Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: old_student on October 18, 2007, 07:24:12 AM

Title: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: old_student on October 18, 2007, 07:24:12 AM
I'm not clear on the exact differences between "cause in fact" and "proximate cause" and am looking for an example.

Thanks for any help.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 18, 2007, 09:54:40 AM
I'm pretty sure that an action can be the "cause in fact" of an injury, but the injuy might be too remote to be the "proximate cause."  In other words ... the injury might have been too far removed (as in, unforeseeable) for the party to be liable.  OR there were superceding causes.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: cesco on October 18, 2007, 10:27:15 AM
I think the above answer is correct.  If I remember correctly, causation is essentially a 2 part test. You obviously have to show cause in fact, but to fully establish causation, you must also show proximate cause. 

CAUSATION
In establishing causation, must ask TWO QUESTIONS:
   1. Cause in Fact: Historical Q - was the D's conduct a cause for the P's injury?
      -  "but for"
      -  Alternatives to the "but for"
      -  Substantial Factors
   2. Proximate Cause: If so, is there a reason the legal system should prevent the D from paying? (scope of liability)

Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: laurenlaw on October 18, 2007, 10:41:08 AM
You were also looking for an example.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I stab you in the leg.  You go to the hospital for treatment, where you slip on a puddle, hit your head on the floor, and die due to brain damage caused in the fall.  Though this passes the "cause in fact" but-for test, but for my stabbing you never would have slipped in the hospital, it doesn't pass the proximate cause test.  You slipping and falling in the hospital wasn't at all forseeable and I can't be held responsible for it.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 18, 2007, 06:13:00 PM
Having just started working on my Torts outline I now also would like to add that cause in fact is (duh) a question of fact whereas proximate cause is a question of law (based on public policy, as well).
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: old_student on October 18, 2007, 07:01:30 PM
Maybe it's me being dense - maybe it's because it's late - but I still don't get it.

Maybe a different example will help if anyone has one.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: vaplaugh on October 18, 2007, 08:05:25 PM
You were also looking for an example.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I stab you in the leg.  You go to the hospital for treatment, where you slip on a puddle, hit your head on the floor, and die due to brain damage caused in the fall.  Though this passes the "cause in fact" but-for test, but for my stabbing you never would have slipped in the hospital, it doesn't pass the proximate cause test.  You slipping and falling in the hospital wasn't at all forseeable and I can't be held responsible for it.

Unless the stabbing of the leg caused a weakened condition which made you more susceptible to slipping...?

Edit:  I'm really just posting to tag because I don't quite remember the test(s) for proximate cause.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 18, 2007, 08:10:04 PM
Here is the example we talked about in class -

The people who live at house A negligently start a fire that causes their house to burn down.  The fire also causes house B nextdoor to burn down.  The fire travels all the way to house Z (burning all the houses in between, as well).  Is house A liable for ALL the houses that have burned?  Many states will only find house A liable for the damage/injury of house B ... most will not allow Z to make a claim against A, because the damage is too remote.  It was probably not foreseeable that the fire would travel so far (and there are other factors like the wind and temperature, etc.) the caused the fire to travel so far.  Exactly WHERE the line is drawn varies from state to state and court to court.

Sorry that all my examples are of negligence since that's all we've done ... no intentional torts yet here :)
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: old_student on October 23, 2007, 01:10:37 AM
Thanks for the great example.  So, in your example, house "A" burning is a "cause in fact" of all of the other houses that burned, but it may only be treated as a proximate cause of house "B" burning?

Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 23, 2007, 07:35:19 AM
Thanks for the great example.  So, in your example, house "A" burning is a "cause in fact" of all of the other houses that burned, but it may only be treated as a proximate cause of house "B" burning?



Yeah, that's exactly right.  The "cause in fact" seems to always use the "but for" test ("But for the negligence of house A, house Z would not have burned down), but when considering "proximate cause" you don't use that same test ... the courts draw (sometimes seemingly arbitrary) lines.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: USC313 on October 25, 2007, 07:40:59 PM
Just as a side note to this discussion, "cause-in-fact" does not always use the "but-for" test. There's also Alternative Liability, Concert of Action, and Market Share Liability (among others) that courts have used to establish cause in fact. So, while "but-for" is the easiest way that cause in fact can be established, it typically only works when there is a single defendant whose negligent act has resulted in harm. Multiple defendants is a whole different story. That being said, when you are working through the proximate cause cases in your Torts book, don't focus TOO much on the concept of cause-in-fact. The case examples operate under the assumption that cause in fact has been established, and now we are seeing if proximate cause is met.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 26, 2007, 11:05:59 AM
Just as a side note to this discussion, "cause-in-fact" does not always use the "but-for" test. There's also Alternative Liability, Concert of Action, and Market Share Liability (among others) that courts have used to establish cause in fact. So, while "but-for" is the easiest way that cause in fact can be established, it typically only works when there is a single defendant whose negligent act has resulted in harm. Multiple defendants is a whole different story. That being said, when you are working through the proximate cause cases in your Torts book, don't focus TOO much on the concept of cause-in-fact. The case examples operate under the assumption that cause in fact has been established, and now we are seeing if proximate cause is met.

