“This award will inspire me in future years to bring again the message of civility and decency and progress to all of those who, like you, revere the law,” retired Justice Anthony Kennedy promised today as he received the Henry J. Friendly Medal at the American Law Institute’s annual meeting.
Two summers ago, “it seemed to me appropriate to re-read Plato and Aristotle,” Kennedy related, remarking that “it always irritated me that they gave a low grade to democracy” in their evaluations of different forms of governance. The philosophers held this view, Kennedy explained, “because they thought that democracy did not have the capacity to mature.”
“It is our destiny to prove them wrong,” Kennedy continued; “at the moment, we are not doing that.”
Nor will “we” ever. Democracy is an inherently corrupt and corrupting institution when its mandate is limitless and it empowers the rabble. (Democracy = demos, the mob + kratos, rule.)
Kennedy lives in a fool’s “paradise”, some of which is of his own making. See, for example, “A Nation of Enemies“, “Judging the Justices: The Thomas Standard“, “The Kennedy-Roberts Court in Retrospect“, “The Kennedy Retirement“, “The Kennedy Retirement: Hope Springs Eternal“, “It’s Official: Kennedy Is Now a Member of the Court’s “Liberal” Wing“, and “Anthony Kennedy: Useless Idiot“.