Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Bare Bones Republics

Over the past few years I have had some first hand experience of the Guatemalan justice system and this has permitted me to observe a set of fundamental discrepancies which may not be all that easy to solve, because they reflect an increasingly universal deficiency in the practice of Republican government in the Americas.

Judges here like to deliver sermons. If you listen carefully to these you get a sense of the intellectual and moral underpinnings of their worldviews, and in most instances you would be forgiven for concluding that their education largely lies on the foundation of codified law and the Bible.
In other words, almost everything they come out with betrays a lack of what, for want of a better term, we Brits would call a broad ‘classical education’.

Jewish and Christian morality is certainly a key component within the western concept of justice, but it seems to function optimally when tethered to the wisdom of the ancients as well as the contributions of more modern thinkers.

And the very notion of Republican government took hold in this hemisphere in an era when the classics were being actively rediscovered and propagated, most notably up north by the founding fathers of the USA.

Yet nowadays there would seem to be a growing cadre in positions of authority within American republics who rely almost wholly on scriptural perspectives, and I would argue that that is like putting diesel in a petrol car.


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