The Chauvin Show Trial and the State’s Crisis of Legitimacy

On Tuesday, April 20th, a Minneapolis jury found police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of three counts, including second-degree murder, in the death of George Floyd.  The “trial” had the usual characteristics of a political show trial, including an automatic verdict of guilty, even though we still do not know whether Floyd died from officer Chauvin’s actions or because of Floyd’s combination of heart disease, breathing problems, and ingestion of both fentanyl and meth.  In show trials, the facts don’t matter anyway.

The markers of a show trail include:

  • The President of the United States, Joe Biden, said publicly before the verdict that he was praying for “the right verdict.”  Could anyone doubt what verdict he meant?
  • One defense witness had his former home vandalized, presumably by people who thought he still lived there.  Witness intimidation, anyone?  Hello?
  • The Left openly threatened riots unless the jury caved and voted Chauvin guilty.  In a column in the Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25 Wall Street Journal, Joseph Perkins quoted Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who is black, saying in Minneapolis the weekend before the verdict, “I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty.  And if we don’t. . . we’ve got to stay on the street.  We have to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational.”  Perkins quoted attorney Alan Dershowitz saying Waters’ words were “an attempt to intimidate the jury,” which they certainly were in a city that had already suffered major riots over Floyd’s death.
  • In an editorial on April 21, the WSJ noted that, “Even after the verdict, commentators who applauded the jury gave last year’s riots in American cities the credit for inspiring it.  Not the facts.  Not the law.”  If that doesn’t define a political show trial, Lavrentii Beria took in orphans’ washing.

Blatant show trials are a sign of a regime’s lack of legitimacy, not of its strength.  They show a state is afraid of facts.  Some of the facts those now running the executive and legislative branches of government fear are:

  • Cops react to blacks, especially black men and most of all young black males, the way they do because they have to.  Floyd had already done time for violent crimes.  The black violent crime rate, almost all of which is committed by young black males, is twelve times the white rate.  If cops cannot use force against blacks, they cannot protect other citizens (including innocent blacks, who make up most of the victims of black crime) or themselves. 
  • The Chauvin show trial is part of a broad assault on policing and order by the cultural Marxists.  Cultural Marxism’s goals are purely destructive: they want to bring everything down (“negative dialects,” to use their own term).  Since the state arose to keep order, there is no more effective way to destroy a state than to create massive disorder the state cannot stem.  The cultural Marxists believe a stateless paradise of all play and no work will arise on the ruins, as per Marcuse’s book Eros and Civilization.  What will actually happen is going to be less enjoyable.
  • Thanks to the mindless encouragement to “act out” we see “leaders” white and black give to blacks, the 13% of our population who are black have become 90% of our problems.  That is a perilous situation for the 13%, and it is not likely to end well.  What real leaders need to tell Americans, blacks, whites, and whatever, is that freedom is not some impossible “right” to do whatever you feel like at the moment, i.e., embrace a culture of immediate gratification.  Freedom is the right to substitute self-discipline for imposed discipline.  Those who cannot do the former are not fit for freedom and must live under the latter.  Jim Crow may soon find himself a welcome bird.

Most Americans long ago wrote off both the White House and Congress in terms of legitimacy.  The one remaining element of our tripartite system that has retained legitimacy is the courts.  With demands for political show trials rising and court-packing schemes afoot in Washington, soon that element of our system may also shed its legitimacy.  At that point, all that can keep a state afloat is terror.  Terror will be hard to pull off in America, where states retain substantial leverage against Washington, the population is well armed, and cops are usually conservatives.

The war on cops is not moving us toward “racial justice.”  It is moving us towards anarchy, followed quickly by an authoritarian state.

2 thoughts on “The Chauvin Show Trial and the State’s Crisis of Legitimacy”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *