Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sovereign Immunity Source: Toxins of Power?

One of the primary antitoxins to the toxins of power is accountability.

That is no surprise.

But what may be a surprise to a lot of people is how the toxins of power promulgate through a political system to eventually transform that political system until it reaches the maximum intoxication level.

How that intoxicated political system then morphs further to become the "perfect" authoritarian state may also seem a bit surprising to many:
... research reveals that authoritarian followers drive through life under the influence of impaired thinking a lot more than most people do, exhibiting sloppy reasoning, highly compartmentalized beliefs, double standards, hypocrisy, self-blindness, a profound ethnocentrism, and--to top it all off--a ferocious dogmatism that makes it unlikely anyone could ever change their minds with evidence or logic. These seven deadly shortfalls of authoritarian thinking eminently qualify them to follow a would-be dictator. As Hitler is reported to have said, “What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.”
(The Authoritarians, page 81, PDF). Authoritarian followers are those who believe that "the king can do no wrong" making them asymptomatic carriers of the toxins of power:
The Government presents an impressive array of theories which would preclude it from any liability ... we ... hold that the Government should escape unscathed ... It is often said that the doctrine of sovereign immunity is a derivative of the common law maxim "The King can do no wrong." But conceptually it is far older. Zeus himself carried an aegis or breastplate, a buckler, and a thunderbolt which made him, the mythological sovereign, immune from all that could beset him. And common law provided its sovereign with the immunity of Zeus ... The tide of history is running clearly against the concept of sovereign immunity. The disfavor into which the doctrine has fallen was observed as far back as ... 1939 ... [and] this Court pointed out that the assault upon the citadel of immunity continues presently apace.
(The Battle of Immunities And Diseases). It really is no secret that the judicial system of the USA became infected with the toxins of power early on:
During that legendary era when royal fictions were being conceived and cherished, it is said that a court favorite returning from afar brought home to his Queen a highly decorative undergarment for the royal legs. Details leaked to the peasants, and the incident became the object of much idle speculation and some embellishment. Suspecting that the Queen's carefully concealed legs had become the table topic of the realm, the court one day officially decreed: "The Queen has no legs". So was another royal fiction born. Thanks to what might loosely be called keen judicial notice, this one was never a part of the common law. Even in American legal circles it has been generally conceded that the anatomy of a female sovereign differs neither in form nor substance from the standard of a reasonable woman. But other fictions of the resourceful and imaginative European courts have proved hardier, and some, like "the King can do no wrong", survived transplanting to a completely foreign political climate to thrive as conspicuous anachronisms. The royal fiction of sovereign immunity has long been the despair of American legal writers. Legislatively, piecemeal attacks on it date from the mid-nineteenth century. But the doctrine has been jealously guarded in the courts, statutes purporting to waive immunity have been strictly construed, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed sovereign immunity in tort claims. Against this backdrop, pressures for a federal statute ameliorating the harsh immunity doctrines being pursued in federal courts mounted steadily in the early decades of the twentieth century.
(Twilight Zone of Federal Tort, page one, emphasis added). That "transplanting to a completely foreign political climate to thrive" was only possible because the authoritarian followers whose cognitive abilities have been infected by the massive propaganda engine hidden in their midst, "let it be".

They became the foreigners their forefathers had left behind in England because the toxins of power never sleep nor slumber.

Now we wonder "Is The Empress Taking Off Her Clothes" ("the Queen has no legs"?), is the Queen "The Virgin MOMCOM", or is "The Empire Strikes Back" the rule of law now?

All of which is to say "how deep and wide is the infection" of the toxins of power in the USA now?

If a very recent decision of the Supreme Court is any indication, the infection is very deep indeed.

A man was falsely convicted when the prosecutor had the evidence to prove he was innocent. He faced the death sentence seven times over 18 years.

Someone discovered the evidence, he was freed, and a jury awarded him $14 million.

The Five Supremes said the king can do no wrong if it is the first time.