True.  Also, I wanted to add that I did some clarifying w/ my torts professor, and she said that courts prefer to have juries decide proximate cause, so it CAN be a "question of fact" OR a "question of law."  ... it's just something that can't be factual in the sense of "this caused that and so the defendant is liable" when the result is too remote or unforeseeable.  Usually it's common sense (for juries).  There is a "direct test" vs. the "foreseeability test" ... but I believe that foreseeability is more common.  In other words, was the harm within the risk foreseeable?  (Note - the TYPE of harm does not necessarily need to be foreseen ... like, if you were negligent for dropping something that you would THINK would just break something, but it causes a spark that starts a fire, then you are liable for the fire).
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: vaplaugh on October 27, 2007, 02:46:14 PM
Just as a side note to this discussion, "cause-in-fact" does not always use the "but-for" test. There's also Alternative Liability, Concert of Action, and Market Share Liability (among others) that courts have used to establish cause in fact. So, while "but-for" is the easiest way that cause in fact can be established, it typically only works when there is a single defendant whose negligent act has resulted in harm. Multiple defendants is a whole different story. That being said, when you are working through the proximate cause cases in your Torts book, don't focus TOO much on the concept of cause-in-fact. The case examples operate under the assumption that cause in fact has been established, and now we are seeing if proximate cause is met.

True.  Also, I wanted to add that I did some clarifying w/ my torts professor, and she said that courts prefer to have juries decide proximate cause, so it CAN be a "question of fact" OR a "question of law."  ... it's just something that can't be factual in the sense of "this caused that and so the defendant is liable" when the result is too remote or unforeseeable.  Usually it's common sense (for juries).  There is a "direct test" vs. the "foreseeability test" ... but I believe that foreseeability is more common.  In other words, was the harm within the risk foreseeable?  (Note - the TYPE of harm does not necessarily need to be foreseen ... like, if you were negligent for dropping something that you would THINK would just break something, but it causes a spark that starts a fire, then you are liable for the fire).

Sure about this?  My understanding is that the harm caused must be the same as the harm that the duty aims to prevent.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 28, 2007, 08:17:30 PM
Just as a side note to this discussion, "cause-in-fact" does not always use the "but-for" test. There's also Alternative Liability, Concert of Action, and Market Share Liability (among others) that courts have used to establish cause in fact. So, while "but-for" is the easiest way that cause in fact can be established, it typically only works when there is a single defendant whose negligent act has resulted in harm. Multiple defendants is a whole different story. That being said, when you are working through the proximate cause cases in your Torts book, don't focus TOO much on the concept of cause-in-fact. The case examples operate under the assumption that cause in fact has been established, and now we are seeing if proximate cause is met.

True.  Also, I wanted to add that I did some clarifying w/ my torts professor, and she said that courts prefer to have juries decide proximate cause, so it CAN be a "question of fact" OR a "question of law."  ... it's just something that can't be factual in the sense of "this caused that and so the defendant is liable" when the result is too remote or unforeseeable.  Usually it's common sense (for juries).  There is a "direct test" vs. the "foreseeability test" ... but I believe that foreseeability is more common.  In other words, was the harm within the risk foreseeable?  (Note - the TYPE of harm does not necessarily need to be foreseen ... like, if you were negligent for dropping something that you would THINK would just break something, but it causes a spark that starts a fire, then you are liable for the fire).

Sure about this?  My understanding is that the harm caused must be the same as the harm that the duty aims to prevent.

I thought that was only to establish negligence per se from a statute.  Otherwise, if there is no common law duty owed to a person or persons, then you lose the case by failing to establish the burden of production (and the court will dismiss it).
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: vaplaugh on October 29, 2007, 09:53:12 AM
Just as a side note to this discussion, "cause-in-fact" does not always use the "but-for" test. There's also Alternative Liability, Concert of Action, and Market Share Liability (among others) that courts have used to establish cause in fact. So, while "but-for" is the easiest way that cause in fact can be established, it typically only works when there is a single defendant whose negligent act has resulted in harm. Multiple defendants is a whole different story. That being said, when you are working through the proximate cause cases in your Torts book, don't focus TOO much on the concept of cause-in-fact. The case examples operate under the assumption that cause in fact has been established, and now we are seeing if proximate cause is met.

True.  Also, I wanted to add that I did some clarifying w/ my torts professor, and she said that courts prefer to have juries decide proximate cause, so it CAN be a "question of fact" OR a "question of law."  ... it's just something that can't be factual in the sense of "this caused that and so the defendant is liable" when the result is too remote or unforeseeable.  Usually it's common sense (for juries).  There is a "direct test" vs. the "foreseeability test" ... but I believe that foreseeability is more common.  In other words, was the harm within the risk foreseeable?  (Note - the TYPE of harm does not necessarily need to be foreseen ... like, if you were negligent for dropping something that you would THINK would just break something, but it causes a spark that starts a fire, then you are liable for the fire).

Sure about this?  My understanding is that the harm caused must be the same as the harm that the duty aims to prevent.

