"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

SCOTUS Justice Breyer's Fog Machine

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has a new book, ,Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, which he and the traditional media are hawking. A radio talk show played a snippet of a speech given by Justice Breyer, in which he discussed the theses of his new book. According to him, he wrote the book to justify two processes dominating today's Supreme Court of the United States: (1.) We must transcend the original intent of the Constitution because the Founders who wrote it could not possibly have forseen the modern world and its unique problems; and, (2.) SCOTUS decisions must reach out to foreign jurisprudence, even to distant inhabited planets if need be, to embrace the living law.

If you want to know what ails the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Breyer has given you an epistemological dossier worthy of House, M.D. However, to understand this mess and its context, you have to think in terms of basic principles.

Hearing what Justice Breyer said in support of his book convinced me of a few things. What those on the Right cite as condemnable jurisprudence by SCOTUS really miss the true damage that SCOTUS “interpretations” and “decisions” commit. And, let’s get rid of that erroneous notion that we cannot understand the complexity of their legal thinking, unless we, too, are legalistic scholars. Every American can understand the Constitution, and that’s all that is needed. The rest is intentional obfuscation.

There’s really nothing hard to understand here, not in terms of fundamental principles. Justice Breyer gave away the whole store. He never seemed to appreciate what he said on the radio or in his screed. And, alarmingly but typically, the Right missed it all. The Left did not miss any.

People in America, day in and day out, absorb a malignant anti-intellectualism coming from their public education, a.k.a., government schools. Ideas in general are and contextual thinking have been become severely devalued in our culture. Rap and rock are typical examples among many representing this cultural dysfunction. It is not just that people do not think with any context; they are not even curious. Thus the blindness, deafness, and dullness among our American Schmoos allow cultural poison to percolate undetected.

When Justice Breyer indicates that the Constitution has become dated, what is he ignoring? For starters, he ignores the obvious amendment process. However, he meant much more, and that more is really ominous.

The Left have truly invested themselves into epistemological subjectivism, meaning, what is true for you is not necessarily true for me, etc. Variants of this subjective approach to reality and knowledge include these gems: You cannot understand blacks unless you are black; you cannot understand women's issues unless you are a woman; you cannot understand Islam and Muslims unless you are one and know the Koran in the ancient, original Arabic. There is an equivalent statement for each and every pressure group.

What's wrong with this subjectivism? It attempts to overthrown nature and the nature of the human mind. As entities which come from and are part of reality, existence, the universe, the cosmos, or whatever is one's favorite term for the same, humans have a specific identity, as humans. That ought to be obvious. As humans, we have one choice and only one choice with regard to that identity: We must learn it in order to use it because Mother Nature will not let us change it at will. Knowledge and truth are the result of learning anything, including just what Mother Nature has handed us.

One of the first things we learn is that humans are much more alike than different in terms of the basics of their identity as humans. We know that and a lot more because the nature of the human's mind is to form concepts in order to master knowledge about any aspects of reality. If the concept is accurate, it applies to all members of the concept. And, concepts can be learned by other humans about all sorts of things, including races, genders, and, you name it.

Thus, while we may not experience just what some black person does that is unique within his own body, we understand being black, blackness, the black experience, black history, black food, black subculture, black music. How? By means of concepts. Were this not so, there would be no reason whatsoever to seek any form of education at any level.

Until proven inadequate or wrong, concepts stand, essentially forever, if they have been well formed. Thus, the concepts formed about humans, their behaviors, and their institutions across the centuries since humans could write down concepts, remain immutable. A number have been revised as knowledge expands, but when our Founders developed the Constitution, they drew upon centuries of tried and true knowledge as well as the corroboration of their own experiences.

The men who developed the Constitution were thinkers. They wrote the Constitution as an integrated set of concepts and premises. They tied those concepts and premises to the human context: human nature, human institutions, knowledge, and experience; human history and legal history; human failures, foibles, and evils; morality (a concept applicable only to humans); and Aristotelean-based philosophical principles, to mention a few. The Constitution they devised applied AS A SET OF PRINCIPLES to free peoples—then, now, and until human nature changes in some indefinite future (don't hold your breath for this last one).

Justice Breyer does not see and appreciate the function and value of the Constitution—OR, he does not WANT to. He either cannot think or does not want to. None of these is a good alternative. Which apply to him, I do not know for sure. However, there is a big clue. His second belief, expressed in the radio broadcast of his talk, belies the fact that he has an agenda and is working it by means of undercutting the Constitution. The success of selling that agenda depends on the successful selling of conceptual inadequacy of the Constitution, which I hasten to add, it does NOT have.

The Constitution “lives” in the sense that truth endures through all times, and its truths serve us well now, over two centuries after its origination. Knowing truth means using concepts and premises in proper epistemology. What is so impressive is how fundamental and correct the concepts and premises of the Constitution really are, attested to in part by how few times the Constitution has been amended. The Founders wrote concepts and premises for all men for all times, and that is clearly indigestible to Breyer and his ilk.

If you buy the type of epistemological subjectivism that Breyer is selling, you condemn yourself to a nightmare universe. That universe says A is not A, except when it is, and, when it is depends on A being "living." When A lives, it changes all the time according to what groups want or wants from any person or persons.

Truth in this scheme has been torn from its anchors in reality. When your mind accepts this, it has been readied for the next step.

Justice Breyer very obviously is a one-world socialist of the Left, along with the other justices of SCOTUS who are on the Left. The remaining justices are one-world theocrats of the Right. See why we are in so much trouble with SCOTUS?

Europe and the rest of the world, are socialist. To Leftists, Europe is the “paragon of the quintessence.” Its legal, political, and ethical thinking are “progressive,” which most people know by now to mean socialist or communist, as if there is any difference except in minor details. To socialists, we in the USA need to become like Europe, which holds itself as superior in every way. Lefties do not see Europe as having negatives. Importing European legal thinking through SCOTUS decisions furthers one-world socialism.

Justice Breyer is wrong on both his beliefs. If you do not deny yourself seeing the truth, look anywhere in Europe to see if you can find anything objectively superior to America. This is a “no brainer.”

Conceptual inadequacy lies outside the Constitution, particularly in SCOTUS. Bad thinking and working agendas gave us such travesties as the Kelo versus New London decision (private theft of private property as “legal” eminent domain). One after another horrible decisions comes from the Left, the Right, and the so-called “swing vote” justice or justices.

We have endured decades of judicial activism, from a socialist SCOTUS doing everything in its limited intellectual capacity, to end America as a bastion of individualism, freedom, and capitalism. Inadequate presidents have nominated justice after justice to SCOTUS for far too many years of America's history. Few justices have proved capable of preserving and protecting the Constitution. Justice Breyer is one of the least memorable and more incompetent justices.

His book is not worth the money.

The future of the Supreme Court is THE most important domestic concern facing America and Americans for the foreseeable future.


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