Law School Discussion

Legal Reasoning

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #550 on: February 14, 2012, 07:39:02 PM »

Here it is an interesting book on the subject:

"Valide" from Barbara Chase-Riboud

In "Valide," Ms. Chase-Riboud returns to those themes, this time against a drastically different backdrop. Exploration of the complex institution of slavery in another culture - the sultan's harem of the Ottoman Empire during the late 18th and early 19th centuries - has prompted some interesting changes in Ms. Chase-Riboud's thinking. Ms. Chase-Riboud's second novel makes a broader and more radical point: love is impossible in a slave society, where absolute power over other human beings poisons all personal relationships and eliminates the possibility of free choice that is at the root of all real love.

"Valide's" story concerns a young woman from Martinique who is captured by pirates in 1781 and sold into the harem of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid I. Renamed Naksh-i-dil (Embroidered Tongue), she survives the mortal intrigues of harem life to become Ikbal, the favorite of the Sultan. She bears him a son and is elevated to the rank of Kadine, one of his seven official wives. When that son becomes Sultan in 1807, she gains the position of Valide, the pinnacle of power for a woman in this society: "The Ottomans accepted that a Sultan could have many wives, but he could have only one Empress. Thus the mother of the Sultan occupied the unique place of honor that nothing could alter save death. She was entrusted with the most intimate and private possessions of her son - his women. From slave, she had become master, from prisoner to jailer, from property to absolute despot." 

Those four sentences encapsulate several of Ms. Chase-Riboud's themes - maternity as a woman's principal means to power, the meaninglessness of sexuality in a society where women's bodies are men's absolute possessions, and the paradoxical nature of an empire where monarchs are the sons of slaves and one of those slaves will rise after a lifetime of subjection to rule. Unfortunately, this passage is typical of the book's stilted, unreal prose - though mercifully free of the baroque trimmings that elsewhere threaten to give an essentially serious novel the overheated sensibility of a bad romance. The language in "Valide" seldom lives up to the ideas.

Still, the ideas themselves are provocative. Particularly intriguing is Ms. Chase-Riboud's analysis of the harem, a much more vivid character than any of the book's individuals. We are in a world of sensuality, boredom and futility where women are reduced to the basic functions of sex and childbearing, but the vast majority of the Sultan's female slaves will never even sleep with him, let alone have his child. Power is gained through artifice, manipulation and murder. Slaves can no more love one another than they can their master, because each woman is an enemy in the ceaseless struggle to catch the Sultan's eye.

The rulers are no less crippled by this system than the ruled; the Sultan's sons, locked away in the Prince's Cage to protect them from poisoning, know as little of the outside world as the most ignorant harem inhabitant. Abdulhamid, Naksh-i-dil realizes, "had the mentality of a slave.... He was, as much as she, a prisoner in his own palace." The novel contrasts the self-defeating insularity of the Ottomans with the will to change found in their traditional enemy, Russia, which is shown struggling to face the challenge of the West and modernize under the leadership of Catherine the Great. Naksh-i-dil both admires and hates Catherine, as an example of what women can do with power and a reminder of her own ineffectiveness. "Valide" is so crammed with incident, especially in the second half, that we lose the heroine amid the crowds of subsidiary characters (most not nearly as interesting as their author finds them) and the rapid flow of public events. Ms. Chase-Riboud has clearly thought long and hard about slavery - what it does to the people caught up in it and, more fundamentally, what aspects of human nature its existence expresses - but these thoughts lack a successful fictional context in "Valide." Nonetheless, she has large ambitions and an important subject, both fine things for a novelist. Perhaps in her next book they will be realized more completely.

Chase-Ribaud appears to have a very good imagination. They say she gets her ideas for her books from her dreams - you know, being this queen who has a harem of 50 naked males she can choose from - stuff like that...

