Why policemen get away with murder

The feudal concept of “political sovereignty” has to be removed from law textbooks

Excerpted from Daniel Clowes’ Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron
The author and activist Roxane Gay lists just a few names of the recently killed.

The Bybee Memos

When the history of this century is written, and future historians marvel at how cruel and barbaric we were as a civilisation, the document par excellence that will be cited evidence of our savagery will be the Bybee Memos.

Carl Schmitt


What remains to be explained, is how law students, particularly in the USA and the UK, end up as unwitting disciples of Carl Schmitt, when they are taught Hart and Dworkin, raised on a diet of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, and ostensibly trained to uphold a rules-based, liberal political order.

“Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force!”

Law students, who fall prey far too easily, for the robes, hammer, memos and other outward trappings of judicial administration, should heed these words with due regard and care. Failure to internalise this wisdom will mean that the streets will burn and no order will be possible. It was America’s justice system that really put a knee on George Floyd’s neck, by authorising the actions of his tormentors, leaving him to choke: “I can’t breathe”.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Neel Dozome

I write about type history and books culture, with a particular interest in graphic novels. Can almost do a hand stand.