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IPFS News Link • Whistleblowers

Julian Assange & the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate

• https://bretigne.typepad.com, By unknown

 It is akin to the principle underlying the US Declaration of Indepencence, and can be summed up as follows: 

When those in high authority command that those beneath them enforce laws that are immoral or unjust, those authorities beneath them have a duty to refuse to enforce those laws, and if necessary to actively resist them.

What the world needs now is a hell of a lot more "lesser magistrates" who understand this. Looking around, it seems that the prevailing ethic is one of obedience to authority no matter what. As if the entirity of the Twentieth Century never happened. Or as if none of us learned a damned thing from it.

People who will uphold this principle are so badly needed in so many places right now, on so many issues. I've written elsewhere about how some are starting to realize the need for active resistance against immoral laws, but it is mind-blowing to me that we haven't seen any "lesser magistrates" step up in the case of Julian Assange.

If there were ever a case where arbitrary power were being used against someone simply to protect the interests of those in power, and not to uphold anything resembling justice or legitimate law, this is it. There is nothing remotely legitimate about the imprisonment (and likely torture, by any humane standard) of Julian Assange. Yet everyone involved, from the prison wardens and guards on up, just goes along with it. As if they have no choice.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Martin
Entered on:

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ? Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

Comment by Ed Martin
Entered on:

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?...

Comment by Ed Martin
Entered on:

"Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." ~ Michael Rivero



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