We all get ideas from dreams to use in various things - but dreams of this type on her part (where you've read it, btw?) would appear quite strange and funny to me!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #551 on: February 16, 2012, 04:48:26 PM »


I hope you have heard of unicorns. One could believe that unicorns are actual biological phenomena -- that unicorns are real in the same way horses are real. Or one could believe that unicorns are creations of the human mind, imaginary creatures whose characteristics are therefore wholly a product of our assumptions about those same characteristics. Now imagine a social practice that requires persons to act as if they sincerely believe there actually are independent facts of the matter regarding unicorns -- facts not dependent on human beliefs -- and indeed routinely requires these people to assert the existence of such facts. Yet suppose this practice also requires that on certain occasions those who engage in the practice claim no such independent facts concerning the status of unicorns exist because, after all, "everyone knows" unicorns are merely products of the human mind. We could anticipate that many of the participants in this practice will develop a sort of double consciousness about unicorns, one in which they will both affirm and deny -- and in which they will in a sense both believe and not believe -- that unicorns are actual or imaginary creatures, depending on the context in which such affirmation or denial, and belief or absence of belief, is deemed appropriate.


Such is the ordinary mental condition of the modern American lawyer. The modern lawyer, and especially the modern judge and law professor, must continually practice a sort of "as if" jurisprudence, within the context of which the lawyer both knows and doesn't know that most important legal facts are facts only to the extent we believe them to be legal facts. Various strategies are then employed to deal with the intense cognitive dissonance that characterizes this condition. A common one among practicing lawyers is to simply ignore the dissonance -- to treat it as someone else's problem. That someone is, of course, whatever decision maker is precluded from employing the same cognitive strategy by virtue of the decision maker's decisional responsibilites.


Case to expand a bit further?

Exactly, contain, me too would be delighted to know what exactly all this means, in simple, layman terms ...

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #552 on: February 24, 2012, 02:59:02 PM »
Metodi, are you an idiot - that's the method they use - kinda like this other * & ^ % - profiling and all - you think they really believe they're having the right guy they charge with whatever * & ^ % they charge him - it's all a GAME!

For example, take a look here - Karsia is a profiler and busts this guy without giving a flying @ # ! *! 

bhut jolokia, I found another post related to Craig's case:

Senator Larry E. Craig used a dirty word as he explained how in June 2007 he wound up suspected of cruising for sex: profiling. Mr. Craig said the police officer working undercover in the next stall at a Minneapolis airport bathroom had lumped him neatly into the behavioral profile of someone on the prowl: the wide stance, the toe-tapping, the upward-facing palm, the flash of a wedding ring. In the well-developed profile of how a man intending to engage in lewd conduct in that bathroom behaved, the gestures added up to a coded message. The police were using a common tactic that has received less attention than the widely criticized practice of racial profiling (or gender, age, weight, ethnic or religious profiling, for that matter). That sort of profiling targets suspects based on their innate attributes, not on what they say or do.

But behavioral profiling, highly nuanced, draws heavily from cognitive psychology and, often, on the personal experiences with previous crimes and the subjective interpretations of the profilers. In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC Mr. Craig said: "I now know that this cop is — this officer is a profiler. He said looking into a stall was one of it, and then a hand gesture or foot tap is another one. Now I know all about profiling. I know what people feel like when they're profiled, when innocent people get caught up in what I was caught in as an innocent person. It's very angering at times."

There are essentially two kinds of profiling, inductive and deductive. Inductive profiling, as was the approach in Mr. Craig's case, uses statistical probability and behavioral clues from previous offenders to create cookie-cutter profiles and predict the likelihood of a future crime. Deductive profiling involves analyzing the evidence — a tire track, DNA, a bloody knife — after the crime occurs in order to create a profile of that offender and use it to catch him. Behavioral clues, on the other hand, can range from the physical to the ethereal. For example, the possession of cold medicine, mason jars, rubber tubing, coffee filters and brake fluid would quickly lead investigators to suspect someone of intending to produce methamphetamine. A traveler with a stack of small bills, with only carry-on luggage and a one-way ticket, could easily be suspected of being a drug courier. Tattoos and the color of clothing — and even more obvious, a grab at the waist as if to draw a gun — are basic clues to gang activity.

[...] According to the police report, the incident began with Craig's peering into the Karsia's stall several times through the crack in the door. Then, Craig entered the stall to the left of Karsia's and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door. Once seated, Craig tapped his right foot - a signal, according to the police report, used by people wishing to engage in lewd conduct. After Karsia moved his own foot up and down (LOL!) - Craig, moved his right foot so that it touched the side of Karsia’s left foot under the stall divider. Craig also swiped his left hand under the stall 3 times before Karsia held his badge down by the floor so Craig could see it.

