i always love this sort of idea: obama: honduras coup illegal. illegal! these people seem a bit confused about what law is. no doubt, according to the former government, it was illegal to overthrow the former government. but i'm betting the new government has legalized their own coup. but on the other hand, why bother? or maybe it's against international law to overthrow your government? what's the origin of the governments who ratified such a law? at any rate: why not cruel, counter-productive, oppressive, vicious etc? 'illegal' is as weak and irrelevant as it is conceptually confused.
i think eventually people might realize that ivy league law schools of today - which produce our entire leadership class - are more or less like the medieval university of paris or worse: an endless scholastic discourse, based on a series of false or perhaps literally meaningless postulates: infinite refinements, the foundation of which is an incoherent ontology: a gigantic edifice based on absolutely nothing. a noble, touching testament to human perversity and industry, but an idiotic detour into arbitrary incoherent superstition.
i'm saying this seriously and literally. our understanding of law is full-bore theology; our law schools are seminaries; our government is a theocracy. it worships a being it can't even describe coherently, interpreting its will in whatever way serves its actual human purposes. it enthralls and flummoxes you with its esoteric texts and incomprehensible ceremonial mumbo-jumbo. it runs you through a ritual cycle and tests your loyalty. it launches crusades or inquisitions. and it makes no sense.
first, you invent it. then you declare it to be the ultimate external reality and power. and then you spend the next x centuries interpreting its will. a century or two after it's over, people can't even enter far enough into the system to understand how anyone could ever have believed it, or what it means to believe it. one can still read the texts, but one cannot actually know what such people believed; their fantasy world is dead.
there is a story to tell of our law schools and the transition from catholic theology to our theology. aquinas essentially replaced the active, arbitrary intervention of god with the idea of natural law: god's will expressed in the nature of his creatures. the supreme being is manifest in the universe as law: the origin of the modern shift to a scientistic conception.legalistic protestantism and its political theory - in locke, or madison, say - avails itself of these conceptions: one word for it might later be "deism." if obama declares a coup to be "illegal," he is evidently appealing to precisely an aquinas conception.
but it's the commonalities of the kingsdom of god and the rule of law i want to emphasize. "the law" is not a concrete object: it's an abstract or spiritual object. but, amazingly, it has a will and is active in moving around physical objects. "it" rules. like protestantism, its religion is scripture-heavy, and is expressed above all in texts. like catholicism it is an instrument wherewith some people tell other people what to do or articulate their lives, sometimes to good effect, sometimes not.
its will is not capricious, but (supposedly) rational and universally valid, like the "physical laws" of the universe: it's not emotional, like a pagan or jewish-type god. it's an enlightenment god. still, it does not, it cannot exist in an actual universe. we are ruled by human beings, because abstract objects exercise no authority and have no physical effects.