Exposing Judicial Postmodernism from a Voluntaryist Perspective
PMJMP is an educational organization.
Our purpose is entirely educational. We create and publish depictions of life after family breakups, including the realities of the justice system. Our content is intended to inform the public so that they may survive and even prosper after a trauma that has claimed far too many lives to suicide already.
PMJMP is non-partisan.
We do not endorse or oppose any political candidate or public policy.
What is Post Modern Justice?
My name is Alexander C. Baker, J.D. My friends call me Alex. I hold a Juris Doctorate, and I also have a significant amount of real-world experience litigating matters in Civil, Family, Child Welfare and Probate Court. This qualifies me as a legal expert. In my expert opinion, the American court system was never intended to achieve justice, as that term was once commonly understood. Rather, the "justice" system was designed to accomplish three goals, in order of importance: (1) to expand the state; (2) to transfer wealth to state actors; and (3) to destroy families (thus facilitating 1 and 2).
Our organization is called "Post Modern Justice Media Project" ("PMJMP"). Our goal is to educate the public about the realities of an American court system that is so thoroughly corrupt that it can best be described as organized crime. While the entire "justice" system - civil and criminal - is highly problematic, we are especially concerned about the financial and emotional devastation routinely imposed upon innocent people unfortunate enough to find themselves trapped in the Family Law, Juvenile or Probate Courts.
But why the term "postmodern" ?
"Postmodernism" is the name given to a branch of philosophy (actually, anti-philosophy) characterized by identitarianism and its endless questioning of truth and reality as such. Now widely accepted across academia, the postmodern view holds that there is no objective truth - about anything. There is no objective reality. Instead, there are only competing historical narratives that have been socially constructed for strategic purposes in a never-ending power struggle between various dominant oppressor groups and their helpless victims.
Rich oppress poor. Whites oppress blacks. Men oppress women. Straights oppress gays who oppress queer who oppress trans who oppress non-binary. In this sense, postmodernism is identical to Marxism.
Unlike postmodernists however, old-school Marxists believed that a purely scientific approach could be undertaken to manage a national economy for the benefit of all. Ludwig von Mises destroyed this notion by presenting the Calculation Problem, which demonstrates that because the factors of production are not traded on the market, there are no meaningful prices, and so even the most rudimentary economic calculations regarding profit and loss become impossible. Mises' theory was subsequently confirmed empirically in the Soviet Union, North Korea, and elsewhere.
So, by the 1960s, socialists needed a new "philosophy" to support their totalitarian ambitions. Enter Jacque Derrida and the other French intellectuals who pioneered postmodernism. If we can't rely on truth and reason to get what we want, they thought, we'll just do away with those outmoded concepts altogether. And so they did.
To a postmodern there is no such thing as "the" truth. You have "your" truth, but I have "my" truth, and they have "their" truth. Nobody has any greater claim on truth than anybody else. Any effort to make such a claim is a form of oppression.
The astute libertarian might take an approach similar to Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Argumentation Ethic, by asking this of postmoderns: Isn't postmodernism itself just another truth claim, subject to dismissal as a subjective historical narrative? In that light, postmodernism would seem to be self-refuting, but I digress.
"Post Modern Justice" is a stylized and branded icon for our organization, and which name is meant to contain a reference to and implied critique of the evident manifestation of postmodernism into the so-called "justice" system. "Law" once embodied a set of moral and ethical principles to guide us on the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior in society. What we now call the Common Law was a grass roots phenomenon in medieval England that arrived at a moral and ethical code not too different from the Ten Commandments, or the "golden rule", or from libertarianism's Non-Agression Axiom: It is wrong to initiate force or fraud.
"Law" was once understood as being a set of rules which, if obeyed consistently, would produce a peaceful and prosperous society. And, when disputes between people arise (as they inevitably do), then the law could be applied to achieve a morally and ethically sound resolution to the dispute. The resolution was given the name "justice".