Now, to me, this whole story is a nightmare of out-of-control police. Craig was simply the innocent victim of a banal set-up by the MN airport police - one that Joseph Stalin would have admired. There was no sex act of any kind. The idiotic cop - who appears to spend his entire work day sitting on a toilet in smelly airport bathrooms - walks him off, provokes him, and arrests him for lewd conduct. All this for tapping his foot in a public bathroom. [...]

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #553 on: February 25, 2012, 06:26:21 PM »

niki, Freudian theories do not necessarily rule out a free, non-repressive society. Freud's speculation that civilisation is originally based on a necessary sexual repression recognized for its merits, it has been suggested that:

(1) only a part of this has come from the conditions of scarcity which obliged humans to work, with another part coming from living in class-divided societies where ruling classes impose an extra repression over and above that arising from natural scarcity,

(2) with the coming of automation and the like, scarcity has now been conquered. This being so, sexual repression -- that imposed by natural conditions as well as that imposed by class-divided society -- is no longer necessary. Civilization need no longer be based on sexual repression. A free, non-repressive society is possible.

Herbert Marcuse has in fact explained why people accept capitalism -- they have been psychologically manipulated into wanting it. In other words, their basic "instincts" have been remoulded so as to fit in with capitalist society. The issue now is how will such people come to want to get rid of capitalism.


It could not be otherwise. If the humanization of the oppressed signifies subversion, so also does their freedom; hence the necessity for constant control. And the more the oppressors control the oppressed, the more they change them into apparently inanimate "things." This tendency of the oppressor consciousness to "in-animate" everything and everyone it encounters, in its eagerness to possess, unquestionably corresponds with a tendency to sadism. Fromm maintained that,

The pleasure in complete domination over another person (or other animate creature) is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Another way of formulating the same thought is to say that the aim of sadism is to transform a man into a thing, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and absolute control the living loses one essential quality of life -- freedom

Sadistic love is a perverted love -- a love of death, not of life. One of the characteristics of the oppressor consciousness and its necrophilic view of the world is thus sadism. As the oppressor consciousness, in order to dominate, tries to deter to search, the restlessness, and the creative power which characterize life, it kills life. More and more, the oppressors are using science and technology as unquestionably powerful instruments for their purpose: the maintenance of the oppressive order through manipulation and repression. The oppressed, as objects, as "things," have no purposes except those their oppressors prescribe for them.


I can make sense of this - in the Western world people tend to treat each-other as objects when it comes to sex too - people collide, go to bed because of some kind of "chemistry," and then "split" when the chemistry is "gone," veering off in different directions until they each collide with someone else. They can go through dozens of relationships in this way, blind to their own feelings and oblivious to the feelings of their lovers. Nothing changes in these relationships—and nothing changes from one relationship to the next—because nothing is revealed.

In the matings based on "chemistry", as opposed to romantic love, people never open themselves up emotionally and so they can never break down the wall that separates them from the other "body" in bed. Even the sex is often only "intercourse" in a technical sense because there isn't any real commingling of pleasure, only an exercise in mutual masturbation.

Freud once described every sexual act "as a process in which four persons are involved,"  by which he meant, among other things, the fantasy that each person takes to bed along with his or her lover. In sex without tenderness, you never escape that fantasy because you never have any contact emotionally with the other person: you are making love, not to them, but to an image in your head. You are locked up inside yourself, as is your partner, and so it helps if you don't have to look at his or her face, which accounts to some extent for the growing popularity of oral sex.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #554 on: February 26, 2012, 02:41:32 PM »

Here it is a related post on this TMT thing:

So if I get this right, this means killing others (murder) in order not to kill ourselves (suicide) in order to keep up with lack of life meaning and the conscious awareness of our deaths?

