False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
cotiger
Posts: 1648
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:58 am

By far the most disheartening thing I encountered on TLS when I was a regular visitor was the persistent "Just graduated, majored in liberal arts :( I'm applying to law school because what else even is there for me?" and the related focus on consulting, finance, or other very structured and directed career paths as the other possible post-collegiate results that didn't warrant killself.

The idea that there's a whole huge world out there with all sorts of different avenues to explore (and yes, with JERBS in those random corners) never seemed to even occur to a disturbingly large number of people. Of those who had considered that possibility, most just dismissed it as boomer flame.

The idea of figuring out what you're into and then figuring out how to feed yourself while pursuing that seems to have fallen violently out of favor.

Can you really be a corporate drone if there was never any passion inside of you to kill?

User avatar
cotiger
Posts: 1648
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:01 am

I get that it feels like the playing field is tilted against you, but the solution is not to double down on slotting into the system that's fucking you.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:12 am

That's probably true if you want the white picket fence or its equivalent. But what about people that came out of undergrad with a humanities background into a fucked-up society being sucked dry by neoliberal rentiers who use disingenuous policy arguments and turned two branches of government in a country you are actually really stoked on into meat puppets for capital? Why not go to law school and gun for positions of influence while having a chip on your shoulder for life against the oligarchical bloodsuckers who hung you out to dry? Why not go to the cheapest elite school you can, bang against the walls while you're there, launch off on Pikkety when they try and give you their innumerate version of Coase? Fucking fight. The world is a vampire. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

I'm going to revisit Deleuze/Guattari and do this reterritorialization/1000 Plateaus "argument" right. I just hate their writing style so much and I'm dreading it.

User avatar
cotiger
Posts: 1648
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:32 am

Didn't mean to imply that you can't have that vitality and also go to law school. Just that a depressingly high percentage of people who are on this board seem to have given up before they even thought to try.

While I certainly understand your Marxist take on this, you don't have to subscribe to a radical leftism to escape the striver trap.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:45 am

I agree with all of that and still think false consciousness and alienation are pretty versatile concepts. I think there's room for elements of radical "leftism" embedded in moderate and even conservative ideologies. I'm interested in how to square Hayek and actual legal conservatism (not disingenuous "originalism;" that's hopeless) with these intuitions and I like Arendt fine as an updated classicist but just know the answer is probably even more neatly presented somewhere in 1000 Plateaus but it's just sooo much work to trudge through.

User avatar
cotiger
Posts: 1648
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:29 am

Depends on what you mean by conservative. There's Burkean conservatism, which is antithetical. Then there's the version that is skeptical we understand enough to reliably improve on the present, which seems orthogonal at best. The ripest avenue for intersection is with the classical liberalism (housed under "conservative" in modern political discourse) of e.g. Hayek, especially wrt spontaneous order. Any strongly hierarchical or directed society/economy will be captured in some way and trend towards false consciousness and alienation, regardless of its ostensible political orientation.

But I think that focusing too strongly on broader socio-political impacts risks distracting from the most important issue. Which is, like, saving people's souls. The really negative impact of being striver trash is not in working for "the man," it's in losing the potential to be a fully self-actualized human being. Just look at the anon you posted in the OP: he's business-y and corporate, but we'd be better off both individually and as a society if more thought like him as opposed to the senior in college who wants to K-JD at Harvard with the nebulous goal of "prestigious" PI.

User avatar
los blancos
Posts: 7119
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:39 am

cotiger wrote:The ripest avenue for intersection is with the classical liberalism (housed under "conservative" in modern political discourse) of e.g. Hayek, especially wrt spontaneous order.


Yeah, esp for those of us with minarchist tendencies that have a gut reaction to statism or big gvmt generally.

User avatar
06102016
Posts: 13466
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:29 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby 06102016 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:43 am

..

User avatar
los blancos
Posts: 7119
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:54 am

slackademic wrote:The tough part about this thread is precisely that "special snowflake syndrome" will allow many to ignore it, in that they believe they are more conscious and informed than the people this thread must be attempting to reach. I would have felt that way before law school.

Now it hits pretty close to home.


