The Banality of Leninism

If there is one article you read today, it has to be The Banality of Leninism by Bryan Caplan. In one stroke, it captures the essence of the ruler-ruled mentality we have with politicians, bureaucrats and policemen feeling that they have the right to disobey any law because they are above it. The quotation from Crime and Punishment feels like it was written today:

“In his article all men are divided into ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary.’ Ordinary men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law, because, don’t you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men have a right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way, just because they are extraordinary. That was your idea, if I am not mistaken?”…

Indeed Raskolnikov, the character whose idea is expressed here, goes beyond giving the extraordinary men the right to transgress the law. Enough to say that it is that person’s duty to transgress the law if he sees it necessary to express himself. Wonderful.

If we are to have a society of people with a sense of entitlement and people without, why not codify that into law. After all, when was the last time you heard of a powerful politician brought down through the action of law (police, courts) without the intervention of the media or the laity?

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