, every second, has been a world without law. What is law? A system of cause and effect that regulates and ensures an individual or a community adhere to the will of the state. If you do this, this will happen. We tell ourselves it makes us safe.
We also tell ourselves it makes the world fair, that the Law ensures the right thing is done. And if it isn’t? Bad people get punished.
So we tell ourselves the law simply isn’t working right. If we just had the right laws and the right enforcers of those laws, and even the right lawmakers surely such blatant injustice would disappear.
But that’s impossible. It’s never happened, nor will it ever happen, so long as the mental construct we call “law” is interpreted, carried out, and enforced by human beings.
The whole concept is garbage. It’s a made up story that doesn’t exist because at the end of the day the laws don’t mean shit.
Well, unless of course you’re poor. Then you’ll discover they become very important as long as they can beat you with them.
I have a friend that bought a gun recently. It was a person to person sale, very legal in the State of Florida. What’s not legal? A felon buying a gun. Maybe he was a felon, maybe he wasn’t. The seller had no way of knowing because he didn’t care. He was selling an AK47 for cash in a Walmart parking lot. No papers. A picture of the ID in case anything went south but beyond that?
The laws didn’t mean shit.
The kid my friend was buying it from was strapped for cash. He was in his late 20’s, with dirty hands and skin that said he made his living outside. He’d just been fired after working for the same company for twelve years.
“Got inta’ an argument with the bosses’ daughter.” He smiled a toothy grin. “That’s one argument you don’t win.”
“So they fired you?” my friend asked.
“Yessir. And told the other tree services not to hire me.”
“Sure is. But that don’t mean shit.”
He was right, and most of the news streaming across the Gods and Radicals Apocalyptic Affairs Desk(GRAAD) this week seems to contain that same nugget of hard-fought wisdom. Wisdom the Left desperately needs.
It’s 5:15am. I’m drinking a beer and staring out the window, getting ready for a trip into a lawless world. I grab my revolver, fiddling with the cylinder. Supposedly such lethal means of defence are antiquated in a “civilized” world. The police protect us, enforce the laws designed to punish those that harm us, laws like mandatory sentencing for drug dealers in primarily black communities. When the police fuck up and kill someone quickly, instead of slowly and over years in a prison cell, we hope the “law” will correct the error.
It almost never does.
But again the fairy tale warms our hearts. One day justice will be done. New laws, new rules, will pave the way for a just and equitable society. And even if they don’t…well we can’t live without laws. What kind of world would that be?
The very same world you currently inhabit, dear reader.
This week Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has received a patent designed to treat opioid addiction. The very same people who “downplayed the risk of addiction associated with opioids,” “exaggerated the benefits” and “advised healthcare professionals that they were violating their Hippocratic Oath and failing their patients unless they treated pain symptoms with opioids,” according to the Colorado attorney general’s office have developed a new intellectual property to benefit from the aforementioned issue. That might seem wrong to you.
But that don’t mean shit.
Especially to the government that writes the wonderful laws supposed to protect you. In the 1990’s the Food and Drug Administration gave Purdue the green light to say that OxyContin’s slow release was “believed to reduce” its appeal to drug abusers, who presumably favored a more immediate high. They might as well have listed a housecat as a chemical expert because the FDA was basing its findings on pure, unadulterated bullshit with no data behind it. But Purdue ran with it, going even further and telling doctor’s the damn thing was practically impossible to get addicted to.
The entire time they knew the drug was addictive, knew how much it was selling for on the street, knew just what kind of grimy, nasty world their little pill left in its wake. In one company email, obtained by the Justice Department, the company’s vice-president of marketing, Mark Alfonso notes “I received this kind of news on MS Contin, all the time and from everywhere…Some pharmacies would not even stock MS Contin for fear they would be robbed.”
By the time charges were brought up against Purdue over 29,000 Americans had overdosed. If justice had been carried out the executives would of had their legs ripped off at the knees, the wounds cauterized with red hot irons, and then been forced to drag themselves across broken glass one mile for every life they willingly snuffed out in the pursuit of profit. In absence of any true justice, or even the power to create it, the American people settled upon the “law” and its arbiters to do what’s right. And what did the law do?
Charge a few Purdue executives with “misbranding drugs.”
We all know it’s a travesty, know people personally whose lives have been ruined. We know this isn’t right.
But that don’t mean shit.
The government has allowed Purdue Pharma to collect more than $35 billion for engineering an opioid crisis that killed 42,200 Americans in 2016 alone — without even attempting to put a single executive in prison.
Save me the tired lines about getting the “right people in office.” You think the “rules” apply to those people, that your petition or town hall meeting holds the same weight as a fellow senator casually mentioning he remembers the two abortions your representative paid for—and that he needs a favor?
Consider the fact that psychologists now admit what con-men and mafias the world over have always known: that personal favors have huge effects on how people behave.
People are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first.
If a friend invites you to their party, there’s an obligation for you to invite them to a future party you are hosting. If a colleague does you a favor, then you owe that colleague a favor. And in the context of a social obligation people are more likely to say yes to those who they owe.
…giving diners a single mint at the end of their meal typically increased tips by around 3%.
Interestingly, if the gift is doubled and two mints are provided, tips don’t double. They quadruple—a 14% increase in tips. But perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that if the waiter provides one mint, starts to walk away from the table, but pauses, turns back and says, “For you nice people, here’s an extra mint,” tips go through the roof. A 23% increase, influenced not by what was given, but how it was given.
