Law School Discussion

Legal Reasoning

Re: "Spectres of Marx"
« Reply #460 on: June 29, 2009, 10:39:35 AM »

In "Spectres of Marx," Derrida proceeds to argue for deconstruction as a inheritor of the liberationist credentials of Marxism. The title "Spectres of Marx" is an allusion to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' statement at the beginning of the Communist Manifesto that a "spectre [is] haunting Europe." For Derrida, the spirit of Marx is even more relevant now since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the demise of communism. With its death the spectre of communism begins to make visits on the earth. Derrida seeks to do the work of inheriting from Marx, that is, not communism, but of the philosophy of responsibility, and of Marx's spirit of radical critique. Derrida first notes that, in the wake of the fall of communism, many in the west had become triumphalist, as is evidenced in the formation of a Neo-con grouping and the displacement of the left in third way political formations.

Derrida went on to list 10 plagues of the capital or global system. And then to an account of the claim the creation of a new grouping of activism, called the New International. Derrida's ten plagues are:

  • Employment has undergone a change of kind, e.g., underemployment and requires 'another concept'.
  • Deportation of immigrants. Reinforcement of territories in a world of supposed freedom of movement. As in, Fortress Europe and in the number of new Separation barriers being erected around the world, in effect multiplying the "fallen" Berlin Wall manifold.
  • Economic war. Both between countries and between international trade blocs: USA - Japan - Europe.
  • Contradictions of the free market. The undecidable conflicts between protectionism and free trade. The unstoppable flow of illegal drugs, arms, etc..
  • Foreign debt. In effect the basis for mass starvation and demoralization for developing countries. Often the loans benefiting only a small elite, for luxury items, e.g., cars, air conditioning etc. but being paid back by poorer workers.
  • The arms trade. The inability to control to any meaningful extent trade within the biggest 'black market'.
  • Spread of nuclear weapons. The restriction of nuclear capacity can no longer be maintained by leading states since it is only knowledge and cannot be contained.
  • Inter-ethnic wars. The phantom of mythic national identities fueling tension in semi-developed countries.
  • Phantom-states within organized crime. In particular the non-democratic power gained by drug cartels.
  • International law and its institutions. The hypocrisy of such statutes in the face of unilateral aggression on the part of the economically dominant states. International law is mainly exercised against the weaker nations.

On the New International Derrida has this to say:

The 'New International' is an untimely link, without status ... without coordination, without party, without country, without national community, without co-citizenship, without common belonging to a class. The name of New International is given here to what calls to the friendship of an alliance without institution among those who ... continue to be inspired by at least one of the spirits of Marx or of Marxism. It is a call for them to ally themselves, in a new, concrete and real way, even if this alliance no longer takes the form of a party or a workers' international, in the critique of the state of international law, the concepts of State and nation, and so forth: in order to renew this critique, and especially to radicalize it.

If Soros is its financier and Giddens its sociologist, then perhaps Derrida is the philosopher of post-Marxism. His mission? The "new middle" needs to pre-empt the left not merely by declaring Marx dead (since who has seen the body?), but by res-erecting the body of the father as the son -- Derrida! From the safety of "After the fall" (of "communism"), Jacques Derrida, darling of the post-structuralists writes "Specters of Marx," claiming that we are all in "debt" to Marxism as the New World Disorder crumbles.

Derrida asks, "Where is Marxism going? Where are we going with it?" He recounts how he re-read "The Communist Manifesto" after some decades. "I knew very well there was a ghost waiting there, and from the opening, from the raising of the curtain. Now, of course, I have just discovered, in truth I have just remembered what must have been, haunting my memory: the first noun of the Manifesto, and this time in the singular, is 'specter': 'A Specter is haunting Europe the specter of communism'." Derrida salutes Marx and reveals his desire to reclaim at least "one spirit" of Marx by de-totalising Marx-ISM.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #461 on: July 04, 2009, 09:48:22 AM »

Derrida is very interesting indeed - If his writing has no extractable concepts or method, we can still loo at WHAT it does: what EFFETCS it has. Derrida offers a way of thinking these effects. By his own account, his writing has a matrix. Its two strands are DERAILED COMMUNICATION and UNDECIDABILITY. Derrida finds both of these in the figure of the VIRUS. "Everything I have done is dominated by the thought of a virus, the virus being many things. Follow two threads. One, the virus introduces disorder into communication, even in the biological sphere -- a derail of coding and decoding. Two, a virus is not a microbe, it is neither living nor non-living, neither alive nor dead. Follow these threads and you have the matrix of all I have done since I started writing."

