Law in Contemporary Society

I became uncomfortable at the same moment as Julia but for a different reason. Rather than thinking Eben's proposition was unfairly tough on politicians I felt it was unfairly soft on non-politicians. The difference between Spitzer and Dahmer (as interviewees) is not that one is a politician and thus almost assuredly dishonest but that one was a man condemned to die who longed to be understood and thus unusually predisposed to be honest. Mass politics might further encourage or especially demand types of dishonesty, but such dishonesty is not unique to politics (just as social engineering is not unique to law). We are all so well-versed in the art of obfuscation that we can hardly appreciate the extent to which it pervades even our most personal thoughts.

Enjoy the break.

-- PietroSignoracci - 13 Mar 2008

Hey Pietro,

I became uncomfortable at the same moment as Julia, but didn't know why until I read your post. Rather than describing what WE perceive that people are thinking—using words like "honest" or "dishonest"—I feel we should describe people in terms of how THEY perceive what WE are thinking. The difference between people is that some can read minds, and some cannot. I would thus categorize non-mindreaders as persons who aren't particularly good at inflicting torture, and then dispense with the term; then consider everyone to be "a bad mindreader," and categorize them by how hard they try to improve.

Thus, I'd omit your first paragraph, and re-write the second: "Everyone eventually breaks—you'll see." Thus, I show (don't tell) the actual extent to which I appreciate the extent to which obfuscation pervades even MY most personal thoughts— seeming being the only reliable evidence that one is well-versed in both the art and the self-infliction of obfuscation; honest and dishonest obfuscation both being useless characterizations of what people will say when they eventually break. This also faithfully preserves your second paragraph, since every tortured 1L both gets and deserves his spring break—"spring break" being only a particularly painful kind of torture, for persons who has been lodging sticks up their asses since September.

We seem to have different goals. I want to seem to lack less than "hardly," what you seem to want to seem to lack more than "hardly": being full of shit. But everyone falls short for the same reason: Nobody, nobody, can disaggregate shit, which we want to "pull together", from bullshit, which we want to "cut the". (Take, for example, the accusations that certain of Jerome Frank's ideas were developed in collaboration with registered Communists in the State department.)

Aside from hosting my parents from Los Angeles, my torture—excuse me, my break's going great. Let's get together if you're in town. I enjoy all your posts and would like to finally meet you and discuss your ideas.

Otherwise, enjoy your break, too. smile

-- AndrewGradman - 14 Mar 2008


Webs Webs

r6 - 07 Jan 2010 - 22:19:29 - IanSullivan
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM