The following illustrated screenplay is from an Italian film titled Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion, which is about a homicide detective whose religious devotion to the institution of law drives him to murder his mistress in a tantrum of existential ennui. He attempts to turn himself in to prove, to his own satisfaction, that the law provides justice and exists in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy kicks into full gear and, in this brilliant final scene, the officers of the “law” force him to sign a false confession of innocence to protect the institution from the bad optics of carrying out justice.
Meditate on this scene if you want to understand how aristocrats become insulated from negative feedback. Even men of great character who are devoted to the truth may not be able to resist the turning gears of the scapegoating machine, which conducts negative transference from the powerful to powerless whether the powerful like it or not.
What a great movie, and it just figures that Italians would have a few ideas about corruption. I need to analyze this properly someday according to C. Wright Mills’ book.