My dearest friend k o a n - the virus thing on the part of Derrida is just b u l l * & ^ % - I posted something on behalf of my evil twin who provided for us all the first part of the post and I can safely say I am convinced that post-modernism is an ugly caricature of the real solution to capitalism and its nasty character.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #462 on: July 04, 2009, 10:33:57 AM »

Derrida is very interesting indeed - If his writing has no extractable concepts or method, we can still loo at WHAT it does: what EFFETCS it has. Derrida offers a way of thinking these effects. By his own account, his writing has a matrix. Its two strands are DERAILED COMMUNICATION and UNDECIDABILITY. Derrida finds both of these in the figure of the VIRUS. "Everything I have done is dominated by the thought of a virus, the virus being many things. Follow two threads. One, the virus introduces disorder into communication, even in the biological sphere -- a derail of coding and decoding. Two, a virus is not a microbe, it is neither living nor non-living, neither alive nor dead. Follow these threads and you have the matrix of all I have done since I started writing."

My dearest friend k o a n - the virus thing on the part of Derrida is just b u l l * & ^ % - I posted something on behalf of my evil twin who provided for us all the first part of the post and I can safely say I am convinced that post-modernism is an ugly caricature of the real solution to capitalism and its nasty character.

Google, are you sure the other twin is the "evil" one - I mean, he may just think the opposite of what you say..

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #463 on: November 30, 2009, 11:14:08 AM »
Determining an education is one instance. Remembering or learnining to educate is not for just anyone due to delivering the needs for specific subject matters is important.

What percentages are needed to believe in the matters of facts with your story?
Evidence, Substantive measures, and witnesses with many other matters leading sometimes to further discussion is important. Do not forget the future updates can change.



From Dawn to Decadence
« Reply #464 on: June 06, 2010, 04:08:36 PM »

In what is an even more decisive and deeper sense, Judea once again was victorious over the classical ideal at the time of the French Revolution. The last political nobility which we had in Europe, in 17th and 18th century France, broke apart under the instinct of popular resentment never on earth has there ever been heard a greater rejoicing, a noisier enthusiasm! It's true that in the midst of all this the most dreadful and most unexpected events took place: the old ideal itself stepped physically and with unheard of splendour before the eyes and the conscience of humanity and once again stronger, simpler, and more urgently than ever rang out, in opposition to the old lie, to the slogan of resentment about the privileged rights of the majority, in opposition to that will for a low condition, abasement, equality, for the decline and extinguishing of mankind in opposition to all that there rang out a fearsome and delightful counter-slogan about the privileged rights of the few! As a last signpost to a different road Napoleon appeared, the most singular and late-born man there ever was, and in him the problem of the inherently noble ideal was made flesh. We might well think about what sort of a problem that is: Napoleon, this synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman . . .

Jacques Barzun was born in 1907 and grew up in Paris and Grenoble, where his great-grandfather, a university professor, had settled to teach during the mid-19th century. He is convinced that our age, despite its extraordinary technological capabilities, is an Alexandrian age: a time of cultural sunset, depleted energies and moral confusion. His summary of what he calls "our present decadence" shows that he does not regard decadence as a neutral historical fact but as a cultural, moral, and political disaster of the first order. Barzun shows how, from one perspective, the symptoms of decadence can be understood as resulting from the hypertrophy of those very traits that defined the West: primitivism, emancipation, self-consciousness, individualism, and so on. What appear as motors for cultural development can, when pursued ruthlessly and without regard to other virtues, degenerate into engines of decadence and decline. He shows us how decadence has triumphed in various facets of modern life. There is, first of all, the spiritual paralysis that results from willing contradictory things. Western nations spend billions on public schooling for all, urged along by the public cry for Excellence. At the same time the society pounces on any show of superiority as elitism. The same nations deplore violence and sexual promiscuity among the young, but pornography and violence in films and books, shops and clubs, on television and the Internet, and in the lyrics of pop music cannot be suppressed, in the interests of "the free market of ideas."