I thought that was only to establish negligence per se from a statute.  Otherwise, if there is no common law duty owed to a person or persons, then you lose the case by failing to establish the burden of production (and the court will dismiss it).

I think it applies to proximate cause as well.  Have you read Derdiarian (Construction employee sues employer for failing to erect a barrier between worksite and passing cars and subsequently a driver negligently drives on to the worksite, striking a kettle and causing boiling hot liquid to douse the employee).

"An interevening act may not serve as a superceding cause, and relieve an actor of responsibility, where the risk of the intervening act occurring is the very same risk which renders the actor negligent."

And...

"That defendant could not anticipate the precise manner of the accident or the exact extent of injuries does not preclude liability as a matter of law where the general risk and character of injuries are foreseeable."

A negligently-driven vehicle entering the worksite is the very same risk that a barrier aims to prevent (the duty aims to prevent the cause).  However, there is no duty to a person whose house is destroyed from a fire when defendant drops an item on the ground that would normally not start a fire because a destroyed house is not the very same risk nor the character of injuries foreseeable from such an act.  Of course, the question really depends on what the hypothetical item is.  Say, for example, you negligently drop a magnifying glass while you are standing at the edge of a cliff.  You might owe a duty to someone who is injured by shattering glass when it breaks, but not to someone who is injured when the magnifying glass lands in such a way that later starts a fire.  There is a duty to secure your belongings to prevent falling objects from injuring others.  The risk that the magnifying glass would start a fire is not the same risk.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 29, 2007, 12:25:56 PM
I definitely agree with what you're saying, and we have read that case, but what about Polemis? (If you've read that case) ... the whole "risk a dent, pay for a fire" thing ... it seems as though some states have a more "direct test" rather than a "foreseeability test," as well.  I know that case wasn't really, um, in our country, but we still read it and our professor made it seem relevant :)

I think I just hadn't heard the phrasing "the type of harm meant to protect against" used for anything but negligence per se, but I think you're right.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Burning Sands on October 29, 2007, 07:20:08 PM
Maybe it's me being dense - maybe it's because it's late - but I still don't get it.

Maybe a different example will help if anyone has one.

Thanks.

Simply put...

"Cause in Fact" = the actual cause


"Proximate Cause" = the foreseeable cause





To elaborate "cause in fact" is literally the event or action that one can point to as being responsible for bringing about some result.  For example - hitting somebody, firing a gun, driving your car into a pedestrian, etc.  This is often referred to as the "but for" cause because "but for" this event taking place, there would be no tort.

Proximate cause, on the other hand, is a way to classify the "but for" cause in terms of its reasonable predictability.  Often referred to as the "foreseeble" cause or the "legal" cause because if the aforementioned "but for" cause is found to be reasonably foreseeable by the court, then causation is satisfied and the actor is liable for the tort.  If the "but for" cause is not reasonably foreseeable (like in Palsgraff) then the causal connection between the actor and the victim is too distant, and as a matter of policy, the actor will not be liable for the tort.


Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 29, 2007, 08:17:27 PM
However, don't forget that juries usually make the decision for proximate cause.

And Palsgraff was very much about a lack of duty, as well (according to Cardozo)
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Burning Sands on October 30, 2007, 08:12:38 AM
However, don't forget that juries usually make the decision for proximate cause.


My bad if that's not clear.  When I said:
"...if the aforementioned "but for" cause is found to be reasonably foreseeable by the court"

"by the court" here should be understood as either judge or jury.  Either one of these court entities can find proximate cause.



And Palsgraff was very much about a lack of duty, as well (according to Cardozo)

Even though there was a discussion by both the majority and minority opinions of the duty owed (or lack thereof) between the guard and Ms. Palsgraf, the Palsgraf case is better known by every law student and lawyer from coast to coast to stand for the proposition of proximate cause.  That is its claim to fame, so to speak.  If there were some huge "Eyes Wide Shut"-type party thrown for all the lawyers in the nation at some hideaway mansion, the secret password at the door would invariably be Palsgraf.  (with International Shoe being a close second)

But you are right that there is a discussion on duty but the case is moreso known for the proximate cause issue that was announced by Cardozo. 







Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on October 30, 2007, 12:07:44 PM
However, don't forget that juries usually make the decision for proximate cause.


My bad if that's not clear.  When I said:
"...if the aforementioned "but for" cause is found to be reasonably foreseeable by the court"

"by the court" here should be understood as either judge or jury.  Either one of these court entities can find proximate cause.



And Palsgraff was very much about a lack of duty, as well (according to Cardozo)

Even though there was a discussion by both the majority and minority opinions of the duty owed (or lack thereof) between the guard and Ms. Palsgraf, the Palsgraf case is better known by every law student and lawyer from coast to coast to stand for the proposition of proximate cause.  That is its claim to fame, so to speak.  If there were some huge "Eyes Wide Shut"-type party thrown for all the lawyers in the nation at some hideaway mansion, the secret password at the door would invariably be Palsgraf.  (with International Shoe being a close second)

But you are right that there is a discussion on duty but the case is moreso known for the proximate cause issue that was announced by Cardozo. 










