Written By: James West
April 14, 2014
The $1.8 billion fine Steve Cohen agreed to pay to keep his corpulent white butt out of the pokey, far from exonerating the wily ringleader of the world’s most valuable convicted ring of inside traders, demonstrates in no uncertain terms just how thorough the evidence against Cohen must be. Even for a big guy with deep pockets such as him, thats going to take some serious scrambling to hand over.
But what is most disgusting about the amount of the bribe Cohen is paying to regulators is that this travesty of justice is happening in the public light. And where is the outrage?
While those unaffected by the growing tendency of U.S. courts to convict employees while their employers pay fines shrug and carry on, the reality unfolds that this is the essence of corruption in the world’s largest economy. The implications of the trend should not be discounted.
We are programmed by media and education – which is in reality just a form of curated media intake – to seek a certain standard of living, observe certain standards of behavior, and toil diligently in pursuit of those goals.
The justice system, and as a precursor to that, the education system, establishes and manages certain expectations from us. We are taught and expect that the opportunities and resources in the world at large are available to all through competitive processes, where the rules and laws maintain a uniformly fair environment for the pursuit of those goals.
When individuals or the corporate entities that ultimately controlled by a group of individuals obtain advantage in the pursuit of economic goals by subverting those rules, we expect them to be caught and
punished for breaking the laws of society.
That is the essence of a just society.
When perpetrators like Steve Cohen are able to subvert the rules and realize massive success in the attainment of wealth, and when that wealth is then used to purchase exception to criminal due process, our expectations are shattered. We begin to perceive that the rules are applied to the general population by the governing class of elected officials, in whom we place out trust to administer the justice herein described, unevenly. For those who have attained sufficient wealth to buy their way out of criminal prosecution, we observe a dual standard application of the rules, which renders the popular opinion of the democratic system “unfair” and “corrupt”.
What this society has become, by definition, is a tyranny, or in the case of a group of rulers who are a minority, and that control the resources and laws of a country, an oligarchy.
The implications in the long term for such a dual standard of justice while at the same time pretending to be a society that applies justice uniformly is, at heart, a betrayal of the American spirit in the most profound way. It was precisely this oligarchy that existed in the form of the monarchy of Britain that the pilgrims of 17th century America sought to escape. The nation’s own constitution is designed to provide the blueprint and mechanism for the prevention of just such a condition as oligarchy.
The failure to convict lawbreakers who are by virtue of their wealth, members of the elite oligarchical class is irrefutable evidence that such an oligarchy prevails, and that the democracy that is portrayed in this country’s media and educational institutions, is in fact, a farce. Worse, when ‘democracy’ is invoked as the legitimate mandate by which oligarchs lay claim to their continuing right to govern, we the people know, beyond doubt, that we are the subjects of an oligarchy that has usurped democratic principles.
These are the conditions, by history’s own lesson, that are the precursors to a revolution and popular uprising. When the only crime is getting caught, and then the crime itself found negotiable, the entire population is highly incentivized to cheat in every endeavour.