Under this original view, one could speak of the law, just as one could speak of the truth. The truth and the law were closely related. Indeed, witnesses in a legal proceeding are sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I wonder how much longer it will be before witness are sworn to tell their "own personal truth". Perhaps witnesses should solemnly swear to "share their feelings"?
While the Anglo-American legal system can never have been said to comport with a truly libertarian ethic, today, no moral or ethical principles of any kind remain in the legal system. Principles have been replaced by rules. Endless rules. Hundreds of thousands of pages of statutes, case law, rules of civil procedure, rules of criminal procedure, rules of court, rules of evidence, local rules, administrative rules, restatements of the rules, and so on, before you ever get to Orders, which are issued under the rules, but also function as rules.
There are exceptions to every rule, and in many instances, exceptions to the exceptions. Far from a resource to resolve conflict, the "law" on the books is designed to be arguable. The longer and more protracted the litigation, the more wealth that is extracted and the more psychological trauma that is inflicted.
In fact, future attorneys are trained in law school to "argue both sides", i.e. to become highly-skilled at fashioning competing and mutually exclusive legal arguments from one set of facts. This is the opposite of what I once conceived the law to be. In addition to such vagueness and argue-ability of the "law", on many issues the "law" explicitly grants judges wide "discretion". "Discretion" is code for "the judge can just make up a law on the spot".
In any type of legal proceeding, both the law and the facts can be disputed. In some cases, where the facts are not in dispute, the matter may be adjudicated purely as a matter of law. Under a proper concept of "law", such purely legal cases are relatively rare, because a law based in moral principles is easy for the layperson to understand. It is unlikely that people who agree on the facts would often disagree about an interpretation of the law.
Under the common law legal system we inherited from England, juries - not judges - were supposed to decide cases. But the trying of the law comes first, and under postmodern "law", a judge can decide any procedural issue for either side, regardless of the facts (assuming for the moment that there are such things as "facts"). Thus, it is an easy matter for any judge to decide and dispense with any case before it ever reaches a jury. Despite the U.S. Constitution promising the right to a jury trial in civil matters, less than 1% of cases ever make it to a jury.
Worse, in some of the most important areas of the law, like Family, Child Welfare and Probate Law, jury trials have been completely done away with, replaced by a "bench trial". In true postmodern fashion, the judge in a "bench trial" becomes both judge and jury, not only ruling on (i.e. making up) the "law", but just in case the judge can't think of a way to pervert the "law" to achieve a desired result, also making all the necessary "findings of fact". Since objective truth does not exist, the postmodern judge feels perfectly justified in declaring his or her (or zher or their) preferred narrative on the situation, regardless of the evidence or testimony or the consequences or any other such mundane distractions.
I can faithfully report to you that in today's postmodern courtroom, judges routinely accept obvious and provable lies as "facts", apply those "facts" to the subjective discretionary ambiguities now passing for the "law", then make whatever "order" or "ruling" they want, for whatever reason or for no reason. This is standard procedure in every courthouse in America. I challenge any attorney or judge or anyone who has every been party to any case to dispute this.
Today's postmodern "law" and "facts" mean whatever any judge says they mean. Two judges can apply the same "law" to similar "facts" and arrive at opposite conclusions. The same one judge can apply the "law" differently from one case to the next. Judges advance utterly fictitious narratives favoring one side, while disallowing any testimony at all from the other side, all with no responsibility.
Postmodern lawyers and judges have now deconstructed law and facts and rendered the terms meaningless, in the same way the postmodern philosophers and professors have deconstructed truth and reality and rendered it meaningless.
I'm not exaggerating, not even a little, when I say:
A judge in any case can decide any issue for anybody regardless of anything.
In other words, there is no law. There is no justice. You have no rights. Long ago redefined, "Law", "justice" and "rights" are simply the names given to what the State does to people in court buildings.
Post Modern Justice is what happens in Court. Enter at your own risk. Leave if you can figure out how.
July 11, 2020
Alexander C. Baker, J.D.
President, Post Modern Justice Media Project