Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Don’t Worry, They’ll Guard Themselves!

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves?

Do not fret, mis amigos. Our guardians have already made ample provision for guarding themselves. They have, among other upstanding actions, appointed ombudsmen, established offices of inspector generals, enacted the Administrative Procedure Act, and created internal affairs divisions in police departments. So, as anyone can plainly see, our rulers have done everything humanly possible to discourage and punish their misconduct and abuse of power, even going so far as to maintain within their very precincts of power, at public expense, officials whose sworn duty is to ferret out all malfeasance and misfeasance and thus to guarantee that every public official and employee upholds the highest standards of integrity and legality at all times.

These efforts have clearly been a great success, given that complaints against the authorities are rarely voiced and, when voiced, are nearly always found by the proper authorities to be groundless. As a rule, only ideological extremists and social misfits utter so much as an unkind word about the government’s conduct.

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Editor at Large of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.
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