• Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

Does Democratic Socialism Work Any Better Than Totalitarian Socialism? Well

Many people become lawyers because they see injustices in the world and they want to make a difference. Since then, public consensus on the Scopes trial has mostly been shaped by a 1960 film called Inherit the Wind, which is loosely based on the event. However, author Edward Larson has since tried to fill in the gaps in the movie, as well as correct some of its inaccuracies. His book Summer for the Gods is possibly the most detailed account of the trial, including the events that led to it as well as its aftermath. Accordingly, it is broken down into three main sections: “Before,” “During,” “And After.” When writing the book, Larson had at his disposal a vast amount of archival material that no researcher had the privilege of examining before. This advantage is made clear throughout the text-practically on every page-which is filled with details you’d never find with a simple Google search. Larson also takes the dual-position of historian as well as storyteller. In addition to providing copious detail on every aspect of the trial (everything from facial expressions to random observers’ commentary), Larson tries to the story of the Scopes trial in narrative form. When retelling the tale of John Scopes being asked to go to trial, Larson adds in: “A chain smoker, Scopes probably lit a cigarette at this point, if he had not already done so” (p. 89). Additions like these, although minor, make the entire text sound like a story rather than a history textbook, therefore making the book more readable to a wider audience. There are two main forms of contempt – criminal and civil – but the burden of proof for both is to the criminal standard – Dean v Dean 1987 1 FLR 517 CA. The question whether contempt is a criminal contempt does not depend on the nature of the court to which the contempt was displayed; it depends on the nature of the conduct. To burst into a court room and disrupt a civil trial would be a criminal contempt just as much as if the court had been conducting a criminal trial. Conversely, disobedience to a procedural order of a court is not in itself a crime, just because the order was made in the course of criminal proceedings.” – R v ‘Brien 2014 UKSC 23 at 42. As a result of the past, human resources in the justice system are skewed along race and gender lines. Posts in the former TBVC states and the lower posts in the justice system are virtually all held by black people. Senior posts are virtually all held by white people. The legal profession and its governing institutions are dominated by white males. This must be changed. There must be enough black people and women in senior legal posts and in the justice system as a whole. It must be made truly representative of the South African people. Corrective action must be embarked upon in order to ensure that this objective is achieved as speedily as possible.

Capitalism is also a system of government, but an unequal one. It grants political rights based on capital ownership. Its core institution is the firm, which is made up of two classes of investor: capital and labor. In capitalist firms, political rights to govern are held by capital investors only, through the legal vehicle of the corporation. The only citizens that matter in the extractive logic of the capitalist firm are those who own capital — in other words, shareholders. They exercise the power and reap the bulk of the financial returns, while labor investors (i.e., workers) are disenfranchised — and the planet’s resources exhausted. I think Jefferson stated it well with, A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” The responsibility of a true democracy is reliant on a well informed electorate. With the dummying down that is being perpetrated by our educational system totally void of teaching critical thought and the bias that is blatantly perpetrated by the media the “democracy” that is represented by the vote is a non factor in the elections as evidenced in recent history. This brings us to the complexities of the modern organisation of state itself. It is occasionally possible for a small state to have a sense of great identity in language, religion, culture, way of living, economic moorings, racial characteristics and a desire to live together under the banner of a state. But even very small countries do have problems with minorities of various descriptions and, therefore, care is to be taken to ensure that rights are had by all who are members of the body-politic. If even the small states with great cohesion do encounter such problems, nothing need be said about multifarious constituents in larger states where diversities are the order due to historical and contemporary factors. Nevertheless, the story of the past sixty years or so, ever since the founding of the United Nations with all its shortcomings and glories, the mergence of nation-states in large parts of Africa and Asia from the clutches of colonialism and imperialism, the story of the majority of human population to rise from the ashes of the enormous burden of the past in its varying and suppressive legacy of the past, to look forward to a better life, is a pointer to the need for assigning dignified human rights to a democratically functioning state. We have enough evidence to state that such human rights in a democratically embedded state have led to all-round development of the people and an urge towards extending such benefits to every group of human beings with a view to help realize the value of not just an inherited legacy but the norms of material comforts enjoyed by advanced nations.