Wednesday, October 09, 2013

U.S. Law Education and the Future of the Legal Profession: A Blueprint for Change by William D. Henderson

Professor William D. Henderson has written a seminal article on law education and the future of the legal profession. See A Blueprint for Change.

Innovation in Law Firms

See Law21 and Law firm innovation: From idea to implementation

Tea Party Political Nihilism: "WE DON'T CARE" as a Philosophy of Anarchism in the Russian Tradition of Mikhail Bakunin

See the Business Insider reporting the results of a questioning of Tea Party persons by the Potomac Research Group's Greg Valliere at Wall Street Doesn't Get The Tea Party.

Based on that report, the philosophy of the Tea Party appears to be:

"WE DON'T CARE".

The destructive actions taking place via the House of Representatives thus become clearer in placing the Tea Party in the category of

political nihilism,

which we found defined at the Wikipedia as follows:
"Political nihilism is a branch of nihilism that follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of ... the necessity of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as government, family or even law and law enforcement." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
Political nihilism is a doctrine that originated in Russia.

It is an irony that those who regard themselves to be the most right wing of all American factional fundamentalist political groups are in fact comparable in their political attitudes to the most left wing of all fundamentalist Russian groups in the 19th century.

Political nihilism led in Russia to anarchism and to a series of terrible wars and great loss of life.

Its leading instigator was Mikhail Bakunin.
"Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian: Михаил Александрович Бакунин, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ˌbaˈkunʲin]) (30 May [O.S. 18 May] 1814 – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary, libertarian socialist, and founder of "collectivist anarchism" philosophy. He is considered among the most influential figures of anarchism, and one of the principle founders of the "social anarchist" tradition of anarchism.[2] Bakunin's enormous prestige as an activist, made him one of the most famous ideologues in Europe; during his lifetime, he was arguably more infamous than Karl Marx. He gained substantial influence among radicals throughout Russia and Europe."
Interesting is that the Tea Party "Town Hall" movement can be compared to the building of Russian socialist communes:
"The 1872 Hague Congress was dominated by a struggle between Marx and his followers, who argued for the use of the state to bring about socialism, and the Bakunin/anarchist faction, which argued instead for the replacement of the state by federations of self-governing workplaces and communes".
In the present USA, the Tea Party is similarly trying to sabotage federal government in favor of local rule in their electorate districts.


Public Spending as the Socialization of Risk and Unavoidable Losses that the Dominant Private Class in Capitalism Avoids Via Local, State and Federal Government

Men are by and large greedy, selfish yahoos (see Gulliver's Travels for the origin of the term) and that is why capitalism is so successful, because its economic and political doctrines are based on a recognition of that human condition.

One area of great and often unrecognized or unacknowledged selfishness is the socialization of risk and losses by the private sector using the government as their handmaiden.

No one who discusses capitalism and socialism can fail to deal with that issue because public debt is primarily the result of the socialization of risk and losses by the dominant economic class and not the result of waste by the have-nots, who have little to say in the running of the system.

Philosopher, life-long socialist, born-again capitalist, and economics historian Robert L. Heilbronner was one of the most popular economic writers of all time, and is the author of the following sentence (1989), written in the New Yorker magazine at "Reflections: The Triumph of Capitalism", just prior to the collapse of the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union:
"Less than 75 years after it officially began, the contest between capitalism and socialism is over: capitalism has won... Capitalism organizes the material affairs of humankind more satisfactorily than socialism."
Heilbronner wrote further in 1992 in Dissent magazine, as referred to by David Boaz in the Free Republic:
"Capitalism has been as unmistakable a success as socialism has been a failure. Here is the part that's hard to swallow. It has been the Friedmans, Hayeks, and von Miseses who have maintained that capitalism would flourish and that socialism would develop incurable ailments. All three have regarded capitalism as the 'natural' system of free men; all have maintained that left to its own devices capitalism would achieve material growth more successfully than any other system. From [my samplings] I draw the following discomforting generalization: The farther to the right one looks, the more prescient has been the historical foresight; the farther to the left, the less so."
Heilbronner was a 100%-er rather than a man of prudence and judgment, who rather tended to make unsupportable and extreme statements and theories, whether on the subjects of capitalism or socialism, and thus was probably as wrong in supporting capitalism completely as he was previously equally wrong in being a staunch advocate of socialism. His strength is the recognition of problems and issues. His weakness is their resolution.

It is unfortunate that Heilbronner is often cited as an authority in the arguments between socialism and capitalism. He is simply too absolute.

The fact is, it all depends on what you define as "capitalism" and what you define as "socialism".