HAHA!  Totally agree w/ you on the Palsgraff claim to fame ... just wanted to note, as my torts prof did, that Cardozo actually dismissed the case based on the notion of an "unforseeable plaintiff" (he implied that he found there was no duty owed to her, and so the burden of production was not met).
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: djdvine on December 06, 2007, 01:59:23 AM
You were also looking for an example.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I stab you in the leg.  You go to the hospital for treatment, where you slip on a puddle, hit your head on the floor, and die due to brain damage caused in the fall.  Though this passes the "cause in fact" but-for test, but for my stabbing you never would have slipped in the hospital, it doesn't pass the proximate cause test.  You slipping and falling in the hospital wasn't at all forseeable and I can't be held responsible for it.

Stabbing someone in the leg isn't negligence though....it's an intentional tort, like Battery.  It's also a criminal act.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Hal on December 09, 2007, 05:28:30 PM
for Jhuen and vap from the bottom of last page:

y'all are discussing two different concepts.

Polemis is concerned with unforeseeable extent of harm.('thin skull' rule. The D caused the damage -- even if the extent of the damage wasn't foreseeable, D is liable for the full extent)

Derdierian is concerned with an unforeseeable event that causes the damage. The argument the Defense was trying to make is that the driver's seizure was a superseding cause. That didn't stick with the court because barriers should have been constructed to prevent a stray car from entering the construction area and injuring employees or the driver of the car. Even though the driver had a seizure, the harm that happened was the harm that the barriers were supposed to prevent.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: conrad42 on December 09, 2007, 07:58:18 PM
Quote
Stabbing someone in the leg isn't negligence though....it's an intentional tort, like Battery.  It's also a criminal act.

It is negligence too isn't it?

Duty - You have a duty to act as a reasonable person, and stabbing is an affirmative act so you can't claim nonfeasance.
Breach - A reasonable person doesn't stab someone in the leg absent some mitigating circumstance that would make it reasonable.
Cause in Fact - But for the stabbing, the leg would not be injured.
Proximate Cause (3 tests) - The stabbing is the direct cause of the leg injury (nothing breaks the chain of causation). The leg injury is a foreseeable result of the stabbing. The stabbing is a substantial factor in causing the leg injury.
Harm - the leg was injured by the stabbing.

While this may also be a battery, this meets all of the elements of negligence.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Hal on December 09, 2007, 08:17:51 PM
I don't think it's both, although I'm sure you could sue under both -- you have to look at intent.

See Spivey v. Battaglia for a case where a man put a woman playfully in a headlock and was sued for both battery and negligence. The court said his playful headlock, which caused the victim's face to become partially paralyzed for a period of time, was negligence because the danger of hurting the victim badly is a foreseeable risk which a man would avoid, but it was not his intention to hurt her.

"the line has been drawn by the courts at the point where the known danger ceases to be only a foreseeable risk (negligence) and becomes a substantial certainty"

It's negligence if the defendant is flailing his arm around with a knife and he ends up stabbing the victim in the leg.
But if he intentionally stabs him in the leg, it's a battery.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: djdvine on December 10, 2007, 09:37:40 AM
Quote
Stabbing someone in the leg isn't negligence though....it's an intentional tort, like Battery.  It's also a criminal act.

It is negligence too isn't it?

Duty - You have a duty to act as a reasonable person, and stabbing is an affirmative act so you can't claim nonfeasance.
Breach - A reasonable person doesn't stab someone in the leg absent some mitigating circumstance that would make it reasonable.
Cause in Fact - But for the stabbing, the leg would not be injured.
Proximate Cause (3 tests) - The stabbing is the direct cause of the leg injury (nothing breaks the chain of causation). The leg injury is a foreseeable result of the stabbing. The stabbing is a substantial factor in causing the leg injury.
Harm - the leg was injured by the stabbing.

While this may also be a battery, this meets all of the elements of negligence.

I don't think you can intentionally be negligent
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on December 10, 2007, 01:23:28 PM
Absolutely not.  There is no such thing as a "negligent battery"

An act is EITHER negligent OR intentional.  Never both.

^ According to my torts prof :)
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Skallagrim on December 10, 2007, 01:50:03 PM
There can't be negligent battery because battery is by definition an intentional tort.

You certainly could, however, in the same complaint, argue that

1) B is liable to A for battery, or, in the alternative,
2) B caused a harmful contact against A due to B's negligence or recklessness
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on December 10, 2007, 01:55:43 PM
There can't be negligent battery because battery is by definition an intentional tort.

You certainly could, however, in the same complaint, argue that

1) B is liable to A for battery, or, in the alternative,
2) B caused a harmful contact against A due to B's negligence or recklessness

Well, yes, but that's just making two "cover your ass so you can recover SOMETHING" claims.  You aren't saying that the act was BOTH negligent AND intentional ... just that it was one or the other.
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: USC313 on December 12, 2007, 10:36:57 PM
Just wanted to clarify some of what was said above.

First, at its core Palsgraff is a DUTY case. Yes Andrews dissent discusses proximate cause, but primarily as a mechanism to limit duty, which he believes everyone owes to "all the world" (his words) and not simply to "foreseeable plaintiffs". It should be clear that in the negligence analysis, "foreseeability" is used to establish both whether or not a duty existed and, if so, whether or not it was foreseeable per proximate cause.