The confusion generated by such contradictions attends every aspect of cultural endeavor. In the arts, it leads to the rise of anti-art, embodied on outside by the nihilistic pranks of Marcel Duchamp, on another by Picasso. He says that that "When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent." But futility and absurdity only seem normal to a damaged sensibility. Of course, it is not only in the realm of culture that confusion reigns. The realms of social relations and politics are equally beset. One result is what he refers to as the "Great Switch," "the reversal of Liberalism into its opposite." If Liberalism originally "triumphed on the principle that the best government is that which governs least," today "for all the western nations political wisdom has recast the ideal of liberty into liberality." The universalization and extension of the welfare state has nurtured a culture of entitlement. The very notion of rights in Western society has devolved into farce, with everyone demanding his voice be heard. All this takes place under the rousing rebel yell of democracy, when the fundamental principle of democracy is majority rule. This last advent, socially speaking, creates a tyranny of the common man over his gifted counterpart -- in short, it is the lamentable rise of the "demotic," not "democratic," in fashion, music, and the arts -- a decline expedited by the Lowest Common Denominator strategies propagated by the monolithic advertising and television industries.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #465 on: July 13, 2010, 02:17:01 PM »

This is all nice being able to vent our collective rage at these scumbags. Believe me I struggle against just exploding with disgust at humanity seeing these captains of industry act like satans minions and most people just lamely sucking it up as lazy, weak, lobotomized consumer clowns all caring about no one and no thing except their own ease and convenience. So what I want to know is what are we all going to do about these parasites?

All these fascist pieces of poo deserve whatever we can do to them and then some! I fantasize a global revolution somewhat like the French revolution with mobs storming the office towers and mansions of the ruthlessly rich and dragging these shitballs from their obscene cucoons of comfort and burning them or cutting their f**cking evil heads off. You can bet that then unbridled greed and rapacious business practices would not be idolized and worshipped with the same vigor that it is today by our propaganda spewing masters. I can just see people like Dickhead Cheney trying to fit in with the street people dressed in rags.

Diogenes has said, "In a rich man's home there is no place to spit but in his face."

His grave would also work.

Hahaha - you're so funny! LOL

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #466 on: July 17, 2010, 09:51:19 PM »

This sounds a lot like Derrida (deconstruction). The face and candle image each are mutually interdependent. Neither can exist without the other. And a Buddhist would say, "Both the faces and the candle are Empty of inherent existence!" Hinduism, also, thousands of years ago proclaimed that "Truth is One - but the sages call it by different names." Thus Hindus tolerate a great variety of forms of worship and ways of attaining enlightenment.

Derrida said, "What I understand under the name deconstruction, there is no end, no beginning, and no after." He also said, "Since it takes the singularity of every context into account, Deconstruction is different from one context to another." Now, if deconstruction is different in different fields, then how is it different in different cultures? If there is neither a beginning nor an end of deconstruction, and if deconstruction is different from one context to the next -- then deconstruction must also have taken place in other cultures -- long before Jacques Derrida was ever born! To name just three: China, India and Japan. China's great deconstructive mind belonged to an unconventional, anti-traditional Taoist named Chuang Tzu. In a manner similar to that of Jacques Derrida, he played with words, in order to undermine opposites. Both are aware of the problems that language and signification create, and both use a playful, unconventional style of writing to undermine and subvert conventional meanings -- to create works that blur the boundaries between philosophy and literature.

Chuang Tzu said, "Where there is birth, there must be death; where there is death there must be birth. Where there is acceptability there must be unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be acceptability. Where there is recognition of right there must be recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must be recognition of right." Therefore, the sage does not proceed in such a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven. He too recognizes a 'this', but a 'this' which is also a 'that', a 'that' which is also a 'this'. His 'that' has both a right and a wrong in it; his 'this' too has both a right and wrong in it. So, in fact, does he still have a 'this' and 'that'? Or does he in fact no longer have a 'this' and 'that'? A state in which 'this' and 'that' no longer find their opposites is called the hinge of the Tao.

And what did he do with the great philosophical notion of a pure origin, and of the binary opposition between Being and Non-Being? He said, "There is a beginning. There is a not-yet-beginning to be a beginning. There is a not-yet-beginning-to-be-a-not-yet-beginning to be beginning. There is being. There is nonbeing. There is a not-yet-beginning to be non being. There is a not-yet-beginning-to-be-a-not-yet-beginning to be non being. Suddenly there is being and nonbeing. But between this being and nonbeing, I don't really know which is being and which is nonbeing.

In India, that land of snow-capped Himalayas and spicy, softly blowing breezes -- from the very dawn of their religion, thousands of years ago, the Hindus have been logocentric, believing that every form in the world is but expression of a sound -- it's name. In fact, the name for a holy Word is Brahman -- the same as the word for the spiritual essence of the entire universe. And the three major Hindu gods -- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva -- each have other names, and plenty of them. Hinduism is also phallocentric and phallogocentric. Millions of Hindus worship Shiva's phallus -- or lingum -- and it is in fact the commonest object in Benares. In fact, in Benares the lingums outnumber the inhabitants. Lingums are on view everywhere, garlanded with flowers, smeared with butter and drowned in waves of milk, honey, Ganges water and the holy chanting of Ommmmmm. In fact, according to Hindu myth, the holy city of Benares was originally nothing but an erect Shiva phallus! At first it was no larger than a stovepipe, and stood in the midst of a shoreless, humming ocean. Later this phallus spread out, till it was 10 miles across. Then, it kept growing until it was as large as the whole globe. The phallus of Benares is thus almost as great as mine, which is the Center of the entire earth!