And that the deaths of the "other" serves to establish a symbolic immortality buffer for one of the parties? Kind of like the child that is forced to concede its physicality and "trade it in" for a symbolic sense of self (i.e., self-esteem)

I researched a bit where does all this TMT thing comes from - it looks like from existential philosophers like Sartre, Camus and the like. Now, I have not read Sartre/Camus - I simply came upon a piece quoted by one of your fellow posters on this board. Take a look at it and draw your own judgment, as to whether such a piece deserves being printed (in book form) or not - maybe it's just me, but I find it very odd to read about a guy who "feels his mouth full of his tongue" - I am sure he's missing something - and truth-be-told, in the "hood" where I live, he'd get that right advice off-prompt, if yanno what I mean!

Existence is undoubtedly problematic and disturbing. In one weekend strip, in Sartre's "Peanuts," Schulz succinctly describes the horror of discovering one's own existence in the world:

Linus: I'm aware of my tongue ... It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up ... I can't help it ... I can't put it out of my mind ... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth ...

Sartre devoted an entire book to this experience – his 1938 novel "Nausea" in which his character Roquentin is alarmed to discover his own actuality. But Linus sums the point up very well in a few frames.

malachovsky, I understand your approach and sense of practicality you're bringing here - but if you stay alone and do not socialize with other people - as it is the case with lonely people like philosophers - it's not surprising that similar thoughts will come to your mind.

Now, it's never occured to me, but I am sure it has to other people - Sartre, being on the record, on this kind of thing.

After all, what other hope we have to distinguish ourselves from animals? It's because of our self-consciousness that we are can claim to be superior to other living creatures.

The "thinking about thinking" kind of thing - otherwise we'd be just like animals, creatures without any morals, shame, and the like - in other words, uncivilized.

I am not sure if you're getting me here, lemme know if you need further elaboration (Take note that the post by "malachovsky" appears on the ID (Institutional Denial) thread - in case you've been hanging in here for a while and still have not perused that thread!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #555 on: February 28, 2012, 03:42:08 PM »


The hypertrophied rationalism of American law is a product of trying too hard to be good: of failing to accept that law is always a somewhat crude and potentially destructive social steering mechanism, that works best when it remains a tacit presence in the social background. Instead Americans insist on subjecting themselves to a dictatorship of the bureaucratic: one in which the answer to every important social conflict inevitably involves more rules and procedures, more rights and obligations, more "reasons" and "principled justifications" given in the course of constructing ever-more complex analytic and rhetorical circles for choosing to do this rather than that -- in brief, more law.

Much of the baroque complexity of modern American law represents what is at best a wasteful multiplication of transaction costs, and at worst a symptom of a species of institutionalized mental illness. Much of the basic structure of American law is a pointless or even pathological outgrowth of various rationalist delusions.

The excesses of American rule of ideology are in large part enabled by our unwillingness to accept that reason, when properly employed, works to make its further employment superfluous. Reason, that is, works ironically toward its own effacement. [...] Outside a legal equilibrium zone law tends to be both an invisible and a powerful factor in the maintenance of social cohesion. By contrast within such a zone the inevitable contradictions in the legal rules such situations produce are clearly visible, and as a consequence the rules themselves are rendered relatively useless. Faced with such legal and social contradictions, we can not decide efficiently processed legal diputes on the basis of "reason". We merely decide.

The essential fallacy of legal rationalism is thus to think that what works well in moderation will work even better in large doses. So deep is this belief that when the more extreme manifestations of legal reason fail altogether we tend to manifest a willful blindness to this failure, or we undertake what soon become perverse efforts to perfect systems of rules that, by the nature of the problems they address, can't be perfected. When neither of these strategies work we do what courts often do and simply indulge in magical thinking, assuming, of course, e.g., that because a court ends its opinion with the phrase "it is so ordered," "it" is both going to happen, and to produce a series of predictable social effects.

[...] American law, that is, may well find itself betrayed by its own overweening pride in having succeeded in its quest to bring so much of American life under its sway. As a consequence of the legal system's increasing tendency to deny the true nature of its crucial but relatively modest role as a social coordination and dispute processing mechanism, our law is becoming so elaborate, so hypertrophied, so pointlessly complex, and hence so unnecessarily expensive that alternate modes of getting from here to there on the social map are already springing up all around us. [...] And of course various militant ideologies of the far right serve as disconcerting reminders of how considerably more radical forms of dissent against what is called the rule of law are already simmering.

Like the donkey of the fable who starves to death because he is exactly equidistant from two stacks of hay and therefore can't decide rationally to which stack he should go, we demand dispositive reasons for choosing where there are none. Less principled than the ass, we than "discover" -- at great fiscal and psychological expense -- some answer that must be arrived at more or less arbitrarily, while still insisting that this particular outcome was impelled by the law, or legal principles, or reason itself.

Exactly, pobis, one should not overdo it - take a look at the novel approach a poster was taking in relation to this post - he e-mailed me a couple of lines, fully justifying the method (exemplified by the "manual," regardless of what actually the manual contains - if it's in the "manual," it's good to go)

I guess no one. I mean, this "body language" thing is complete bulls h i t - I know that it's being relied on a lot, by a hell of a lot of LE pros, but they KNOW deep down themselves that that's just not true (that they can actually tell if one's lying using the "behavioral cues" they elicit in their suspects). I am sure this may not the right time for class, but I have to tell you this: there are simply no verbal or non-verbal cues unique to lying. In fact, there are very small differences between those who tell the truth and liars. A truth-teller might appear nervous and thus judged to be lying, as it also possible that a liar might just be very good at it (lying). Not to mention that oftentimes lies are embedded in truths.

LE people will tell you that they "know what they are doing" and that their years of experience have taught them things - stuff that they can't even explain logically (rationally) to other people, that 'vibe' kind of thing - that enable 'em to detect lying (deceit). They will mock, for instance, psychologists' work on the subject showing the absence of any credible "cues to deception" and they will boast they have learned such "cues" by spotting liars in real-life situations, not in "experimental studies."

Psychologists, then, had LE personnel as study participants, asking them to detect deception by actually interviewing in the manner of their choice a mock suspect. The police officers were no better than plain folk study participants - they were able to say whether someone was lying or not with an accuracy of just 57% (remember that you have an 50% chance of telling such just by guessing!)

Finally, LE people will tell you that they need a "method" when going for this kind of thing, and that "something" is better than "nothing." They start with a certain "version" of the story (the so-called "evidence") and slowly get the suspect to "validate" such story, with a written statement at the end of the process, signed by him and witnessed by 2 other people. The most critical part of this process is at the beginning, when the LE people will try to rationalize to themselves that the person they have in front of them may have actually committed the crime, and that they have, more likely than not, accurately classified him as either a truth-teller or a liar. So, in a certain sense, it does involve a certain degree of self-brainwashing on the part of the investigators themselves. I mean, think about it - if you consider the actual method/technique you are using completely 'crap', you just won't be able to carry it on for hours and hours on end, every day of your life!


Basically he (probably working as LE himself) that it's easy to sit back and criticize - philosophize as how to do this and how to go for that - but it's a totally different thing to step up and try to actually do the job! There's nothing perfect in this world and yes, truth-be-told, something is better than nothing!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #556 on: February 29, 2012, 07:01:42 PM »

bhut_jolokia, as you even say, many white-collar guys (and gals like yourself)  would show up in places where you'd not expect a lot of other white-collar people to be - however, I wanted to make an observation, which I think, is critical and unique to gay men specifically:


We like to think this is America, the land of the milk and the honey, where people are not afraid to stand up for who they really are. That we can say what we want (remember the First Amendment?!), and choose our sexual partners in quantities and qualities that we see fit. But that's just not true - it's the inherent American hypocrisy type of thing that makes people think it's this way, when in actuality, it's that much different!

Excuse my level of detail now, but are you aware of the straight/married men's paranoia? The kind of unhealthy paranoia that white-collar "straight" guys entertain, because of the way the society they're part of, expects them to be and behave?! These "straight" men will NEVER, EVER have a photo online. They talk for hours online, needing to be convinced, only to NEVER show up to meet anyone in person. They will play e-mail games wherein they'll send 15 messages back and forth and mysteriously STOP responding the moment they're asked to put up or shut up (they choose "shut up"). "Straight" men make a big deal out of telling you about their wives and girlfriends and how they are able to "get away" with it, which is what they actually do not.

