The unworkable ideas of business in the public sector
Dennis L. Blewitt, Esq., J. D.
Once I was proud to be a lawyer. I was a member of an old and honorable profession that had many Blewitts on the roles as Bishop of Lincoln, Chancellor of England and Judiciar to Henry I. The name appeared as a signatory of the Magna Carta, as Lord Mayor of London, Sheriff of London. and on the rolls of Lincolns Inn. I was steeped in the tradition of ten centuries law tradition. Unfortunately, the practice of law was nothing like what I assumed from family history. I wasn’t surrounded by noble knights, scholars, clergy and others concerned with the welfare of the citizenry or their rights. When I first started practicing, law was a calling. I believed that my primary obligation was to help others, then help society and maintain the dignity of the law. Money was secondary. Over the years, I have witnessed a drastic change where most, not all lawyers, are motivated by greed, avarice and exercise of power, without social conscious.
Many who started with me were similarly motivated. Most of us took our oaths seriously and were genuinely concerned with the welfare of our clients. We also believed that we had an obligation to make things better. I met with prosecutors at least on a weekly basis concerning cases. There was discussion and mediation between positions, with a true belief that all parties should be concerned with policy and justice. Image was subordinate to perception. Punishment was an end in itself, but just one of the possible outcome. Case processing may have been efficient, but justice was highly inefficient. Like English barristers, prosecutors used to serve a stint in the DA’s office and venture into private practice, knowing that they couldn’t be arbitrary and dogmatic and be able to establish or maintain a practice after the left the prosecutor’s post. The sides didn’t agree generally, but accommodations were made. That was what lawyers were trained to do. Prosecutors would then educate the officers or investigators, who would quite often complain, bitch and moan or otherwise display their ignorance or bigotry, but it did them very little good. Justice didn’t take a back seat to image.
Things radically changed in the 70’s. The politicians discovered that they could sell protection to the electorate by trading in fear, ignorance, and bigotry, fueled by a propaganda machine which would have been the envy of Goebbels. Excuses concocted by the press and officials is a really drastic paradigm shift. Justice is no longer equated with fairness. Law was no longer about advocacy, but protection of superstitious beliefs, curtailment of popular power by the zealot fundamentalist paranoids. In my book I addressed these issues in more detail, but my health and lack of funding make it somewhat unlikely that I will finish either of life opus’s. So, I will try to break things down, not for lawyers, but for people. I will try to explain the attack on the social contract by a collective of individuals who believe that each one is unique and doesn’t need a society or civilization to exists. As Nietzsche postulated, “God is Dead.” The new god is business and efficiency. Society and Government must be restructured along business principles, all of which are incompatible with a Court System and separation of powers. /Executives should rule and others in a political should be support staff for the executives. Management by Objectives is the Prime directive. Have an objective and let nothing stand in the way of accomplishing it. Get with it or die!
With the push to promote privatization, government was slandered and an ignorant citizenry was taught that government was bad and efficient business principles could save us from harm (code for minorities) The Constitution became an impediment to the business interests and had to be destroyed. Every major event involving publicity was used to destroy another part of the Constitution. Complete disaster occurred with sentencing “reform.” All the factors that defendants could argue to mitigate their situations were abolished. Policy decisions were made by a herd of prosecutors under the age of 30’s based upon publicity value to policy. Justice had to take a back seat. Consequently, a ten ford increase in prisoners. Fear was marketed to the people applying Madison Avenue public relations technique. Although the criminals in the Nixon administration had law degrees, they were not practicing lawyers. Many worked in the area of Public relations
The ignorance was also inculcated into legal education. Many law trained crime warriors don’t see anything wrong with abolishing habeas corpus, renditions, torture, and committing war crimes in general. A corrupt system employed lawyers that would write opinion letters condoning war crimes which allowed the administrations to do essentially anything that the executive branch desired, all without any repercussions. A Nixon administration lawyer Ehrlichman recently confessed that the “Drug War” was contrived to harass leftists, blacks and anti-war activists. In a state of perpetual war, we now operate under a system of Martial Law. Like the ignorant masses of Germany after WWII, were taught that Germany was sold out and not allowed to win, many in the US complain that we were not allowed to win in Viet Nam. We gradually became accustomed to a war mentality in which victory was the only objective. The result is a police state with a public too shell shocked or fearful that there is no opposition.
So as our roads deteriorate, bridges crumble, rivers overflow, assets of the People confiscated from the People for privatization, and at war with the world, we blithely cheer our own destruction, rushing like lemmings to the sea, to be murdered by our self-created police state. Roosevelt pegged it when he said, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Now with only fear left, we have nothing.
We are told that the only thing that matters is business and trade. Bullshit. We are told that social contract must be destroyed in the name of trade. Bullshit. We are told that there must be free trade like the old days. Bullshit. We are told that we must be efficient. Bullshit. We are told that Government should be run like a business. Bullshit. The asses that are espousing this Bullshit know absolutely nothing about history. There never was free trade. The Lords franchised mills, markets, shops, etc. The Guilds organized to keep out non trained workers. Leagues formed to control competition. Even the most stupid peasant in medieval times knew that the function of his master’s castle was to protect him from others. Governments were formed for protection and advancement of the citizenry, or at least the rulers, not corporate interests.
The people, dumbed down to intellect of Neanderthals believe the bullshit. It is time to exit the caves and start thinking in terms of societies, not corporate police or fascist states. Business principals don’t work when you have collective decision making. Corporations don’t have courts to decide proper or improper conduct. Free governments don’t have dictators to make everything run effectively. It is time for Government of the People, by the People and for the People, and to put corporations in line. If not, uncharter them or ban the corrupt officers and directors from holding positions which can harm society or people. It is either that, or eventually cease to exist.