The Problem of the Grudge Informer

1533 words 7 pages
Natasha Mazzitelli November 30, 2014
210990570 Word Count: 1512
The Problem of the Grudge Informer:
A Dialectical Essay

Lon Fuller’s The Problem of the Grudge Informer outlines quite a legal dilemma: are the acts of a past regime’s grudge informers deserving of prosecution? Fuller narrates a scenario regarding a central issue that is plaguing the administration of a recently overturned democratic state, previously ruled by an unethical regime after a bout of economic disparity. In response to such hardship and social chaos, factional groups formed such as the anarchic “Purple Shirt” party. Through the use of scare tactics and false promises, the Headman of this party was voted into
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A legal system presupposes laws that are known, or can be known, by those subject to them
P2. A legal system presupposes uniformity of action and that like cases will be given like treatment
P3. A legal system presupposes the absence of some lawless power, standing above the government and able at any time to interfere with the administration of justice whenever it does not function according to the whims of that power
P4. The Purple Shirt regime did not presuppose known laws, uniformity of action, or the absence of some lawless power
C5. The Purple Shirt regime was not a system of legality (1-4 – linked)
P6. Law must be in place in order to act in accordance or contrary to law
P7. The grudge informers did not live under a regime of law
C8. The grudge informers’ acts cannot be deemed either lawful or unlawful (6,7 – linked)
C9. We should not prosecute the grudge informers (8)
Although not explicitly stated, I have included two hidden claims that were otherwise implied by Deputy 2’s reasoning (P4 and P6).
As it stands, Deputy 2’s argument is flawed and therefore is not an acceptable solution to the grudge informer issue. His argument fails on the grounds of acceptability, given that laws did exist even if superficially treated. Deputy 3 provides a compelling point that much of normal life and most equally normal dislocations of it were unaffected by Purple Shirt ideology, and that the legal questions that arose in this area were handled by the courts much as they


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