Descent Into The Lawyerclysm
Column written by on Sunday, November 19, 2000
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the lawyers aren't out to get you.
The fallout from the US Election From Hell(tm) has provided the perfect opportunity for the Lawyercrats to seize power and become the Fourth Branch of the US Government. The conspiracy has reached fruition; we've reached Stage 0 of the dreaded Lawyerclysm.
South Florida is ground zero for the greatest calamity to befall mankind since the first law school opened in Europe during the 12th Century. Everybody and their brother in Florida is embroiled in a lawsuit over the election. The elderly are suing over the poorly designed ballots (obviously created by Microsoft user-interface designers). The Republicans are suing to end the re-re-re-re-counts. And the Democrats have airlifted lawyers into the state to sue over everything else.
Trust me, I know. I've been there. I was in South Florida on vacation when the election fiasco started to unravel.
The Humorix strike, after all, was really just an excuse to take a vacation. I don't care about better working conditions, or a heated swimming pool, or unlimited beer privileges. The only reason I walked out was to get some time off.
So there I was, trapped in West Palm Beach, surrounded by disgruntled voters and -- worst of all -- an army of lawyers, politicians, and judges all congregated in one small area. My kingdom for a small nuclear device!
I never left my hotel room. I had a recurring nightmare that I might step outside into the maelstrom, look at a lawyer wrong, and wind up as the loser in a million-dollar lawsuit. I could only look out my window in disbelief as the Election From Hell unfolded. I saw lawyers blame other lawyers for sending in lawyers. I saw ambulances chased by crowds of lawyers, who were filing lawsuits against each other for getting in the way.
It was horrible! This nation is sinking into the quicksand of the Paperwork Age, a postmodern world in which judges issue meta-injuctions against other judges who issue injuctions against lawyers who file lawsuits every 3.2 minutes. It's an age where lawyers design ballots forms and then proceed to argue over how to count them.
The United States has bluescreened. A fatal exception error occured on Election Night, and now all of our unsaved work has been lost.
And it's only going to get worse. We've only reached Stage 0 of the Lawyerclysm; the next 6 stages are still to come. And if you don't live in the United States Of Lawyers, don't look so smug -- the judge's gavel is about to smack the rest of the world just as hard.
Here's what will happen next:
- Stage 1. The courts take power. It all starts when the Florida Supreme Court singlehandedly decides the outcome of the Presidential race, but it doesn't stop there. Soon the Constitution is reinterpreted to exempt lawyers and judges from income taxes. Before long the courts just say "screw this" and decide to rewrite the entire Constitution, thus setting the foundations for the world's first Lawyerocracy -- "A nation, under the appropriate Deity of your choice, by the lawyers, for the lawyers, with liberty and justice for all lawyers. Void where prohibited."
- Stage 2. Other nations around the world become Lawyercratic. Forget about the "Red Menace", the "Black Menace" of Lawyerism descends upon the world like a plague of locusts. France becomes the first victim when the courts usurp power and begin to hand down absurd judgements, such as ruling against doctors for allowing severely disabled children to be born rather than aborted. [Actually, this has already happened. -- The Editor]
- Stage 3. Mandatory legal insurance. Lawsuits multiply at such a fantastic rate that the average person is involved in 23 lawsuits each year. The number of courtrooms and judges increases by 10,000% annually. Before long it becomes impossible to function in society without joining an LMO (Legal Maintenance Organization) and buying legal insurance. The poor are unable to afford insurance, but that doesn't matter, since nobody would want to sue a poor person anyways. Everyone else, however, becomes fair game -- and the typical American will devote 95% of their income for insurance premiums and court costs.
The Universal Bar Association (formerly the American Bar Association) will decree that no person my drive a car, register to vote, or even obtain employment without proof of legal insurance. And only people with law degrees may hold public office. The so-called "Judicial Divide" between the upper class (composed solely of lawyers) and the lower class (everyone else) will widen at an exponential rate.
- Stage 4. Lawyers control every aspect of society. From buying hot coffee to keeping a pet dog, no part of life escapes the attention of lawyers. McDonalds customers must pass a " hot beverage safety course" and sign a waiver before they are allowed to buy hot coffee. People wanting to keep a domesticated pet must petition the court to obtain "custody", and then pay monthly fees to ARMO (Animal Rights Maintenance Organization), a network of lawyers that provide legal representation to all pets at the expense of their owners.
It becomes virtually impossible to go through life without speaking to (and giving money to) at least one lawyer per day. Any dispute must be settled through the courts. For instance, it's illegal to complain directly to your neighbor about their loud music; you must hire a lawyer to fire off a bark letter to the lawyer representing your neighbor. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
- Stage 5. Legal violence replaces physical violence. Lawyercratic countries will replace their military armies with legal armies. The US Department Of Defense becomes the Department Of Litigation, an elite army of attorneys ready to airlift into any foreign nation and bury the opposition under 100 tons of red tape, court filings, and meta-injunctions within minutes. Nuclear weapons are scrapped and replaced by subpoenas. Squadrons of soldiers are replaced by "Dream Teams". Wars are conducted not on battlefields, but in courtrooms. While most forms of physical violence ceases, the ensuing legal violence is far, far worse -- a fleet of lawyers can bring poverty and bankruptcy to billions of innocent civilians within a matter of hours.
- Stage 6. World economy collapses under the weight of overlawyering. Every university in the world becomes a law school, cranking out over 20,000 new law degrees every day. Everybody wants to become an attorney; nobody wants to do anything else. The world economy hits critical mass, and implodes under the weight of the "justice" system. Civilization collapses. The only survivors are a small community of Geeks and non-Lawyers on the island nation of Humorixia, who wisely decided to make the possession of a law degree a crime punishable by deportation.
The United States may never fully recover from the ongoing LawyerBinge. But there's still hope to prevent a Stage 6 Lawyerclysm, but only if we stand tall and prepare for the largest battle between good and evil the world has ever witnessed. The geek paradise of Humorixia is our last bastion of defense against the Lawyercrats, our last glimmer of hope against the Lawyerclysm, our last chance of freedom from the tyranny of injunctions, suits, counter-suits, and meta-suits!
The official Humorixia flag:
The "H" stands for Humorixia, the red symbolizes the blood shed by our enemies, and the greater-than sign reflects our supreme belief that Humorixia is greater than any other nation.
Geeks of the world, unite under the Humorixian battle flag and fight to prevent the New World Order of Lawyercrats! Down with the empire! Linux and freedom forever! We will fight them on the beaches! Humorixia WILL prevail!
Or something like that.
Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.