Second, someone above said that "Polemis is concerned with unforeseeable extent of harm" and made a reference to the "eggshell plaintiff" rule. This is dead wrong. Polemis stands for the now generally defunct "Direct Cause" test in determining proximate cause. (Anyone read the Wagonmound cases?)The direct test establishes proximate case as long as there is NO intervening cause at all between the alleged negligence and resulting injury. That is why the plaintiff's in Polemis "defined the negligence" as a falling plank of wood rather than the fact that the charters of the boat allowed its chambers to fill with benzine gas. Consider, had the alleged negligence been "boat filled with gas", then the falling plank of wood that caused the spark with resulting explosion would have been an intervening cause and proximate cause would not be established.

A simpler example:

1.) Blasting company leaves a canister of nitroglycerin in a deserted rock area. Kids approach and the heat of the sun causes the canister to explodes, causing injury. No intervening cause = proximate cause under the Direct Test.

2.) Same facts as above, except a child kicks the canister, causing it to explode with resulting injury. Under the direct test, the child's kick is an intervening cause that cuts off liability. Proximate cause is not established. Under the foreseeability test, the risk of a child kicking the canister, especially a young child, is foreseeable. It would be an intervening, but not superseding cause and proximate cause would be established.

Holla

Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: Pdukes on October 25, 2011, 01:59:10 PM
Lets say Driver A who has been drinking runs a red light and crashes into Driver B  who was going through the intersection on a green light. Driver B suffers a broken leg.

Is the cause in fact that A went through a red light?

What would be the proximate cause???
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: USC313 on November 05, 2011, 12:12:52 PM
Looks like your getting in on this discussion about 4 years late Pdukes. Did you notice the dates on this thread? How the heck did you even find this thread lol. In any event, do you seriously not get the cause in fact/proximate cause distinction?

*Cause in Fact = "but for" a person's negligent act (i.e. "absent" or "without" a person's negligent act), injury or harm would not follow (i.e. "but for"  or "absent" or "without" Driver A running the red light drunk, Driver B would not have been injured. Cause in fact is that act which causes or results in an injury. What was that here? Running a red light drunk, which "caused" or "resulted in" another person getting hurt.

*Proximate Cause = was the injury that resulted from the negligent act "foreseeable" (i.e. is it "foreseeable" or "likely" or "logical" that a person who runs a red light drunk would hit another car and injure another? In these circumstances, any court would say "YES", particularly because of the well-known dangers of drunk driving.

Thus, the two parts of the "casuation" test are established. This is supposed to be easy stuff. Are you really not getting this?
Title: Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
Post by: g a u s s on April 08, 2012, 02:34:15 PM
Quote


Those who authentically commit themselves to the people must re-examine themselves constantly. This conversion is so radical as not to allow of ambiguous behavior. To affirm this commitment but to consider oneself the proprietor of revolutionary wisdom -- which must then be given to (or imposed on) the people -- is to retain the old ways. The man or woman who proclaims devotion to the cause of liberation yet is unable to enter into communion with the people, whom he or she continues to regard as totally ignorant, is grievously self-deceived. The convert who approaches the people but feels alarm at each step they take, each doubt they express, and each suggestion they offer, and attempts to impose his "status," remains nostalgic towards his origins.

Only through comradeship with the oppressed can the converts understand their characteristic ways of living and behaving, which in diverse moments reflect the structure of domination. One of these characteristics is the above-mentioned existential duality of the oppressed, who are at the same time themselves and the oppressor whose image they have internalized. Accordingly, until they concretely "discover" their oppressor and in turn their own consciousness, they nearly always express fatalistic attitudes towards their situation. Fatalism is the guise of docility is the fruit of an historical and sociological situation, not an essential characteristic of a people's behavior. It almost always is related to the power of destiny or fate or fortune -- inevitable forces -- or to a distorted view of God. Under the sway of magic and myth, the oppressed see their suffering, the fruit of exploitation, as the will of God -- as if God were the creator of this "organized disorder."

Submerged in reality, the oppressed cannot perceive clearly the "order" which serves the interests of the oppressors whose image they have internalized. Chaffing under the restrictions of this order, they often manifest a type of horizontal violence, striking out at their own comrades for the pettiest reasons. This is the period when the niggers beat each other up. It is possible that in this behavior they are once more manifesting their duality. Because the oppressor exists within their oppressed comrades, when they attack those comrades they are indirectly attacking the oppressor as well.

On the other hand, at a certain point in their existential experience the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction towards the oppressors and their way of life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration. In their alienation, the oppressed want at any cost to resemble the oppressors, to imitate them, to follow them. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the middle-class oppressed, who yearn to be equal to the "eminent" men and women of the upper class.

