Term Paper: Law and Justice

Pages: 4 (1410 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] "We have strict statutes and most biting laws. / The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds, / Which for this nineteen years we have let slip;/Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave, / That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers, / Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch, / Only to stick it in their children's sight/For terror, not to use, in time the rod/Becomes more mock'd than fear'd;" (1.3) Angelo throws two betrothed individuals into prison, one of whom is nearly about to give birth.

The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels similarly confronts a bad system that of the capitalist excesses of the 19th century, then unfettered by laws limiting how long workers could labor, or child labor. Marx and Engels called upon the reader, the member of the working proletariat, to respond to the text out of the outrage of his or her unjust experiences within the capitalist systems. The system must be changed, these authors counsel the reader. However, even these supreme advocates of systemic rather than personal and psychological change, must call forth within the reader a sense of sustained emotional outrage within his or her breast, without which no change would be possible. "All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the laborer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it." (Chapter 2) The bourgeois do not simply dwell in a corrupt system. The members of the bourgeois themselves are evil individuals whom are corrupt. "Our bourgeois, not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives. (Ah, those were the days!)" (Chapter 2) The system, according to Marx and Engels, as it exists, politically and economically is evil and unjust, but not simply because of the abuses of the system, but because those who created the system are psychologically and personally immoral even in their sexual conduct.

Casablanca" although a famously witty, Romantic Hollywood film of the Golden era of studio productions similarly argues in its narrative structure against perhaps the most evil system ever created by human beings, that of Nazi Germany. Although technically Vichy France was not under Nazi occupation, the immoral nature of Louis, who simply wishes to enjoy himself, are fully penetrated at the onset of the film as he "rounds up the usual suspects." A visa system exists within this French province to enable individuals to leave, however the enforcement of this supposedly fair system is so immoral by those who machinate the system, again, the stated code means nothing when it is in the hands of bad men. Only Rick, who cannot return even to his home country, who lacks an identity, any legal claim upon anything tangible, is the truly moral individual in this society, who understand romantic impulses mean nothing but " a hill of beans" in a world falling apart. Victor as well, depicted by Paul Henreid, although a fugitive and a non-person because of his advocacy of resistance to tyranny, is also shown to be a good man, necessary to the world's struggle against evil, even though the laws of the world presently call his fight evil.

Thus, what matters within all of these texts is not the nature of the system, which can be good or bad -- it is if the system's advocates either zealously enforce evil, like Angelo, or stand for justice like Renko. This may sometimes require one to overthrow or fight the system like the member of the proletariat Marx and Engels addressees or Rick. But such a fight against the justice system, if bad men enforce the system, may be necessary. Good laws regarding visas or economic freedom mean nothing if laxly or corruptly enforced.

Works Cited

Casablanca." Dir. Michael Curtiz. Perf. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Claude Raines. 1943.

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Signet

Classic, 1998.

Shakespeare, William. "Measure for Measure." Eds. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul… [END OF PREVIEW]

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