Just over fifty years ago, when the USA was being torn apart by race riots and other forms of "civil disobedience", Justice Charles E. Whittaker of the United States Supreme Court contributed an article to The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin entitled "The Effects of Planned, Mass Disobedience on Our Laws". These excerpts seem quite à propos as a comment on the post-election "demonstrations" in Portland OR and elsewhere.
Can any thoughtful person reasonably believe that a disorderly society can survive? In all recorded history, none ever has. On the contrary, history shows that every society which became lawless soon succumbed, and that the first evidences of each society's decay appeared in the toleration of disobedience of its laws and the judgments of its courts.
These are ancient and universal lessons. Yet, in recent times, all of us have daily seen and heasrd an ever-increasing number of accounts that show, with unmistakable clarity, the rapid spread of a planned course of lawlessness inour land that threatens seriously to get out of hand -- and, hence, to destroy law and order.
While, of course, all of our crime is not due to any one cause, it can hardly be denied that a large part of our current rash and rapid spread of lawlessness has derived from planned and organized mass disrespect for, and defiance of, the law and the courts, induced by the irresponsible and inflammatory preachments of some self-appointed leaders of minority groups "to obey the good laws, but to violate the bad ones" -- which, of course, simply advocates violation of thelaws they do not like, or, tin other words, the taking of the law into their own hands.
The remedy is as plain as the threat. It is simply to insist that our governments, state and federal, reassume and discharge their "first duty" of protecting the people against the lawless invasions upon their persons and property by the impartial and vigorous enforcement of our criminal laws and by the swift, certain and substantial punishment thereunder of all persons whose conduct violates those laws -- and to do so immediately, and hopefully before planned and organized crime has spread beyond the capacities of our peacekeeping machinery to control and suppress.
These are not platitudes, but are fundamental and vital, as every thinking man should see, to the survival of our civilized and cultured society. In no other way can we orderly resolve the issues that confront and divide us, or live together in peace and harmony as a civilized nation of brothers under the fatherhood of God.