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Re: Scienter and all that stuff

> In article <[email protected]>,
> Mark Chen <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> The facts and the law only matter when the government doesn't have
> >> a hard on for you.  If the government wants to get you [and, perhaps, 
> >> if you're not a millionaire "sports figure"] it will get you. The 
> >> crime bill just makes the task a bit easier.
> >
> >This is quite accurate.  Howard Zinn makes the same point in
> >_Declarations of Independence_.
> Where does Steve Jackson fit into this theory?
> I don't think it's nearly as black & white as you suggest:  Our systems
> are not monolithic and some consitutional and democratic principles do
> still have some sway.  Noam Chomsky discusses this when he talks about
> reasons for optimism.
> Which is not to belittle the orginal point that we have reason to be
> paranoid: it's just to say that we don't have total justification for
> despair, either.

Yes, it's often easy to identify a single piece of the overall dynamic
and use it to account for everything that happens.  I'm only saying
that legal guarantees are not necessarily the last word about what the
government can and can't do to you.  Chomsky's optimism (as you know)
doesn't stem so much from a faith that our legal system will one day
start working properly, as from a faith that people are capable of
evolving - an outlook that you and I seem to share, but that many on
this list don't.

   - Mark -

Mark Chen 
[email protected]
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