WOE TO YOU, LAWYERS! by Fred Rodell
Jesus wished woe upon the lawyers; Shakespeare, in Henry VI, wrote that we should “kill all the lawyers”; the Pilgrims and Puritans made sure to outlaw all lawyers from practicing in the New World for the first hundred years or so of the Colonies’ existence. If you’re like most people, you never knew this history. Go back to your televisions. But if you’re in the minority who knew this shameful history of the legal practice, have you ever seriously stopped to wonder why it lawyers have been so traditionally reviled?
Read this book and you’ll never wonder again; this book will answer all your questions. Written in 1939, author Fred Rodell was a real iconoclast-type who didn’t take very readily to brainwashing, apparently. Rodell attended law school, completed law school, and never practiced law a day in his life. Instead, in writing this little book, he set out to show how and why the entire legal profession is a gigantic fraud. Rodell, who was obviously a gifted writer as well as an incisive thinker, succeeded mightily, and with a witty brevity.
Rodell starts out by successfully comparing the hocus-pocus of today’s lawyers with that of yesteryear’s tribal medicine men and medieval priests: In each case, as Rodell deftly points out, there is a class of elite powerbrokers who parasitize common people and lord over them with sham practices and, especially in the case of lawyers, devious language games. Rodell thoroughly exposes the language of lawyers as being what it is: a deliberate obfuscation of plain truth in order to perpetuate the power of lawyers over regular everyday folk.
Rodell also exposes the entirety of “The Law” as Americans know it as a complete fraud; he concomitantly exposes the entire court process in America as a giant, arbitrary, willy-nilly sham; a sham whose beneficiaries self-servingly and unchangingly sermonize over “justice” and “equality before the law”—but the only unchangeable thing about “The Law,” as Rodell relates, is its ever openness to be bought by the highest bidder, to always be for sale.
Throughout the book, as Rodell exposes the inherent fraud upon fraud, inefficiency upon inefficiency, injustice upon injustice of our American justice system; he continually appeals to common sense, to allowing for common people using common everyday language to solve and avoid their own legal problems, and he shows how easy this would be if it just wasn’t for the lousy meddling lawyers. There’s no arguing with Rodell because he just makes too much sense. Something of special interest here to Bible believers is how often Rodell in his arguments seems to be bumping up against the soundness of Mosaic Law without even realizing it. Rodell never mentions this specifically, and would probably (we’re guessing) have denied any affinity for the old Mosaic Codes; still, that was the impression this reader got from Rodell’s numerous and altogether clever appeals to reason in the face of Babylonian legal asininities.
It is probably not an overstatement to speculate that, if every non-lawyer in America were to get hold of this and read it, the legal profession would be damaged irreparably—even in our present, dumbed-down society. That’s how easy and obvious Rodell makes it. Of course, there’s probably a reason why this book is long out-of-print, too.
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