There was a time in Indian history, however, when groups of yogis became skeptical of all this. From among all the phallogocentric seekers of truth and meaning along the great brown river -- the ever-rolling and tranquil Ganges -- from among the waves and waves of turbaned priests and Hari Babas, and Ramjab Babas and Omkara Babas reciting unceasingly the eternal names of God, there emerged sects of naked, long-haired or semi-nude wandering ascetics. And as they walked along the sands of the holy Ganges they carried tridents or spears in their right hands and their limp penises would sway to and fro. They began to question everything Hindu. In fact, sometimes they would eat the flesh of dead men or would meditate atop a corpse. And instead of chanting Om, and instead of seeking for Brahman -- the essence of everything -- they began to question if anything has an essence -- if Brahmin even exists. They questioned everything -- using riddles. And from among this group of skeptics emerged a young prince, Siddartha Gotama, who was to become known as the Buddha. The Hindus had believed that the soul or Atma was identical with Brahman or God, and that is was eternal. But Buddha taught that all things are impermanent and that there is no soul.

Buddha paved the way for Asia's greatest Indian philosopher, who was to be called "The Second Buddha." His name was Nagarjuna, and many modern scholars have found that his philosophy has much in common with Derrida's "deconstruction." He wrote about Emptiness, saying that anything that is Empty is devoid of self-essence. Or in Sanskrit what is called svabhava. The cup seems to exist all by itself, and not to be dependent on, or related to, anything else. But is this a drawing of a cup or of two faces? Or is it a drawing of both, or of neither? Perhaps it is just a two-dimensional series of lines! The important point is that we cannot see both the cup and faces simultaneously. Each image appears to possess svabhava or self-essence. Each image appears to be a self-sufficient, self-existent, discrete image. But they don't possess self-essence! There is an intimate, subtle relationship between the faces and the cup. One cannot exist without the other. They depend on each other.

wtf man - what does this has to do with l egal reasoning - maybe I am a bit dense but i just don't see any conection

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #467 on: August 13, 2010, 12:06:08 PM »

''Ph'' is always pronounced as ''f'', and don't sound...the ''g.''
- Then why are they putting the ''g'', please?

Very funny indeed ... Here it is the entire thing here:

- Phlegm. ''Ph'' is always pronounced as ''f'', and don't sound...the ''g.''
- Then why are they putting the ''g'', please?
- That's a very good question, but ... it's rather difficult to explain.
- Try, Brian.
- lt's just there.
- So, Mr. Professor, you do not know?
- No.
- Then l'm sorry, l cannot help you.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #468 on: August 14, 2010, 12:14:56 PM »

In Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four there is a particularly chilling scene in which, after the director of the Ministry of Love has subjected Winston Smith to intense physical tortures, he employs another strategy in the process of Smith's gradual re-education.

"This time it will not hurt," [O'Brien] said. "Keep your eyes fixed on mine."
   At this moment there was a devastating explosion, or what seemed like an explosion.... A terrific, painless blow had flattened [Smith] out. Also something had happened inside his head ... somewhere or other there was a large patch of emptiness, as though a piece had been taken out of his brain.
   "It will not last," said O'Brien. "Look at me in the eyes.... Just now I held up the fingers of my hand to you. You saw five fingers. Do you remember that?"
   O'Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed.
   "There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?"
   And he did see them, for a fleeting instant ... there had been a moment -- he did not know how long, thirty seconds, perhaps -- of luminous certainty, when each new suggestion of O'Brien's had filled up a patch of emptiness and become absolute truth, and when two and two could have been three as easily as five, if that were what was needed ...
   "You see now," said O'Brien, "that it is at any rate possible."

Compare this passage to Karl Llewellyn's famous description of the student's first year of law school: "The hardest job of the first year is to lop off your commonsense, to knock your ethics into temporary anesthesia. Your view of social policy, your sense of justice -- to knock these out of you along with woozy thinking, along with ideas all fuzzed along their edges."

