Obama's requirement that a candidate for Supreme Court justice must have "empathy" for the social struggles of some Americans, and that empathy must be an "essential ingredient" in determining a judge's decisions and the outcomes of the legal process, is simply Marxist revolutionary justice. In revolutionary justice, the communist utopian vision is the basis for determining guilt and punishment, not the laws that exist in our bourgeois society at the time. That is, in revolutionary Marxism, people are held to the laws that do not yet exist but which the revolution will bring into being in the future. The capitalists can be tried for violating future laws, even though they did nothing wrong according to their own laws. And the workers cannot legitimately be tried under the laws of the present for actions taken in obedience to the laws of the communist utopia. The laws of our society now are invalid, because laws in a capitalist society are inherently unjust and violent. For Obama to demand that judges make decisions and legal proceedings have outcomes based on empathy means that the struggling workers should be exempt from the laws, because, from the perspective the communist utopia, those laws are invalid.
In the Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx and Engels explicitly assert the illegitimacy of law and legal proceedings in capitalist society. In response to capitalists' objections to communism, they say:
"... don't wrangle with us so long as you apply to our intended abolition of bourgeois property the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of existence of your class."
If this peek at Obama's revolutionary philosophy doesn't scare you, then nothing--not the horrifying history of the Soviet Union, not the horrifying history of Communist China--ever will. Europe eventually figured out that this philosophy leads to hell and turned aside from it. But Obama, the slick purveyor of pre-owned and rejected philosophies, is simply a true believer and cannot be dissuaded. We will all pay, in coin and pain, for this indulgence in folly. Want to see this philosophy in action? Read my brief essay on Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Humanism and Terrorism: An Essay on the Communist Problem (1947). Or read Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party.
Revised. April 4, 2009.