Yesterday, a Federal Judge dismissed charges against Cliven Bundy, "with prejudice" - meaning that the Department of Justice cannot refile the charges. It seems that the prosecutors in the case hid evidence of governmental wrongdoing from Bundy's lawyers.
In a word, tyranny. And to the Court's credit, tyranny that the Court ruled will not stand. Perhaps there is hope for this Republic yet. As Adam Smith wrote, there's a lot of ruin in a country.
Here is the story of the tyranny, from a post four years ago. The wheels of Justice grind slowly.
The Bureau of Land Management's Bastille
|Image via La Wik|
And by "restive" I mean that mobs were spontaneously forming. The most important of these was the mob that stormed and sacked the notorious Bastille prison on July 14. The Bastille had an evil reputation and was seen by essentially everyone - educated and uneducated alike - as a symbol of a despotic and tyrannical government. And so the mob broke the doors down and sacked it. They paraded the head of its commander on a pike through the streets.
|Image via La Wik|
We have just see the US Government's Bureau of Land Management go through an experience similar to Louis XVI. What was essentially a mob driven by a long-building sense of grievance stared down the King's Men in Nevada.
A number of people have rightly pointed out that Mr. Bundy is no Saint, and that legally he doesn't have a leg to stand on. That's quite true. It also isn't the point that is driving events.
What is driving events is something that would have been well understood by M. Linguet. Mobs do not spontaneously form out of nothing, and the spark that lights the fire may have very little to do with reality. His memoir was essentially a work of fiction; it was enormously influential nonetheless because the Government then had laid the groundwork building widespread resentment.
As has ours in this day.
All that remains of the Bastille is the key to its main gates, currently hanging on display at Mt. Vernon (it was a gift to George Washington from the Marquis de Lafayette). That's all that's left of a feared symbol of Royal power - that and an annual national holiday in France.
Our Government has no idea what they have awakened, any more than Louis XVI had. So far, it has played out without blood flowing in the streets. I am pessimistic that this will continue for long.