Always Has Been

In one of his customary well-reasoned comments, Longtime Reader GMC makes this statement (discussing this post):

“If citizens do not have faith that the State will hold up its end of the social contract, they will take matters into their own hands.”

Will, and should.

My only corollary to this is a reminder that in answer to all those who wail about people “taking the law into their own hands” (not the same as the above, but parallel to it), we have to note that the law has never left our hands.  The law is not the sole preserve of lawyers and judges, but of the People in general (a point that GMC likewise addresses in his comment about jury nullification).  Likewise, the enforcement of the law is deputized by the People to agents of the State — and if said agents are incapable of or unwilling to perform that responsibility, the the People have not only a right but a duty to take the enforcement back into their own hands.

The law belongs to us, We The People, not to all its priests and Sanhedrin, and even less so to its enforcers — despite all their delusions to the contrary.