Self-depreciation is another characteristic of the oppressed, which derives from their internalization of the opinion the oppressors hold of them. So often do they hear that they are good for nothing, know nothing and are incapable of learning anything -- that they are sick, lazy, and unproductive -- that in the end they become convinced of their own unfitness. They call themselves ignorant and say the "professor" is the one who has knowledge and to whom they should listen. The criteria of knowledge imposed upon them are the conventional ones. As long as the oppressed' ambiguity persists, the oppressed are reluctant to resist, and totally lack confidence in themselves. They have a diffuse, magical belief in the invulnerability and power of the oppressor. Not rarely the act of oppossing the boss provokes guilt feelings. The boss, in truth, is still "inside" you. The oppressed must see examples of the vulnerability of the oppressor so that a contrary conviction can begin to grow within them. Until this occurs, they will continue disheartened, fearful, and beaten. As long as the oppressed remain unaware of the causes of their condition, they fatalistically "accept" their exploitation.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3003243.msg3037877#msg3037877



Could you expand a bit on the "horizontal violence" kind of thing?
Title: Re: Edward's Obstacle: 'Breck Girl' Good Looks
Post by: charming, so on April 09, 2012, 02:02:29 PM
(http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/b/6/edwards_breckgirls.jpg)

John Edwards, the first-term senator from North Carolina who entered the field of Democratic presidential contenders as the bright young comer in the party, fielding questions on national television about his unofficial nickname on the campaign trail: "the Breck Girl."
 
This could not be a good omen for a man with national political aspirations. In a clear sign that he recognized this, Edwards confronted his relatively young age and political inexperience head-on.
 
During a recent campaign swing in New Hampshire, Edwards made a point of telling voters he was 50, even if he doesn't look it, and argued that being unfamiliar with Beltway politics was good, not bad, for a presidential hopeful.
 
Jennifer Palmieri, the Edwards campaign press secretary, acknowledged the problem, noting Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, had said that when she first met her future husband, "she wasn't particularly interested in him. She thought, 'He's just one of the cute ones.' "
 
Palmieri said people constantly underestimate the man who graduated in the top 10% of his law school class and went on to earn millions as a trial lawyer.
 
The phenomenon also dogged Edwards during his successful run for U.S.Senate in 1998. Once people get to know him, said Palmieri, they realize he is "a fighter … He has depth, he is intelligent, extraordinarily smart."
 
In media interviews, Edwards gracefully fielded some rather brutal inquiries about his good looks.
 
During a recent profile of Edwards, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl first asked the senator's wife about the problem of her husband being "too cute."
 
Replied Elizabeth Edwards: "It used to be a problem for women. This is the 'dumb blonde' syndrome. People assume that he couldn't be smart - and he's unbelievably smart - that he couldn't be serious, because, he, you know, looks like he looks."
 
Stahl also put the question directly to Edwards, asking: "What do you say when … someone in the White House says 'He's nothing more than the Breck Girl.' " Responded Edwards: "I say they're trying to kill me before I get this nomination. … Yeah, bring it on, that's what I have to say. Bring it on."
 
Replying to a similar question during a recent stop at The Boston Globe, Edwards said: "People have to get past it. I mean, they come in, they say, 'Oh, well, here's this kind of attractive, slow-talking, smooth-talking Southern boy - yeah, with good hair. And he can't possibly be serious. It is my job to get past that and prove I am very serious."
 
Usually, women are forced to ward off stereotypical thinking that equates beauty with brainlessness. But Edwards is not the first male politician to feel the double-edged sword that comes with being too pretty to be taken seriously.
 
Dan Quayle was derided as a dumb blond from the moment the elder George Bush picked the 41-year-old first-term senator from Indiana as his running mate in 1988. Quayle tried to blunt the criticism about his age and inexperience by reminding voters that youthful good looks were not an impediment to John F. Kennedy.
 
The strategy backfired famously during a debate between Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen, Michael Dukakis' distinguished, silver-haired running mate. (Bentsen to Quayle: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.")
 
The Bush-Quayle ticket prevailed, but Quayle never entirely overcame his reputation as an intellectual lightweight. A series of verbal gaffes helped bolster the country's initial, unflattering impression of him.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=43187.msg5400240#msg5400240


This Lesley Stahl, the CBS correspondent, what the ?!
Title: On Propaganda - The Dance of Deception
Post by: Stephanie K. on April 12, 2012, 05:20:22 PM
Quote


Quotes from pitchman follow:

Quote

Political government and the State were a much later development, growing out of the desire of the stronger to take advantage of the weaker, of the few against the many. The State, ecclesiastical and secular, served to give an appearance of legality and right to the wrong done by the few to the many. That appearance of right was necessary the easier to rule the people, because no government can exist without the consent of the people, consent open, tacit or assumed. Constitutionalism and democracy are the modern forms of that alleged consent; the consent being inoculated and indoctrinated by what is called "education," at home, in the church, and in every other phase of life. That consent is the belief in authority, in the necessity for it. At its base is the doctrine that man is evil, vicious, and too incompetent to know what is good for him. On this all government and oppression is built. God and the State exist and are supported by this dogma. Yet the State is nothing but a name. It is an abstraction. Like other similar conceptions - nation, race, humanity - it has no organic reality. To call the State an organism shows a diseased tendency to make a fetish of words. The State is a term for the legislative and administrative machinery whereby certain business of the people is transacted, and badly so. There is nothing sacred, holy or mysterious about it. The State has no more conscience or moral mission than a commercial company for working a coal mine or running a railroad.

