Tuesday, December 28, 2010

William Kunstler's "terrible myth"

"And that's the terrible myth of organized society. That everything that's done through the establishe­d system is legal. And that word has a powerful psychologi­cal impact. It makes people believe that there is an order to life and an order to a system and that a person that goes through this order and is convicted has gotten all that is due him. And therefore society can turn its conscience off and look to other things and other times.

And that's the terrible thing about these past trials is that they have this aura of legitimacy­, this aura of legality. I suspect that better men than the world has known and more of them have gone to their death through a legal system than through all the illegaliti­es in the history of man. Six million people in Europe during the Third Reich? Legal. Sacco/Vanz­etti? Quite legal. The Haymarket defendant? Legal. The hundreds of rape trials throughout the South where black men were condemned to death? All legal. Jesus? Legal. Socrates? Legal. And that is the kaleidosco­pic nature of what we live through here and in other places. Because all tyrants learn that it is far better to do this thing through some semblance of legality than to do it without that pretence."
William Kunstler