Bot of course when we undertake the resolution of hard issues it will always be the case that the relevant legal concepts, the demands of social policy, and the ideal of justice will by necessity appear to sensitive interpreters to be "fuzzed along their edges." That very same formal, empirical, and ethical fuzziness is, after all, what makes hard issues hard. A successful legal education therefore both sharpens and desensitizes the adept's sense of analytical complexity, sharpening it so that the advocate can identify various plausible arguments, and then deadening it for the purpose of making and (especially) deciding between such arguments. This  characteristic doubleness of the legal mind produces the doubleness of the literal sophomore -- of the brilliant simpleton who understands and exploits and at appropriate times forgets -- the evidentiary problems, conceptual incommensurabilities, and ethical dilemmas that always characterize legal issues. To be trained to think like a lawyer is to be taught how to evoke all the chaotic complexity of law, and then how to repress the intolerable doubt that same evocation can produce by going on to achieve the "luminous certainty" required of the advocate or judge.   

Well, in the cold calculus of the utilitarian the American law school is a classic barrier to entry, designed to maintain a professional cartel. From a democratic viewpoint it is a seminary for the production of a mystifying priestcraft, whose obscurantist incantations help legitimate the power of the social and cultural elite. In academic terms it is a mostly fraudulent operation that teaches neither theory nor practice, but instead functions as the equivalent of a foreign service academy that would show its charges Goldfinger several hundred times before sending them forth to conduct trade talks with Austria.

Shouldn't then law school be abolished altogether? After all, no other legal system in the world requires 3 years of postgraduate schooling before one can undertake the most routine matter of client representation or courtroom advocacy. Indeed, the maverick presidential candidate Morry Taylor made a pledge to close down American law schools for 10 years, a major proposal of his quixotic campaign. Why not make the study of law an undergraduate program, or a college major followed by some sort of postgraduate apprenticeship -- this would surely be a quintessentially rationalist response to an institution that survives, and even thrives, because it fills a deep cultural need for the maintenance of some atavistic set of rituals that will obscure the inescapably troublesome and often tragic relationship between moral belief, political science and social power.

Given the rhetorical requirements of legal argument, and the practical exigencies of legal decision making, it isn't an exaggeration to say that the tasks of preparing persons to undertake zealous legal representation and render legal judgment are to some extent incompatible with maintaining strict standards of intellectual honesty. Such is the fate of, e.g., those who must prepare others to wield social power arbitrarily, and yet who must at the same time legitimate that use of power by claiming legal arguments and the decisions that flow from them are impelled by "the law," or "legal principles," or "reason" itself.

But there is no reason why that fate needs to be replicated in all other areas of social life.

Interesting post P450!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #469 on: August 21, 2010, 11:28:49 AM »

As each is a self-scripted star in their life story, each also has the power and freedom to pen their own demise. Living according to individual truth considerably reduces the possibility to self-defeat becoming a pattern moment-to-moment, year-to-year, and life-to-life. Not only must WHAT to do and WHY to do be self-determined, but HOW and WHEN too. Individual feelings are the only motivator and motivation that inflames and sustains drive, and returns rewards that are personally meaningful and, therefore, more confidence-building than money and applause. Otherewise, after reasoning and logical convincing, what walks out to try and do is SHOULD. When that happens, success and happiness are not individual, but predicated on the average of all who attempted before. SHOULD not only comes with set rules for doing and limits on reward, but it also requires the input of many to supervise and encourage when enthusiasm flags. IF attained, success and happiness rewards are owed many and spread wide and thin. On the other hand, failure is a burden that's carried by one, though trying and doing involved many. SHOULD always has a record of past successes attached, which more often destroys self-confidence than builds it. DOING FOR SHOULD and DOING FOR MUST are 180-degrees apart in terms of success/failure and happiness/unhappiness. The former is reasoned so unreasonableness becomes the motivation. The latter is decided by MUST which is already unreasonable, so the only motivation available is self. When doing for MUST, happiness is a daily companion straight through to the end, regardless of success.

Genius and creativity are not reserved for the few or the remarkable. Some are not born exceptional, all are. Birds of flight all have wings, cats of prey all have claws...why would the Creator play Advantage-Disadvantage roulette with Co-Creators? Genius is not measured by ability to recall or recant knowledge, but by how far creativity ranges and stretches knowledge, or by shade and degree of variance from principle.

A degree of creative variance can result in significant differences. For instance, but for one or two evolutionary degrees, chimpanzees would be human. How creative are chimpanzees? They can recall knowledge in human-like fashion but cannot communicate...dream...laugh.. .or use thumbs like humans. Often is it stated or lamented that each utilizes but 20% of mind's potential. Perhaps the missing 80 is stored elsewhere. Why not in soul? Afterall, that's the 100% of each that exceeds death.