They try to make you understand that they seek only "discrete" encounters and feel it necessary to ramble on for a good 45 minutes feeling you out to see if you have hidden cameras in your house and if you are taking down their license plate number, being afraid that you might be able to find out their personal information and rush over to his house when he's at work and his wife is home raising the babies to tell her all about his secret "life."

You've got to love how these "straight" men orgasm in less than 60 seconds, the minute they LOOK at a penis in real life. That sure is HOT! You've got to love how straight men tell you they have "no experience" and have only "sucked one cock." You've to actually look at these men, who are not sure who or what they are, and who are lacking in any sort of self-confidence whatsoever, pretending to be one thing and actually being something else.

Not only that, mauchly, but str8 men are so scared of being outed that they will do totally stupid things when caught doing this kind of thing - the local paper reported some time ago that the police arrested a man who's approaching gay men cruising in public bathrooms asking them for money pretending to be undercover store's security staff - he had scored many many times, although he never ever showed a bagde to the gay men he conned!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #557 on: March 03, 2012, 03:59:39 PM »

When people stub their toe, they get angry, curse, and through hobbled grimace and gritted teeth, ignore the pain. How much quicker the heal and more pleasant the day, if that poor throbbing toe were held and its pain acknowledged instead.

Then comforted by warm, sympathetic hands till pain eases and ends. After all, no matter the shoe, the speed, or the rocky path pointed, the toe never lets body down.

If small this change in thought does seem, apply that small principle to a larger scale, and note what differences result with change of belief. When the body is sick or diseased, the prescribed policy is to view the disease with winner-loser hostility. Rather than stiffening resolve and muscle and steadying nerve to control pain, rather than declaring all-out war and focusing energy and resources on destroying the invader, flip perspectives instead.

Focus light on body's plight, for it's every bit in need of caress as that stubbed toe once was. Accept the pain, validate its existence. The body system may be confused as to which is friend and which is foe. The body for allowing disease to enter or disease for daring to enter? Wars are always confusing. As peace can follow surrender in war, heal and cure can follow surrender in body disease.

[...] Applying the simple principle further, farther, wider; how far from acceptance and cooperation ever healing is? Both come inextricably bound and wound when love visits. When children stub their toe, they cry out in acknowledgment of pain.

With love in heart and hand, adults comfort and massage their sore wee toe and kiss and cuddle to ease pain.

I wonder if we do not view each other as stubbed toes too-often, and too-readily in life. It seems avoidance is easier than care, anger is faster than understanding, complaint is quicker than compliment, and ignoring common, if not prevalent.

When others hurt, they are generally left to fend for themselves, as stubbed toe often must do. When our children hurt, we hurt too. What's the difference?

Other than pedigree and proximity, nothing.

injunction, these are some great words, but truth-be-told, we're not taught to "acknowledge the pain," (we're actually told to "take it like a man")!

When love visits?! As things are - as you even say it yourself - those visitations are "allowed" for children only, so to speak! I mean, would you expect much tenderness and affection displayed before (let alone after) the, let's say, average sexual relationship? With people going thru hundreds of partners - and with your wife having become like your sister to you - what kind of affection would you expect to show towards your partner? It's more like sex conducted in a militaristic manner, just like you do it in the middle of a mess (all that other stuff you've to do)!

But your idea, of love being an end in itself, is truly great!

manual, could you please expand a bit? Sounds to me really interesting ..

There is no doubt that we do not believe, on a societal level, in "love for love's sake," "love per se" - or as the second poster put it, "love as an end in itself" - in fact, we tend to abuse each other emotionally when engaging in multiple relationships with other people over time, without any amount of affection and emotional exchange in the process. And I would doubt it that we treat children much more differently, in fact, with so many parents having to work 2 jobs and the like!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #558 on: March 03, 2012, 05:29:41 PM »

[...] Formerly, they could eat, dress, wear shoes, be educated, travel, and hear Beethoven; while millions did not eat, had no clothes or shoes, neither studied nor traveled, much less listened to Beethoven. Any restriction on this way of life, in the name of the rights of the community, appears to the former oppressors as a profound violation of their individual rights -- although they had no respect for the millions who suffered and died of hunger, pain, sorrow, and despair. For the oppressors, "human beings" refers only to themselves; other people are "things." For the oppressors, there exists only one right: their right to live in peace, over against the right, not always even recognized, but simply conceded, of the oppressed to survival. And they make this concession only because the existence of the oppressed is necessary to their own existence.

