Star Chambers Ancient and Modern
eventually, they equal injustice
Back in the day, after the end of the English Wars of the Roses, the winner King Henry VII set up a court, the Star Chamber, no later than 1398 to deal with notables — OK powerful nobles — that needed special treatment in the law line. La Wik says:
[The Star Chamber] was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people sufficiently powerful that ordinary courts might hesitate to convict them of their crimes.
Of course, it became a vehicle for the king to punish his enemies. Henry VIII made sure of that. But in the 17th century, what with the Civil War and the middle class and all, the Star Chamber was shut down.
ZMan notes how the treatment of Donald Trump and his supporters brings echoes of the Star Chamber. Back in the day our lefty friends were always warning about “star chambers.” Not any more.
The reason “star chamber” has fallen out of fashion in America is the Left has seized control of the institutions, including the centers of cultural production. They no longer look at the abuse of power as a problem because they have all the power so by definition all uses of power are justified. Note that their objections to the secret courts created after 9/11 were ceremonial and halfhearted.
Note how the star chamber thingy is now upside down. Henry VII needed the Star Chamber to reduce the power of powerful feudal nobles as he got his absolute monarchy in gear. He used the Star Chamber to consolidate his power. Our present ruling class needs its special judicial procedures to prevent the rise of a populist national movement. It is using “star chamber” methods to prevent challenges to its established power.
In my view, Henry VII had a valid reason for his special legal entity. The old feudal nobles that we learned to know and love in Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses plays were powerful people with their own peasant armies and they could and did challenge the king’s power. So they needed a bit of firm handling, for a while.
But, as is the nature of political power, the Star Chamber process got abused. Did it lead to the English Civil War in the 1640s? Who knows?
But the present situation is different. Now we have an established ruling class that is used to having its way and is determined not to allow a new regime supported by the ordinary middle class to replace it.
The Trump 2016 election was an “It Can’t Happen Here” moment for our rulers. It was unthinkable that such a twerp should replace their august and noble rule. That’s what all the current weaponization of the justice system is all about. How Dare Trump challenge the rule of the Best People, the educated people, the evolved people!
But, in my opinion, our liberal friends are making a strategic error. The whole point of politics and, in particular a legal system, is to cool the jets of would-be armed insurrectionists and make them feel they can get a hearing and a redress of their grievances short of civil war.
But our liberal friends are doing everything imaginable to make the Deplorables of our land feel that there is no justice, no respect for people like them. That is because our liberal friends are not that smart. Like pompous aristocrats of old, they experience themselves as born to rule, because.
And that is why I feel that in the end the educated-class regime of our liberal friends will fall apart, despite their best endeavors.
And the only question is the size of the butcher’s bill.
Which is really sad.