Force rules everything around us
Matthew Harwood

Lawyers are the agents of internal security; police are the Army.

Herbert Marcuse, long out of fashion, asserted that the United States and the Soviet Union were just different forms of the same style of government. That made me wonder about how the Soviet Union and US did have the same form.

Both the US and the Soviet Union had three branches of government. The US has the legislative branch, the executive and the judiciary. The Soviet Union had the Communist Party, the Military and the State Security, at that time named the KGB.

Although KGB is an acronym for Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti which translates as Committee for State Security, the KGB described itself as the “Shield of the Party.”

Shield from what?

Shield from the military. Shield from the executive.

The three parts of the government of the Soviet Union correspond to the three parts the US Government as follows:

Communist Party = legislature

Military = executive

KGB = judiciary

The KGB protected the Communist Party from take-over by the Military, just as the judiciary in the US protects the laws made the legislature from violation by the executive.

Where do the police fit in? They are part of executive charged with enforcing the law. The police like the military are commanded by and are part of the executive branch.

So who are the US counterparts of the secret police in the Soviet Union?

Lawyers are all officers of the court, and the courts act as the shield of the law makers from the executive just as the KGB acted as the shield of the Communist Party from the executive which commands the military.

Lawyers are many, and ever present in the United States just as were the internal security agents of the KGB.

The fact that lawyers are in the open as opposed to in secret like the agents of the KGB, they nonetheless perform the same function as the KGB by acting as a shield of the law makers.

This also explains the near unanimous dislike and fear people in the US have for lawyers because lawyers know the rules. Lawyers know how the rules apply, and how to evade them.

There is every reason to fear police excesses, but whatever one might feel about lawyers they are the check on police power.

Although everyone of my peer relatives in my family are lawyers, I resisted becoming one.

I have a grudging respect for lawyers, but nothing compared to my fear from the police. I have told my children that if they are brought in by the police even for what appears to be innocent answers to questions, that even if they are innocent of any crime, they should ask for their lawyer before answering any questions from the police.

What does this have to do with subject of this article?

Well, given the inevitably of a bureaucracy, one needs to learn how to live in it, and to know who is your protector even if they must be paid, and who just wants to find someone who they can assign blame.

I fear executive power, I respect the power of the courts, and I do what I can to shape the laws even if I lack the funds to buy the laws I want.


Just so people know I am not deranged, the relationship between the KGB was never one of lawyer-client privilege.

My argument about government in the US and Soviet Union was that they were homomorphic rather than isomorphic.

However, both lawyers and internal security as agents of the State.