Editor’s note: Chris Hedges is on vacation. His weekly column will return with him later this month.

What happened to the American justice system? While it has always served the needs of some more than — and, it might be argued, at the expense of — others, there has been a shift in recent decades that mirrors similar movements in various realms of American society.

In this episode of “On Contact With Chris Hedges,” the show’s host and Truthdig columnist cuts right to the heart of the issue at hand in classic Hedges style. “Our courts and law schools have become wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state,” he says. “They have abandoned the guiding principles of justice.”

And Hedges doesn’t stop there in his unsparing take (-down): “The judiciary and legal profession serve the needs of the one percent — not the 99%,” he adds. “The rule of law has been inverted; it does not guard against the abuse of power but advances the interests of those with money, power and influence.”

Joining Hedges to bring additional experience and perspective to this critical conversation is legal scholar Edgar S. Cahn, who includes on his resume such qualifications as law professor, former counsel and speechwriter to Robert F. Kennedy and co-founder of the Antioch School of Law. Cahn also doesn’t tarry en route to his thesis statement:

“I think the American legal system has been captured by the same focus on money and billable hours that we see pervading every domain,” Cahn begins, “whether it’s teachers and test scores, whether it’s [megachurches]. … So I see us involved in what I call a ‘Midas monoculture’ — where you live in a monoculture, and a monoculture is very profitable until it collapses.”

Get the picture? Watch it in full below:

–Posted by Kasia Anderson


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