Column by Paul Hein.

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From time to time our Rulers, and the individuals and firms with whom they have a close financial relationship, find it necessary to threaten, or even employ, force to protect their interests and further their objectives. If the situation warrants it, they are willing to fight.

Their importance precludes their doing the actual fighting themselves, but they will employ you or your children for the job. Skilled as they are at demagoguery, they will easily convince large segments of the population that an attack upon some foreign country is in the nation’s best interests, and that our freedoms are threatened. Only by volunteering to fight this menace can you preserve the American way of life.

Or, if you are unconvinced by this rhetoric, you may simply be conscripted, with a threat of imprisonment should you decline your country’s invitation to fight. Uncle Sam needs you!

There are, however, other, less blatant forms of conscription. For example: suppose that you were foolish enough to ignore an order given you by one of your public servants. (Yes, I know how absurd it sounds that a sovereign be given orders by his servants, but we’ve been getting their orders, and obeying them, all our lives.) The order might have been to give them a large sum of money, which they call a tax, although the proper word is theft. Perhaps, if you were sufficiently offensive to them, they might subject you to the unkindest cut of all--a lawsuit, which you will almost certainly lose.

In that case, you might need to hire an attorney, which you will find very expensive. Before so much as a preliminary hearing, you will be financing the very entity opposing you, by virtue of that portion of the lawyer’s income paid by you, which he in turn will pay as an income tax.

There is also the judge. It would be naïve to think that the judge is not prejudiced in favor of the prosecution, as he himself is a part of the Ruler’s team. His generous salary is paid by you and your peers, as “taxpayers.”

Don’t forget the prosecutor! You have also contributed, at least in small part, to his compensation. You are, in other words, helping to finance your own adversary.

At some point in the process, you may begin to wonder why it is that the “people” are paying for your prosecution, while you have to foot the bill for your defense. There is the presumption of innocence, which is given lip service, at least. Is it any less reasonable for the people to pay for the defense of one of their own than it is for them to pay for the prosecution? Does the prosecutor claim that your actions have caused any harm to the public? The Rulers--those dedicated public servants!--have teams of attorneys, not to mention judges, on their payroll, as well as investigators and police to gather up grist for their mill. You, by contrast, stand alone, defended by an expensive attorney who is an agent of the court. This is the American Justice (sic) System, also referred to, with a straight face, as a “fair trial.”

Let’s let our imaginations roam where they will: Potential jurors will be picked at random from men and women on the street, who indicate they would be willing to serve. They are not told what the charges are, or who is being sued. From a list of lawyers, they pick a prosecutor and a defense attorney, whose fees will be paid by the litigants, from their own pockets. The defense lawyer will be paid by the defendant, of course. But who will pay the prosecutor? He claims his client is “the people.” But “the people” almost certainly are unaware of any trial, do not know who is plaintiff and who is defendant, and if informed of the matter, will shrug and say it does not involve them. So who does the prosecutor represent? If forced to answer that question, the whole case may fall apart. Why, he represents some powerful but anonymous strangers who want plaintiff’s money! That doesn’t sound nearly as nice as saying he represents “the people,” no matter how far-fetched that might be.

A judge is likewise chosen from a list of free-lance judges, to be paid by the litigants. (If demonstrators outside of the courthouse are handing out leaflets describing jury nullification, he will likely not prevent them, as he has no reason to curry favor with The Rulers.)

Is this scenario likely to become reality? Not likely; there’s too much at stake, much as a return to sound money won’t happen as long as legal counterfeit is so profitable. But if there is to be any possibility of justice, it will require a growing awareness on the part of the public of the absurdity of a person accused of a “crime” by the Rulers being forced, at great cost, to defend himself against a huge, well equipped corporation which he is expected to support, even as it prosecutes him. Can we be conscripted to work for our enemy? A rhetorical question!

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Columns on STR: 150