This behavior, this way of understanding the world and people (which necessarily makes the oppressors resist the installation of a new regime) is explained by their experience as a dominant class. Once a situation of violence and oppression has been established, it engenders an entire way of life and behavior for those caught up in it -- oppressors and oppressed alike. Both are submerged in this situation, and both bear the marks of oppression. Analysis of existential situations of oppression reveals that their inception lay in an act of violence -- initiated by those with power. This violence, as a process, is perpetuated from generation to generation of oppressors, who become its heirs and are shaped in its climate. This climate creates in the oppressor a strongly possessive consciousness -- possessive of the world and of men and women. Apart from direct, concrete, material possession of the world and people, the oppressor consciousness could not understand itself -- could not even exist. Fromm said of this consciousness that, without such possession, "it would lose contact with the world." The oppressor consciousness tends to transform everything surrounding it into an object of its domination. The earth, property, production, the creations of people, people themselves, time -- everything is reduced to the status of objects at its disposal.

In their unrestrained eagerness to possess, the oppressors develop the conviction that it is possible for them to transform everything into objects of their purchasing power; hence their strictly materialistic concept of existence. Money is the measure of all things, and profit the primary goal. For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more -- always more -- even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them, to be is to have and to be the class of the "haves." As beneficiaries of a situation of oppression, the oppressors cannot perceive that if having is a condition of being, it is a necessary condition for all women and men. This is why their generosity is false. Humanity is a "thing," and they possess it as an exclusive right, as inherited property. To the oppressor consciousness, the humanization of the "others," of the people, appears not as the pursuit of full humanity, but as subversion.

The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessing class, they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are; they merely have. For them, having more is an inalienable right, a right they acquired through their own "effort," with their "courage to take risks." If others do not have more, it is because they are incompetent and lazy, and worst of all is their unjustifiable ingratitude towards the "generous gestures" of the dominant class. Precisely because they are "ungrateful" and "envious," the oppressed are regarded as potential enemies who must be watched.

It could not be otherwise. If the humanization of the oppressed signifies subversion, so also does their freedom; hence the necessity for constant control. And the more the oppressors control the oppressed, the more they change them into apparently inanimate "things." This tendency of the oppressor consciousness to "in-animate" everything and everyone it encounters, in its eagerness to possess, unquestionably corresponds with a tendency to sadism.

Exactly Figaro - if people would find the force to act on what they already know and understand about the system and defect, the oppressors can not artificially force their ideology and their ways, the ones that help maintain the false hierarchy of power and wealth.

What exactly do you mean by, "oppressors can not artificially force their ideology and their ways"?

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #559 on: March 04, 2012, 04:48:30 PM »

But that misses the point! People assume that ANY d i c k will do, that it doesn't really matter whether it's the-guy-down-the-street's, or your boss's!

I am a 36-years-old black woman who works as a secretary for a financial services firm. I run into a lot of guys who, given my physique and appearance, would very much like to have sex with me. But you know what - I just don't feel like going with them .. to me, they are the soft, faggoty kind of guy I do not really like, that I am not used to @ # ! *! They say we choose our sexual "objects" (lovers) after the image of the opposite sex parent - my daddy was a tough guy, who did not hesitate to do the work of a blue-collar guy - despite being a teacher, loved and adored by all his students. Basically what I am saying is that I find it difficult to settle for the guy sitting next to me in his cubicle, prompting me to venture and go to places where you'd not expect a lot of white-collar guys to show up!

bhut jolokia, I understand where you are coming from, I've heard women saying, "it was like I was being screwed by a bunny" - on the lighter side, I guess women at least get taken out by their potential partners (their co-workers) to eat a dinner and the like - which, I guess, it's not the rule with men (gay men you mention), office people go for that just like that, "Buddy, will ya ..."