Life begins and ends with man, the individual. Without him there is no race, no humanity, no State. No, not even "society" is possible without man. It is the individual who lives, breathes and suffers. His development, his advance, has been a continuous struggle against the fetishes of his own creation and particularly so against the "State." It has always been the individual, the man of strong mind and will to liberty, who paved the way for every human advance, for every step toward a freer and better world; in science, philosophy and art, as well as in industry, whose genius rose to the heights, conceiving the "impossible," visualizing its realization and imbuing others with his enthusiasm to work and strive for it. Socially speaking, it was always the prophet, the seer, the idealist, who dreamed of a world more to his heart's desire and who served as the beacon light on the road to greater achievement.

Our political and social scheme cannot afford to tolerate the individual and his constant quest for innovation. In "self-defense" the State therefore suppresses, persecutes, punishes and even deprives the individual of life. It is aided in this by every institution that stands for the preservation of the existing order. It resorts to every form of violence and force, and its efforts are supported by the "moral indignation" of the majority against the heretic, the social dissenter and the political rebel - the majority for centuries drilled in State worship, trained in discipline and obedience and subdued by the awe of authority in the home, the school, the church and the press. The strongest bulwark of authority is uniformity; the least divergence from it is the greatest crime. The wholesale mechanization of modern life has increased uniformity a thousandfold. It is everywhere present, in habits, tastes, dress, thoughts and ideas. Its most concentrated dullness is "public opinion." Few have the courage to stand out against it. He who refuses to submit is at once labeled "queer," "different," and decried as a disturbing element in the comfortable stagnancy of modern life. Perhaps even more than constituted authority, it is social uniformity and sameness that harass the individual most. His very "uniqueness," "separateness" and "differentiation" make him an alien, not only in his native place, but even in his own home. Often more so than the foreign born who generally falls in with the established.

[...]

[...] For true liberty is not a mere scrap of paper called ''constitution,'' "legal right'' or "law." It is not an abstraction derived from the non-reality known as "the State." It is not the negative thing of being free from something, because with such freedom you may starve to death. Real freedom, true liberty is positive: it is freedom to something; it is the liberty to be, to do; in short, the liberty of actual and active opportunity. That sort of liberty is not a gift: it is the natural right of man, of every human being. It cannot be given: it cannot be conferred by any law or government. The need of it, the longing for it, is inherent in the individual. Disobedience to every form of coercion is the instinctive expression of it. Rebellion and revolution are the more or less conscious attempt to achieve it. Those manifestations, individual and social, are fundamentally expressions of the values of man. That those values may be nurtured, the community must realize that its greatest and most lasting asset is the unit - the individual.

Society exists for man, not man for society. The sole legitimate purpose of society is to serve the needs and advance the aspiration of the individual. Only by doing so can it justify its existence and be an aid to progress and culture. The political parties and men savagely scrambling for power will scorn me you as hopelessly out of tune with our time. Admit the charge. Find comfort in the assurance that their hysteria lacks enduring quality. Their hosanna is but of the hour. Man's yearning for liberation from all authority and power will never be soothed by their cracked song. Man's quest for freedom from every shackle is eternal. It must and will go on.


The ruling classes [oppressors], as Lovdie's post has it, constantly take care that the oppressed remain ignorant of how the whole thing is artificially built, that their ideas and even basic "instincts" are worked upon, such that they won't be able to challenge the tenets upon which the system rests. This is where propaganda sets in. But poster pitchman shows us all too well where real power lies.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3003847.msg5399989#msg5399989



Noam Chomsky admits in the documentary about him, "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media," that the information in his books comes from the mainstream news media. "The information is there [in the mainstream media] ... If somebody wants to spend the substantial part of their time and energy exploring it, and comparing today's lies to yesterday's leaks, that's a research job," he says. The thing is, people have to work; and when they come back tired from work, they settle for the first thing they can: the TV box in front of them, listening to the lies they are fed on a daily basis, without even trying to figure out the obvious inconsistencies.
Title: Re: Nazism "Occult" Roots
Post by: l a s a g n a on April 13, 2012, 11:41:49 AM
Quote

Quote

For the sake of truth, the INfamous Bell Curve has a very direct connection to Social Darwinism and the eugenics movement. The book "The Bell Curve," for instance, is perhaps one of the most controversial books of all time. Written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the book uses empirical statistical analysis to reach conclusion of intelligence gap in American society. Two of the most controversial conclusions reached by the author are the relationships between low measured intelligence and anti-social behavior and the observed relationship between low African-American test scores, when compared to Asians or whites, and genetic factors in intelligence abilities.

Or in Stephen Jay Gould's words, "The Bell Curve" rests on two distinctly different but sequential arguments, which together encompass the classic corpus of biological determinism as a social philosophy - in other words, Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism holds that Darwin's theory of evolution can be applied to the development of human social institutions. It first become popular in late 19th century and continued until end of World War II. The application of the term to 19th and 20th century modes of thought, however, generally did not occur until after the publication of American historian Richard Hofstadter's "Social Darwinism in American Thought" in 1944, which codified the concept in the sense it is generally used today.

