Professor David Ellerman wrote some things that really, really impressed me and I want to summarize some of what he's saying that is relative to me. Starting with the Following Table, which expresses the truth table of what constitutes justice and injustice:
In talking about slavery, Ellerman points out how slaves were held legally liable as persons for their individual acts, even if coerced, while were denied personhood in all the ways that a human deserves to be treated as a human. When seeking freedom or rights they were not persons. When they violated any law, they were suddenly persons. Slaves were in a Catch 22 situation.
The Catch 22 of Unjust Legal Systems
In the book "Catch 22", Joseph Heller, built his story around a plausible provision in the General Orders for the Air Force stationed in Southern Italy and bombing the Germans from there. This provision was known as the "Catch 22".
- “by applying for exemption from highly dangerous bombing missions on the grounds of insanity, the applicant proved himself to be sane”
Joseph Heller was setting up a situation where the insanity of war was no bar to being sent out on bombing runs. He went on the book to describe a whole series of "Catch 22" situations that soldiers were put into while fighting in Europe.
The Truth Table of Catch 22 Situations
The term has become a regular expression in modern English. A Catch 22, generally, is any provision of law or policy that sets up no-win situation for those trying to comply with them. No win Situations are by definition unjust.
Any Law is only just when the person who is held responsible is actually in fact responsible. Catch 22's are by definition unjust and therefore an instrument of oppression and repression. That ought to be tautological, but in our corrupted times, both type one and type two injustice are common, sometimes due to failures in the discovery process for seeking the truth, but also because modern governments employ oppressive and/or Fraudulent legal theories.
If a decision is coerced, the claim that it is truly consensual is a fraud
David explains the table as:
“analogous to Type I and Type II error in statistics”
But it really is also a logical truth table. Injustice is also illogical. Sophisticated arguments may give the arguments a patina of truthiness, but sophism is merely an ancient greek word for making a con. If a person is blackmailed into doing something, only a sophist of a lawyer would insist that his decision was not coerced or was truly consensual.
Ellerson Notes that:
“Historically, the sophisticated arguments for slavery and autocratic government were consent-based in terms of implicit or explicit contracts. And the legalized oppression of married women was based on the coverture marriage contract.” [Ellerson-Case]
Natural Rights Arguments on behalf of Genuine Liberty
Moderns forget that the cases against Abolition of Slavery, worker rights, even women's rights, all were framed on the argument that somehow those forms of oppression were actually (despite the facts) oppressive.
“the critiques developed in the abolitionist, democratic, and feminist movements were not simply arguments for consent as opposed to coercion, but arguments against certain voluntary contracts, e.g., in the form of inalienable rights arguments.”
Legal Fiction of Consent = Fraud
These inalienable rights arguments focus on the fact that labor cannot be divorced from either personhood or capital. The abolitionists argued successfully that labor cannot be alienated from personhood but is inseparable from it. Thus Alienating a persons labor from his personhood degrades the person and is oppression, infringing on the very basic rights of the persons enslaved. Moreover, this is true even if the person agreed to the sale. The basis of that argument starts with recognizing the fraud of catch 22s, no-win contracts and of holding innocent parties guilty where they are not and guilty parties innocent were they are in fact guilty.
The Fraud continues
As illustrated by the spread of terms like "newspeak", "catch 22" and modern legal frauds, the job of the enlightenment isn't over. After Racist Permanent Bondage slavery was abolished. Other legal frauds were invented to justify "renting labor" wage slavery and other forms of legalized theft, oppression and injustice. All of which start with "legal fictions" which are in fact legalized Frauds. To stop such frauds from propagating we need lawyers and politicians to understand and adamantly argue that they are frauds. They've had, some of them, hundreds of years of normalization so they've gone from outright lies, to myths that are actually lies.
I have a lot more to say, but for the sake of clarity I cut this post down to a shorter version. And am writing out the case in separate posts.
The Type I and Type II Frauds of Corporate Personhood
Corporate Personhood legalizes both type I injustice by shifting fictional liability from guilty parties to a fictional entity, the Corporation, and type II injustice by (usually) letting the corporation get a criminal law pass when the people within a corporation kill, defraud or commit felonies. As Ellerman says:
“In the case at hand, both errors occur. The factually responsible party or association, the people working within a firm, do not get the legal responsibility for the whole product (the Type I injustice with X = whole product), and the party or association that does get the legal responsibility, such as the corporate shareholders in the employing corporation, do not have the factual responsibility (the Type II injustice with X = whole product). ”
By reviewing the arguments of the Abolitionists and pre-Marxist activists we can correct the mistakes of 150 years of sophism and neo-liberal arguments.
To Read Professor David Ellerman's draft paper: