The Quest for Cosmic Justice

This book takes a look at what the author calls Cosmic Justice. He explains cosmic justice as the search for a totally level playing field in life. This means that if a person is not as smart as some professionals and therefore cannot get as good a job as those professionals, there must be a remedy of some kind. Unfortunately this often means that those who have the better job or 'advantage' are 'hurt' in order to make the playing field fair for those who were underprivileged.

Here are some quotes from the book:

In the United States, for example, many of the social problems of the contemporary black underclass are almost automatically attributed to "a legacy of slavery." The prevalence of fatherless families in the black ghettos, for example, has been widely explained by the lack of legally constituted families under slavery. But if one proceeds beyond plausibility and guilt to actually seek out the facts, an entirely different picture emerges.

A hundred years ago, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, the rate of marriage in the black population of the United States was slightly higher than that of the white population. Most black children were raised in two-parent families, even during the era of slavery, and for generations thereafter. the catastrophic decline of the black nuclear family began, like so many other social catastrophes in the United States, during the decade of the 1960s. Prior to the 1960s, the difference in marriage rates between black and white males was never as great as 5 percentage points. Yet, today, that difference is greater than 20 percentage points - and widening, even though the nuclear family is also beginning to decline among while Americans. (page 16)

No small part of the American criminal justice system since the 1960s, accompanied by skyrocketing rates of violent crime, resulted from the attempts to seek cosmic justice in the courtrooms. In a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the early 1960s, various restrictions were placed on the police in their arrest and interrogation of suspects in criminal cases, and in the search of their property. The rationales for these restrictions included the claim - undoubtedly true - that inexperienced and amateurish criminals, ignorant of the law, were more likely to make admissions that would later prove to be fatally damaging to their own legal defense, while sophisticated professional criminals and members of organized crime syndicates were far less likely to trap themselves in this way.

Clearly this is an injustice from some cosmic perspective - and correcting this inequity among criminals was explicitly the perspective of the Attorney General of the United States and of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at that time. However, as in other instances of the quest for cosmic justice, the costs to third parties were largely disregarded, pretended not to exist, or dismissed with some such lofty phrase as "That is the price we pay for freedom." Presumably, the United States was not free until the 1960s. (page 19)

Schemes to extend federal power into the nooks and crannies of local and even private activities are never publicly advertised as expansions of federal power, much less erosions of the Tenth Amendment, but always in terms of the wonderful goals the are said to achieve - "universal health care," "investing in our children's futures," "insuring a level playing field for all," etc. As many have warned in the past, freedom is unlikely to be lost all at once and openly. It is far more likely to be eroded away, bit by bit, amid glittering promises and expressions of noble ideals. Thus hard-earned freedoms of which many have fought and died have now been bought and sold for words or money, or both. (page 185)

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