Social Darwinism is often linked to eugenics, and is the backbone of Herrnstein & Murray's arguments, according to which humans are separated not only by race and class, but also by IQ - this being the central theme of the arguments brought forth by these authors. This argument may deviate from the original 19th century theory of Social Darwinism; however, its use of statistical analysis of IQ is the central thought of 20th century Social Darwinism. The conclusions of the authors suggest people who have high IQ would be more "successful in life" and people with low IQ will encounter more problems in life such as unemployment, divorce, crime, and poverty. Using Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest (or should we, more appropriately, say, survival of the unfittest, the fat lazy a s s e s?) and other laws of evolution can be applied to human society; hence, it can be understood, that the people with high IQ be successful in life therefore have a easier time passing on their "good" gene to the next generation because they have a easier time finding a partner. On other hand, the people with low IQ, often exert anti-social behavior, hence have problems finding and supporting a partner, therefore would have problem passing their gene to the next generation.

They maintain that

Quote

"It is time for America once again to try living with inequality, as life is lived: understanding that each human being has strengths and weaknesses, qualities we admire and qualities we do not admire, competencies and incompetencies, assets and debits; that the success of each human life is not measured externally but internally; that all of the rewards we can confer on each other, the most precious is a place as a valued fellow citizen."


This idea is the 20th century Social Darwinism. This idea is also the idea behind eugenic movements and research which was not unpopular during the time.

(http://uswgo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/hitler11.jpg)
Hitler believed humans were animals to whom the genetics laws, learned from livestock breeding, could be applied. The Nazis believed that instead of permitting natural forces and chance to control evolution, they must direct the process to advance the human race. The first step to achieve this goal was to isolate the 'inferior races' in order to prevent them from further contaminating the ‘Aryan’ gene pool. The widespread public support for this policy was a result of the belief, common in the educated classes, in the conclusion that certain races were genetically inferior as was scientifically 'proven' by Darwinism. The Nazis believed that they were simply applying facts, proven by science, to produce a superior race of humans as part of their plan for a better world: 'The business of the corporate state was eugenics or artificial selection — politics as applied biology'.

Some may argue the connection between "The Bell Curve" and Social Darwinist eugenic movements of the time. But many facts show strong connection between the two. Firstly, as early as 1971, Herrnstein published an article in a prestigious US magazine, 'Atlantic Monthly', and can be quoted "the tendency to be unemployed may run in the genes of a family about as certainly as bad teeth do now.... As the wealth and complexity of human society grow, there will be precipitated out of the mass of humanity a low-capacity residue that may be unable to master the common occupations..." Secondly, Herrnstein's political stance is very conservative; "It is hard to argue that the "class struggle" can be resolved by a redistribution of wealth and capital, if it should turn out that something more than economics distinguishes the contending classes." Thirdly, quoted from an ABC New Report transcript, "Ever since 1937, the 'Pioneer Fund' has promoted the study of racial purity as a an ideal. Over the past 10 years, according to public documents, the 'Pioneer Fund' contributed $3.5 million to researchers cited in "The Bell Curve."

Finally, Herrnstein is found to be connected with the journal 'Mankind Quarterly', which is owned by Roger Pearson for the last 25 years. Pearson was a leader of the pro-fascist Northern League, which included a number of former Nazi SS officials, and a member of the World Anti-Communist League, described by former member Geoffrey Stewart-Smith as a collection of Nazis, fascists, anti-Semites, and vicious racists. These facts suggest strong ties between the authors and ideas of "The Bell Curve" with Social Darwinism movement of the time. "The Bell Curve" brought the theories of Social Darwinism into the public. It introduced the mass population to the idea IQ, something heritable, being the main determining factor for success in life, and it did it in a "scientific" way which help the idea to be accepted by the public.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3002385.msg5397824#msg5397824



Yea Right!



No kidding, Nazis were downright crazy when it comes to this eugenics thing and the like.

Nazis believed that the earth once, long ago had a race of beings, Übermench (supermen). These supermen ruled the ancient world, known as Atlantis. You will find that Atlantis and the myth that accompanies it is at the core of many occult religious systems. The Nazis believed that this race of beings was corrupted by intermixing with 'dark peoples'. Consequently they fell into racial and moral impurity. At the heart of this was the belief that the Jews were somehow the central point of this racial 'poison', and their removal from the earth would bring about, after careful selective breeding, the return of the Übermench. The only way this system could work, according to this philosophy, is the need remove the untermench (subhumans) from the earth, though some in the movement felt that it was acceptable to enslave them and not allow them to reproduce. To summarize, this is the real reason that places like Auschwitz and Buchenwald came into being.

We must understand this most important point when looking at the holocaust; that is the fact that these people were not exterminated because of some grave political domestic threat or because of civil unrest or even mildly subversive activity. They were killed for one reason and one reason alone, they were killed under the direction of the Nazis' occult ideology.

The Holocuast (or final solution) was to bring about the occult world order that was envisioned by the Nazis. These 'supermen' were also referred to as Giants in their occult literature and were believed to inhabit the northern most parts of the Earth. They were, according to this occult tradition blond haired, blue-eyed and of course, white-skinned.