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That contemptuous phrase “the whims of man” applies well to autocratic societies in which, indeed, the whims of one man control a great swath of humanity, but with those, one knows the methods: to those who humiliate themselves before their regimes: bribery, nepotism, and patronage: i.e., those get fed like dogs; to those who threaten such regimes: blackmail, intimidation, murder.

In contemporary realpolitik, the path ends with the suffocation of the constituent humanity or the overthrow of the regime.

Syria’s a good case in point today: I cannot figure out on whose side God has appeared. From the survey of that unfolding tragedy, He would seem altogether absent.

One more thing: the struggle for truly just systems of law beneficial, invested in, and trusted by all has not come about through whim.

The struggle for decency in human relationships by way of ethical and moral argument that finds expression through the law has a millennial existence, one that would seem to have its roots in the depths of tragedies, small and large, attending the human experience across oceanic time.

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