Weak Solutions for Government Corruption

Dan Crenshaw (R-Tx), who is on the House “Intelligence Committee” suggested a solution to the problem of a corrupt FBI targeting of Trump and conservatives

When we reauthorise [the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] too we are looking at changes in law that will take place, e.g., when you deliberately do something wrong there needs to be some criminal offence to it as opposed to a fireable offence.

Crenshaw also states that “we need to do a better job vetting these people.” Crenshaw’s solution is the standard one. We must be more careful in vetting FBI agents and must pass more laws to regulate the behaviour of FBI agents. Although more vetting and laws might be needed one should not deceive oneself that this will solve the problem. For the current problem is not that there are not enough rules and laws to prevent corrupt behaviour.

Plato made the key point about trying to solve social problems by passing laws 2400 years ago in his famous Republic, but the same point applies to vetting people. Plato’s central point is that if the people who apply the laws are corrupt then passing more laws will not solve the problem, because these corrupt people will apply the new laws corruptly. The same point applies to passing new rules about vetting future FBI agents. If the people who are applying those new vetting rules have a corrupt anti-conservative bias, they will somehow manage to approve new agents who reflect that bias.

This is obvious, since there were already laws in place that should have prevented that corrupt FBI behaviour to which Crenshaw refers. The Inspector General referred James Comey for prosecution for releasing classified information (to jump start the unwarranted Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Donald Trump). Comey should have known this but he did it anyway. Naturally, the DoJ declined to prosecute Comey. However, both the peasants and Donald Trump, neither being members of the protected incestuous elite class, should think about releasing classified information for they will not be treated so generously.

Similarly, FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to altering an email in connection with the submission of a FISA application to spy on the Trump presidential campaign. The penalty for such an offence is quite serious, a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. However, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said that Clinesmith had already suffered enough and, therefore, being a useful cog in the unaccountable ruling class, was only given probation and a suspension of his law license for one year. Clinesmith is already practicing law again. It pays to be connected.

This illustrates what Plato means in the Republic that in an “ill-governed state” these new rules and laws will “accomplish nothing.” A “corrupt” ruling class will not enforce the new vetting rules or laws, or only enforce them lightly, against their own but will throw the book at their political opponents (700 years in prison for Trump. Really?). The appalling protection of the Bidens by the DoJ makes that clear enough that even the New York Times, which is usually near comatose on corrupt behaviour by Democrats, has begun noticing it.

What then is the solution to the problem of corruption? Plato alludes to this when he has Socrates say that “[the required rules] will result spontaneously from the pursuits we have described.” Plato is here alluding to his “virtue ethics,” the view that the foundation of any moral society is not rules or laws but a virtuous character. Plato spells out his conception of these virtues is considerable detail. In the Republic, the four cardinal virtues are wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. He discusses additional virtues, like piety, elsewhere.

By “the pursuits we have described” Plato means the various activities he describes in his educational system to produce virtuous human being. These involve a rigorous program of gymnastics and training in the art of war to produce strong and courageous people but also a rigorous training in music to moderate the warlike tendency. Although one need not adopt the specific details of Plato’s system today, his general point is that if a society does not develop a foundation of virtue in the population no new rules, laws, theories, or classes to teach morality will solve the social ills. The character of the citizens is more determinative than the rules or laws that bind them. Indeed, the need by a society to pass a raft of new rules to prevent corrupt behaviour is a sign that the society has become unvirtuous. For such new rules and laws are just band-aids pasted over social problems to conceal them. And if one starts with people of good character, one does not need many laws because they will easily discover what they need amongst themselves (Republic, 425d-e).

Plato’s point enables one to see that the fundamental problem with American society today is a problem of moral decadence. Since the 1960s the Left has done everything, it can to infiltrate and destroy American traditions in the family, education, the law, and religion, resulting in the production of a new generation of Americans that are elitist, narcissistic, arrogant, intolerant, and hateful. Although it has often been claimed that conservatives are more intolerant (less “inclusive”) that liberals, research shows that “liberals” are less tolerant, and far more likely to cancel or “unfriend” someone on Facebook or Twitter. But this is just another way of saying that “liberals” are no longer genuinely liberal. Stanford history professor Victor David Hanson points out that “liberals” have become Jacobin (the element in the French Revolution that felt so superior that they initiated a “reign of terror” and beheadings on their countrymen).

Crenshaw’s solutions, more vetting and more rules and laws, will not solve the fundamental problem. It may even make it worse by helping to conceal, for a bit longer, the real problem: the fundamental spiritual or moral decay in American society due to the Left’s war on the family, Christianity, manhood, women and the corruption of traditional educational system. The problem of corruption in American society is due to a moral decline, leniency toward drug use and crime, decline in empathy and rise in narcissism, a sense of entitlement, intolerance towards others, etc., not a problem with the laws on the books. Until this is recognized there is no hope of solving it and restoring the United States to virtue and decency with band-aid solutions.

Image: Public Domain

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