Hypocrisy and Myth: The Hidden Order of the Rule of Law
The Rule of Law is neither a scientific nor a particularly rational invention, but an unfolding performance that has been "playing" in America for several hundred years, albeit with some very serious abuses and blind spots. Hypocrisy & Myth takes the position that the "truth" of the Rule of Law requires a degree of hypocrisy and suspension of disbelief in regard to the ongoing "performance". This in no way renders the system illegitimate. It does, however, make the Rule of Law an easy target for criticism in both theory and application. But even given its vital role, we have little idea of what the Rule of Law is, how it works, and the ways in which it is threatened through our neglect, self-interest, and ignorance. As is explored throughout Hypocrisy & Myth, the Rule of Law is simultaneously facilitator, catalyst, and barrier against the abuse of power. It motivates individuals toward ideals of evolving community, including the development of our highest qualities of humanity as individuals. Of equal importance, the Rule of Law serves as a governor on the uses of collective power against members of that community. In this sense, the Rule of Law provides a rallying point from which individuals may morally resist abuses of power by the community. In this latter dimension, the Rule of Law limits the ability of the state to control citizens through the specific exercise of legal power.
Lake Mary, FL.
rule of law, hypocrisy, law and society
Law and Society | Rule of Law
Barnhizer, David R. and Barnhizer, Daniel D., "Hypocrisy and Myth: The Hidden Order of the Rule of Law" (2009). Scholarship Collection. 3.