“Justice” By Denunciation

Individual Justice vs Social Justice
Arrest of (and shooting) Robespierre
The Denunciation — the public accusation of illegal or immoral behavior is a defining characteristic of totalitarian regimes, that can be used to pit various groups  against each other (“Identity Politics” [1]), with specific individuals being subjected to repression and even death without meaningful due process.

“Historians examining the practice of denunciation have investigated contemporary debates over calumny and the limits of free speech, the de-individualization of the object of attack, and the impact of the period’s obsession with transparency on the conceptualization of the denounced individual. ” [2]

The technique of publicly accusing various persons as “enemies” of the people-regime-revolution was widely used throughout history. From the forced suicide of Socrates, through the death of Robespierre in Revolutionary France the practice grew to be a major feature of Nazi and Soviet “justice” leading to the deaths of millions. “…the Gestapo relied extensively on the use of denunciations from among the local German populace…” [3]

While the technique was used by the “democratic” totalitarianism of ancient Athens and the military dictatorship of the Roman Empire, as well as a being proven weapon of terror during the Inquisition and Salem Witch Trials, it was Revolutionary France where a modern regime was founded on what was called “The Terror” —

“Denunciation is the mother of all virtues, just as surveillance is the most reliable guarantee of the people’s happiness and liberty.” — Félix Le Peletier, Jacobin revolutionary [4]

“In Nazi Germany, Jews and communists were denounced by their neighbors, relatives, and associates. Stalin had “enemies of the people” arrested in the middle of the night and dragged off to gulags.” [5]

But that was then and this is now.  The Nazi regime ended in the burning ruins of Berlin nearly three-quarters of a century ago. The Soviet Union, then this planet’s largest state, happily collapsed under the weight of its own socialist failures a quarter century ago.  And Salem was a long, long time ago.

What concerns me here is the way the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court has taken on many of the trappings of “justice” by Denunciation.  I was particularly disturbed by some of the questions President Trump responded to at his United Nations press conference on 26 September 2018.  The gist of the questioning was how could the President question the accusations against Kavanaugh as now three women have claimed he was involved in sexual assault some three decades ago.

At least two of the incidents occurring when he was a minor, and thus subject to the sealing of the record, had he been accused at that time.  The third denouncer  confessed that she, an adult at the time, was present at some ten drunken parties where teenage boys and girls were having  not-necessarily consensual sex, fueled by drugs and alcohol. She waited decades to point the finger and announce “J’accuse…”

The collectivist idea that the formal, due process guilt or innocence of a particular individual does not matter, but what matters is the political effect of the denunciation and extermination of “enemies” of the regime is an idea that is foreign to modern American jurisprudence.

After all, even the Nazi war criminals were afforded formal trials by the International War Crimes Court at Nuremberg, and, at the later “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, conducted by the United States, basic due process continued to be provided.

Have we come to the point where due process can be ignored when the Senate “advises and consents” to major Federal appointments?

Are Denunciations now the rule? If enough people claim prior misconduct, without due process proof, is that sufficient for the Senate to make the political decision to reject the nominee? Indeed, in an America of “Identity Politics” must the Senate reject any appointment where the self-proclaimed guardians of political correctness, the deep state corporate media and the “Social Justice” crowd so demand?

These are serious questions for the future of Federal power and need to be considered seriously. How we treat these issues will reverberate for decades to come. The demands of Justice versus the denunciations of the “Social Justice” crowd may play out either to the detriment of freedom unless we demand strict adherence to due process. 

Let it be understood that I do not know the truth of the accusations. Further, for reasons involving his decisions about Federal power, I am not a particular fan of Judge Kavanaugh [7], nonetheless, we must all be concerned that the “Trial by Denunciation” currently in political play does not become the new norm for American justice.

———————–

[1] http://vitaminlawyerhealthfreedom.blogspot.com/2018/04/identity-politics-superstition-that.html

[2] https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/doi/10.7916/D86H4G5M

[3] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gestapo

[4] https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/43075

[5] Ibid.

[6] The Witchcraft Trials records are filled with denunciations.  http://www.congregationallibrary.org/nehh/series3/SalemWitchcraftTrials

[7] The Judge is a strong supporter of the permanent war state and sees almost no role for the Judiciary in controlling the “counter-terrorism” activities of the Executive, activities which include the use of Denunciation, and even torture.  See: http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/08/judge-kavanaughs-record-in-national-security-cases/

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