We ourselves are staunch capitalists because we acknowledge the selfish nature of humankind, and the necessity of a political and economic system that understands that. Hence, we define capitalism similarly to what is found in the Wikipedia:
"Capitalism is an economic system in which capital assets are privately owned and goods and services are produced for profit in a market economy."
Socialism in turn is defined quite the opposite, again taking the Wikipedia as a representative definition:
"Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy."
The reason "pure" socialism as defined above does not work well is because people by nature tend to work for themselves and their loved ones and not for society as a whole. That is why Marxism-Leninism failed and will always fail.

On the other hand, we must be aware that pure capitalism exists nowhere, otherwise there would be toll booths on every street and road and you could not go anywhere without paying some private person or enterprise for the privilege of going beyond your front door, from one piece of property to the next.

PUBLIC property and especially PUBLIC roads, lands and services are an essential part of democracy, because they provide YOU, the citizen with freedom of movement. For that you need people in government, e.g. the Park Authority.

Indeed, many activities of human beings involve actions other than production of commercial goods and services, and that is where the problems begin.

Simple examples are the military and police protection.

Protection of the self, of loved ones, of private property (!), of one's local region, of the state, of the nation, or of an alliance of nations is not "capitalistic" per se, because it does not really involve an issue of the commercial production of goods and services. 

Rather, men and women "pool their resources" via varied forms of group taxation, fees or tithes in order to finance e.g. "a safe neighborhood" or, on a broader scale, "national security".

These things could of course be done "privately", and on a local level, and indeed sometimes are done privately, but all ultimately involve a "social" pooling of resources and money, especially at the national FEDERAL level. That is neither capitalism nor socialism, but it is the socialization of risk.

Heilbronner in his book The Nature and Logic of Capitalism talks about this side of the social order as the necessary:
"... provision of the law and order essential for the preservation of [the capitalist system and of private property]".
This encompasses the entire scope of local and federal civil government, including the legal system, its rules and regulations, the lawyers, the courts, the legislatures, etc., including of course the funding of that government.

As Adam Smith correctly wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
"The acquisition of valuable and extensive property ... necessarily required the establishment of civil government".

"...erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works which ... may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society ...  [but these institutions and works ] could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals [because they are not profit-making]...." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
 Heilbronner in this context correctly points out that:
"... the state foists upon the public the costs of those activities that would result in monetary "losses" if they were carried out by the economic sphere, while recognizing as inviolable the right of private enterprise to benefit from its profitable undertakings.

This socialization of losses applies to much of the the network of canals, railways, highways, and airways that have played an indispensable part in capitalist growth, as well as the provision of literate and socialized work forced through public education programs, the protection of public health, and the like.

All these are examples of "public works", behind whose manifest usefulness for the citizenry at large lies the latent economic function of providing necessary inputs for [the circuit of money to commodity to more money], and the political function of strengthening the regime of the dominant class." [emphasis and link added by LawPundit]
The problem in today's America is that the dominant capitalist elite who already control the mass of American wealth and income no longer want to pay anything near their fair share for those very same government services and advantages which benefit primarily the existing capitalist system that enables their wealth and their income.


Large Foreign Investors Japan and China Warn USA of Debt Default Dangers

The article cited below shows the Alice in Wonderland dream world in which the crazed Republicans are operating in even remotely suggesting that a debt default would be " no big deal". They are literally out of their minds.

U.S. Warned by Japanese Over Perils of a Default.

Massive Ignorance at Work as Debt Default Dangers Downplayed by Uninformed Elements in the GOP Apparently having No Clue About Markets, Economics or International Finance

As reported by the New York Times Many in G.O.P. Offer Theory: Default Wouldn’t Be That Bad.

We recently saw a report that 80% of Americans had not read a single book last year.

America's major problem is that a basically very poorly informed electorate is increasingly voting for equally uninformed political candidates, who are then creating chaos in the state and federal legislatures to which they are elected, basing their decisions on incredible ignorance and misinformation.

The idea that the United States can default on its debts without creating a world financial crisis and thereby leading to massive withdrawals of foreign investment from the country is the product of colossal ignorance and blinded partisan wishful thinking.

One can only hope that enough sane legislators are still found in Washington to counter the crazies that now dominate the Republican Party.

Personal Ambition Placed Ahead of the Good of the Country: When a Boehner is a "Boner" i.e. "A Mistake"

Dick Meyer has the story for BBC News at What John Boehner's ambition has to do with the shutdown.

The ISandIS Network

Our Websites and Blogs: 3D Printing and More 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient Signs (the book) Ancient World Blog AndisKaulins.com Anthropomorphic Design Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) Archaeo Pundit Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World Computer Pundit DVD Pundit Easter Island Script Echolat edu.edu Einstein’s Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof HousePundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog LawPundit.com Law Pundit Blog LexiLine.com LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic World Megaliths Blog) Megaliths.net Minoan Culture Mutatis Mutandis Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Pinterest Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Shelfari SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stonehenge Pundit The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Wine Pundit Word Pundit xistmz YahooPundit zistmz