What this means is your representative, your boss, the cop down the street, will obey and work for those they feel they owe, regardless of what the “law” or “the people” might desire. If the owners of the local tree services owe the gentlemen who fired our former gun owner they’ll do as he says regardless of the law on the books. If an extra mint can sway the minds of people so easily, what might the $10,814,000 spent by Purdue Pharma in lobbying over the past ten years do?
Hell, if Purdue Pharma can get your “champion of the people” to simply sit down and have a friendly chat over dinner they’ve already bettered the odds they’ll own her before desert.
We like people who are similar to us, we like people who pay us compliments, and we like people who cooperate with us towards mutual goals….
In a series of negotiation studies carried out between MBA students at two well-known business schools, some groups were told, “Time is money. Get straight down to business.” In this group, around 55% were able to come to an agreement.
A second group however, was told, “Before you begin negotiating, exchange some personal information with each other. Identify a similarity you share in common then begin negotiating.” In this group, 90% of them were able to come to successful and agreeable outcomes that were typically worth 18% more to both parties.
“Why yes Mr. Lobbyist, I sure did enjoy this wonderful weekend in Hawaii! And who knew we had the same taste in Bakunyū and tentacle erotica! What? You’ll pay for this? Well gee, I really shouldn’t, but…you’re not trying to bribe me are you?”
“No no! Like I said I have to spend the money with you as business expense. If you aren’t here, I have to go anyway and I’m the one stuck paying for it. One of those catch 22’s, you know? As long as you’re here we’re both free to do what we wish. You can walk away and not see me for the rest of the trip. Hell you’d be doing me a favor! When we get back in town I’ll take you to that one sushi restaurant I was talking about. I’m so happy I met someone who has the degree of culture necessary to really enjoy it. Look…I want you to know I really like you. As a person. I don’t want to think I’m paying you off. If the money is an issue…”
“No. I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble. And…everybody does it, right?”
“That’s right. Only difference? You’re actually great to be around. Now, about that investigation….”
This exploitability in the human hardware is not going away. It is built in. Every hierarchical office, and every mind commanding it, is simply a gun to be pointed and fired as one desires.
You say the law forces people to at least move around it, and is necessary to protect the most vulnerable. I say as long as people write the laws, or can even abolish them, then ultimately the law is as fluid and mercurial as the nearest human mind.
In effect the law is nothing more than the personal likes, feelings, and history of the one carrying it out. Multiply this ten thousand times PLUS the myriad of forces constantly attempting to manipulate those minds and you get the State in a nutshell.
SWEET CHRIST! How has that ever sounded like a goddamn good idea? What fiend, what tick-covered Jurassic beast pulled one over on us generations ago? How NAIVE do you have to be to think a written code won’t lead to an entire class of people popping up whose existence is devoted day and night to subverting it for personal gain?
And that’s not even factoring in the incompetence! Republicans in the House this week passed a bill that would reclassify dozens of federal crimes as “crimes of violence,” making them deportable offenses under immigration law. Among them? Simply fleeing from a police officer.
Hail the Gods of Justice. The best part?
It was introduced just a week before while many legislators were out of town, and did not have a single hearing or markup prior to being passed.
But that don’t mean shit.
The truth is that “laws,” “rights,” and “proper process” are just cheap paper targets for the kids to toss shit at. They mean nothing. Ask any defense attorney. Ask any Black person that tried to vote after Reconstruction ended. They’ve never meant anything because they can be skirted around or overpowered with a kind gesture and a sly smile. So much of what we see as immutable structures are really just fluid exchanges. One massive game. The people at the top of the hierarchical pyramid have known this since the beginning, and have structured their empires in such a way that the peons never glimpse the personal nature of it all.
The only real benefit of “the law” is that it gives things an air of legitimacy, like a pagan priestess dressing up in a knock-off catholic robe before she goes to a custody dispute, or a job applicant putting on a tie. The Klan stopped Lincoln-style Republicans from voting at gunpoint, but they sure as shit made sure to cram their boys in two or three times each.
“Well naw,” says the bloated white man in the seer-sucker suit. “”Fraid I ain’t got no evidence of votin’ fraud. Everything look to me reeeal nice and legal. Look like you folks juss talkin’ with ya tongue out of you shoe. We won, and those are the rules. Course you can contest it, but Judge Jeffery and me go way back. Be shame if you folks made a ruckus naw. I’ll have you know disturbin’ the peace and rambuxiousness carry a real stiff fine in this here county. We don’t cotton to no law-breaking round these parts, you hear?”
Instead of finding fault with the entire concept of “the law”, as we have patriarchy, slavery, and child abuse, we still worship a concept that has continually failed us; all while ignoring the very real evidence that human beings can live in large groups without any law, judiciary, or legislation.
Human interaction is all personal relations. Always has been. Everything else is playing pretend. Some of us are comfortable with accepting that and some of us are going to keep hoping for a better tomorrow, a better human, and a higher evolved consciousness. That day may very well come.
But today that don’t mean shit.
Dr. Bones is a Hoodoo-slingin’ Florida native and Egoist-Communist spitting pure vitriol and sorcerous wisdom at a world gone mad. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.
His poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism can be found at Gods & Radicals and The Conjure House. He can be reached by email, twitter, or facebook. Want to do him a favor? Help keep him alive for as little as $4.99 a month.
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