Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive (Sir Walter Scott)
but when we’ve practiced quite a while how vastly we improve our style! (Pope)
OK, take this simplistically. Say authority is exposed as corrupt = criminal, yet it remains authority. Now authority has legitimized criminality. Authority is now criminal. Law is now hi-jacked in service of criminals. Another cliché. Under corrupt governments honest men become criminals. (They are falsely identified as criminals to let the criminals off or are forced to become criminals to survive). Robin Hood. The legend of honest men becoming criminals to survive and resist a criminal state.
This inversion, perversion creates very tangled situations. Those who are practised to deceive are experts. Corrupt rulers adapt the expertise of the most talented con artists. They present a glorious exterior, expounding the highest humanitarian values. They hide their crimes behind banners of justice and moral action. But the sleight of hand going on is they murder and torture who they please and rob anyone of anything they want. Law is hi-jacked to justify their activities.
And the prime enemy of corrupt rulers are honest men. (A saying among spies is that the most dangerous man is an honest man with no agenda).
But there is no collective of honest men, so they are picked off as individuals. When you have the means to attack on all and every front simultaneously you can arrange a cascade of catastrophes to bring anyone down however honest and law-abiding they are. Everyone has relatives. Most good people have someone they love – mother or father, brother or sister, child or lover or friend. These are gifts to corrupt regimes. Any person you care about can be a hostage. Children – teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to being seduced into committing some minor crime (aren’t drug laws handy?) and found to be in bad company they were entirely unaware of. Or how about the growing trend in sexual blackmail. Protecting a child will buy most anybody’s silence and passivity. Under fascism, fascist/anarchy, have a child = grow your own hostage.
Relationships of the kind that everyone values and which are socially beneficial are prime targets for the criminal leeches. Like body parasites using any social or familial relationship enables the criminal agents of the state (or the agents of the criminal state) to get up close and personal. Like vampires invited in they are next to impossible to get out afterwards. Trust is destroyed in such a set up. Everyone who looks too good to be true probably is. Try telling your growing teen to be wary of attractive acquaintances and see how far you get.
But back to basics. When authority is criminal, is it still legitimate? We are conditioned to obey the laws and respect authority. The trouble is we are not equally conditioned to stop respecting the laws when the laws are clearly wrong, and withhold respect from authority when authority is clearly corrupt and on the side of criminals, when those in authority trash morality, trash law in any honest sense, and trash people by their actions. Those in power control everything. They control the media and control the definitions of what is going on. They are ready with plausible excuses for every act which causes damage always dressed up as being for the benefit of the common good. And they are fast to scapegoat all those people damaged by their actions, blaming the victims for the injuries caused to them.
Criminal governments are perennial. They are not confined to any national boundaries and plainly they are now seeking to be international, global in scope, parallel with international crime. It is hard enough trying to hold a government to account within national boundaries, without those boundaries being dissolved so that those who govern do so anonymously, in secret, their identities concealed, so that the people are blind-sided. They do not know who is ruling them only that they are ruled, bound by laws dictated and non-negotiable by rulers they cannot identify, hold to account or sack. Perhaps the EU is the perfect example. If the EU is the global model of the future, tell me – how is anyone going to defend themselves against a world-wide (criminal?) dictatorship possessing perfect knowledge about every citizen from childhood on?