Though legal culture in the United States calls itself a profession, it is really a for-profit religion having a monopoly on violence to produce one product: you. Its business goal is to tell you what you ought to be and what you ought to be doing to produce a “you” in its image. The secular religion of law uses well marketed false myths to stay in business: 1) the United States was founded upon the rule of law; 2) the rule of law protects the powerless from the powerful; 3) judges are experienced, honest, impartial, and of proven integrity; and 4) there is a difference between law and the ethics and morality of judges.
I will cover each of these myths in separate essays. As I have written elsewhere, in trying to contemplate and write about the general principles that govern such issues as law, it is not my goal to create an idiocracy by oversimplifying the problems of creating a workable social system for adjudicating disputes so as to avoid private violence and internal conflict among individuals or groups that would disrupt the viability of United States society or of any society. However, our modern technological world is so very complicated that it is easy to forget the basic premises of human thought that have made us successful so far in beating the natural world’s will to kill us and wipe our societies from the universe. For example, mathematics is incredibly complicated, yet all of its incredibly convoluted rationally challenging complexity begins with one operation: addition. If you do not understand that 2 + 2 = 4, all of mathematics is worthless farce. To freely operate in a free and open society, one must accept that “freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows” — Orwell’s 1984. Modern legal culture loves generating law libraries of verbiage to hide that 2 + 2 = 4. One of its methods for denying us this freedom is through the false marketing myths that I will be contemplating. To be free in an open society, these myths must be seen as false and rejected. We can then go on to a more subtle contemplation of the nature of the concept of justice in a modern technological society.
The false myths that I intend to contemplate are universal to all legal cultures but are most powerful and thus have the most adverse effects in United States culture because the United States is so powerful and successful. As with all past societies and especially empires, as they achieve more power and greater success, the few who possess most of that power and success start to generate smokescreens that hide the foundation bases upon which the power and success were built resulting in their being ignored and the foundation allowed to crumble thus eventually crumbling down the society and empire built upon them.