Hello! This is Darrell Castle. Today we’re going to continue our discussion of “how the rule of law in Western civilization met its demise in the west, and how that’s a terrible thing from which the United States may never recover.”
I was going to use the president’s State of the Union speech as a backdrop this week, much as I did last week with his speech announcing his new gun measures, but after listening to the speech and reading over the transcript, I just can’t do it. I can’t discuss it.
All the self-glorifying pretentious preening is more than anyone can stand. The best evaluation of the speech was a tweet by David Burge who blogs under the name “Iowa Hawk.” Mr. Burge said, “Once again, a quarterback doing a touchdown dance after being tackled for a safety.”
Instead of that, we journey back in time 800 years to the signing of the Magna Carta. In June of the year 1215, which was 800 years ago last June, much of what we take for granted in our lives had its origin in that great charter of liberty, with such concepts as trial by jury, with a jury made up of people like us, not people of the king’s own choosing; the right to due process of law before any criminal or civil penalty could be imposed upon us; the right of citizens to be armed and not just the king’s men; the right of equal protection of the law, which is another way of saying, “We are all equal under the law, presidents and ordinary citizens alike.”
All parts of Western civilization – and all – are under severe attack today. We have made the president and even the office of the presidency into such an exalted position – and such an exalted person – that it’s very difficult for anyone not to start thinking of himself as very special indeed, with all the pomp, all the flights on Airforce One, everyone bowing, scraping and catering to his every whim.
That’s why a president should go back to Thomas Jefferson’s practice of just writing a letter to Congress to give them his State of the Union report, then having the letter read by a clerk, instead of making a royal speech on national television. As we live each day, we decide, as a society, what our law is.
Originally we had the common law, which was a system of law handed down over the centuries. It was law that made sense. It was logical. Over time, people had problems, like Mrs. Jones’ cow gets loose and gets into Mr. Smith’s field. Who pays for that? They had these problems.
They would take these problems to the wise and respected leaders of the town, the village, the tribe, etc. Usually, these leaders were clergymen. Over time, these common sense rulings evolved into a system of law known as Common Law.
This system contained the common beliefs of the people and was passed down with reverence by each generation over the centuries. Common law reflected the belief that the laws were handed down from God. Law was at least loosely based on God’s law.
It’s primarily law that could be traced back to the ancient “Book of Deuteronomy.” The question of whose law is law was answered in favor of the god that most people accepted as God. Today that has all changed. All we have left is statutory law, which is law made up by politicians on the spur of the moment, which can be changed on the spur of the moment.
Since this law is not backed by centuries of history, and what used to be accepted as words inspired by God, it doesn’t have to make any sense, or be logical, as did the common law. In fact, it’s not backed by anything except the empty policies of empty-suit politicians, with things like saying certain words, or digging a pond on your own land, that can sometimes become crimes for which you can be criminally sanctioned.
The whims of politics control our destinies from one day to the next. My law school class, which started in the mid-1970’s, I believe, was the first law school class to which the common law was not taught. Today, if you went into court, especially the U.S. Supreme Court and tried to argue the common law, you’d be laughed out of the profession.
It’s too bad. It was a good system, a glorious system and a system of beauty. It hasn’t taken long to destroy what took centuries to build. Common Law – and Rule of Law – rests in peace. What used to be the Christian West has rejected its heritage for a variety of reasons.
Socialism was the vehicle for those reasons worldwide. The new world system used socialism to transport itself into our lives. Now, even the church can no longer be depended on to hold the line against it, except for Islam.
Therein lies the unbreakable faultline between the west and Islam. The Islamic world began in the 7th century with its god’s law as the highest law for Islam. For the most part, it still accepts its god’s law as the highest today. That’s why Islam and Western concepts of democracy are not compatible and never will be compatible.
Attempts to impose democracy on Islamic people are to assimilate them into a majority rule society, but will be met with rebellion and resistance. There will be continual friction because the two systems are not compatible in our world today.
We, in the west, think that because our religious faith has been destroyed, we can impose our politician-made laws of democracy on others. We don’t seem to understand why others will not accept them. Not many even understand religion or faith anymore.
When people act out of faith in ways they believe their religion dictates, our leaders – and even many of us – scratch our heads and wonder why. It’s inconceivable that people could actually be guided today in our modern age by words written in a book thousands of years ago.
All along the fringes of the world where societies collide – civilizations collide – there are continual conflicts and wars as the socialism of the west collides with the ancient beliefs of Islam. Samuel Huntington, in his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, published in the 1990s, pointed out that, after the fall of the Soviet Union, future worldwide conflicts would be “civilizational,” as opposed to “national,” as these systems meet and the boundaries become blurred by war, immigration and other conflict. I would add that both civilizations saw the Soviet Union as a common enemy, and that they both fought in their own way. Now, they can turn their attention to each other.
Finally, folks, what we’re seeing today is a civilization in decline, because the system that built it, i.e. God’s law, is what our law is/was based on. Individual rights come from God. The individual is free and able to pursue his own prosperity and happiness as best he can. Western civilization’s system is not compatible with today’s rule by elite politicians. We are seeing a mounting anti-elite sentiment.
The more they try to make us feel dumb or ignorant for our beliefs, the more they are resented. Across the world these sentiments are playing out, often linked with national decline. These sentiments fuel the demand for strong leaders perceived to be outside the ruling elite leaders, such as Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin
That’s all “the collapse of everything that we hold dear” that I have time for today, folks. However, who says there’s no such thing as good news? For some parting good news, just maybe the rule of law isn’t completely dead yet: There are rumors coming out of the FBI that Hillary Clinton will soon be indicted for her many crimes.
Perhaps, as I said, the rule of law isn’t completely dead. That would be good news, indeed. I’ll try to continue this discussion next week, folks. Until that time, this is Darrell Castle. Thanks for reading!
Darrell Castle is an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, a former USMC Combat Officer and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee. Darrell gives his unique analysis of current national and international events from a historical and constitutional perspective. You can subscribe to Darrell’s weekly podcast at http://www.castlereport.us.