The bourgeois legal system that operates within capitalist societies, is the epitome of class discrimination. It has been developed over hundreds of years by the middle class as a means to consolidate its political power, and to protect its interests and property. Access to this profession is very strictly controlled, and limited to the off-spring of the middle class. The working class is excluded from this profession, and unless working class individuals possess access to ample supplies of money, are also excluded from its legal protection. This is because the legal system, the judiciary and the police have all been historically constructed as a means to ‘protect’ the middle class from the working class. Why would this be necessary? This is because of the disparity of the distribution of wealth throughout feudal and capitalist societies. As the rich will not willingly ‘share’ their wealth, the working class (as individuals or groups) has been continuously agitating for a fairer share of the wealth that they generate for the middle class through their labour. The bourgeois legal system ensures that there can be no recourse to any effective legal action by the working class against the middle class.
This process of ‘inequality’ is held together by the illusion of ‘fairness’. When taken as a whole, the bourgeois legal system appears to be ‘fair’ in principle, when all its checks and balances are considered, but this is a charade. Within the capitalist system, an individual only has access to the legal system through the amount of money that he or she can afford to pay for a legal representative. The legal system has developed a ‘jargon’ all of its own, which ‘excludes’ all those who are not trained in it. Therefore, the judges and legal representatives all conspire to ‘with-hold’ rights from an individual – until it is proven that the individual in question can ‘afford’ the access’ fee. No access fee – no legal rights. Depending upon the cost of the legal representative, the individual requiring legal representation will access his or her rights on an ascending scale, with the least money attracting the least rights, and the most money attracting the most rights. Therefore, the bourgeois legal system only appears ‘fair’ on paper, but certainly is not fair in practice. Those who do not possess the wealth to hire an expensive legal representative, in effect possess no legal rights. This is because their income does not possess the financial power to ‘prove’ (through legal representation) that these rights apply to them.
By way of illustration, a simple example of this disparity will suffice. Let us assume that a poor family in the UK has come under scrutiny by Social Services (a government department that oppresses the very poor and vulnerable it purports to help). This poor family approach a bourgeois lawyer and explain their plight. The lawyer, seeing that there is a case for illegal behaviour on the part of Social Services, suggests that a legal representation can be made, whereby the lawyer will support the family and forcibly represent their legal interests – making clear all the infractions of the rules and procedures perpetuated by Social Services. Furthermore, the lawyer states that as it is difficult to sue a government agency, it would be better to sue individuals working for the Social Services (thus by-passing departmental privilege). The only catch to all this positive assessment is that the lawyer will charge £250 per hour – and will require at least £500 in advance. The poor family explains that they cannot afford the fee. The lawyer, who had previously explained that the Social Services were behaving ‘illegally’, now changes the nature of the legal advise available. The poor family is now advised to ‘acquiesce’ to all the demands of the Social Services, and to adopt a ‘subservient’ position in the face of this illegal activity. As this poor family are not ‘paying’ for legal representation, what was previously interpreted as ‘illegal’ activity on behalf of the Social Services is now re-interpreted as a ‘misunderstood’ or ‘misconstrued’ application of policy. The lawyer is bourgeois as is the Social Services. When poor people are subjected to illegal activity, the bourgeois system supports that criminality, and closes ranks around its own class interests. This is the middle class obsession with capitalism.