Yeah, I mean my sr year of college I used to listen to this track all the time and definitely had a lot of "why should I go to lawl school and serve nothing but the interests of rich people" contemplation, but I think I still would've fallen into the same trap. I'm not even terribly sure why I ended up going. It's not that I really regret it, because I genuinely enjoy the practice of law, but I'm trying to figure out what the most productive use of my time and effort is in a broader sense and this definitely speaks to that. I've always felt crim prosecution was my calling, but I'm not entirely sure it's a field that has room for my principles on it. I feel like it might just be enough for me to avoid feeling like a little eichmann but that's easier said than realized.



Also the secondhand Eichmann excerpt from p. 4 can help dumb ppl like me understand the essence of stiverism(?).

User avatar
georgej
Posts: 2373
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:55 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby georgej » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:57 am

slackademic wrote:The tough part about this thread is precisely that "special snowflake syndrome" will allow many to ignore it, in that they believe they are more conscious and informed than the people this thread must be attempting to reach. I would have felt that way before law school.

Now it hits pretty close to home.


I imagine a cloud of consumerist dust being blown away from the part of many posters' minds where once there was some material gleaned from a philosophy course probably not germane to this discussion but nevertheless all they have in their arsenal to "argue" with and make themselves feel intellectually equal (who am I kidding: superior) to business lady. It speaks to what I think is the bigger, underlying problem with our current strivery, capital based society: a fear of death and a resulting, kneejerk narcissism. This is basically another way to say false consciousness, but I think its important to identify whats behind the phenomenon and to examine how it also affects the elite (and, sorry, going to law school does not make you an elite).

I just got to this thread so forgive me if I'm addressing things from a few pages back all at once here.

Anyway,

First, re: debt. Its bad and enslaving, yes, but look at why that is. Its a quantifiable form of the vengeance principle; it is the antithesis of forgiveness. I find it telling that even among friends people are nervous whenever the check comes at a restaurant. Even if someone pays for the whole thing, everyone else feels obliged to give thank-yous out of proportion to the act of paying. They seem uncomfortable with generosity, or in the alternative, are uncomfortable because they are too unsure of even the near future to feel confident they will pay the group's next meal. What's surprising from a strictly quantitative perspective is that the richer the bill payer is, the more insecure he often is that the ritual thanking will be performed insufficiently. This is a clue that behind simple notions of the value of money, or even social capital, the far more valuable thing is a defined hierarchy. Marxist thought might miss the mark somewhat when it focuses on the how capitalism works rather than why it developed; i.e. what is it about human nature that desires this system?

Second: Ritual is an absolute necessity to life, and any philosophy that tries to strip the "empty" rituals of life completely away from people will just see new, equally absurd ones spring up in place. Ritual is less commonly religious than it once was, but that context is the one in which its easiest to understand the point I'm trying to make, which is that rituals are cultural habits that we have to fill up the down-time. Sitting down in the morning to post on TLS before studying/working does not add anything quantifiable to any of our lives. But everyone here does it, or if you just lurk or use this website for admissions advice, you probably have others time-filling habits. Some would call them hobbies. Others might say passions or interests or something like that. Yet for some, ritual is everything. In olden times, these kinds of people entered the priesthood. In modern times, these type of people are the true, Faustian, strivers. What the older, religious system provided that the modern doesn't was a solid endgame. I think my best advice is if you want to make a life out of scratching your way to the top, know that a) you will probably fail but b) if you succeed, there's nothing there and you'll probably just end up getting really good at something like golf or birdwatching and wishing you'd spent more time on these little rituals/hobbies from the beginning. But for some rare people, there might be an option c) actuating world change. The people gunning for option c) frankly terrify me, and I hope those that get there leave the rest of us alone to play at our rituals in our little sandboxes. This type of elite typically does not actually care about the world, he is just the most in the grip of the narcissistic death-fear.

Third: Fear of death is natural and unconquerable without the aid of something supernatural. Defeating death is not a realistic goal for a modern world system. But narcissism and solipsism, the symptom of this fear that is most nurtured by capitalism, should absolutely be put up on the chopping block by any ideology seeking an alternative to the current system. Make this happen by dis-emphasizing partnership. Replace it with friendship between people irrespective of hierarchy. How? I don't know. Through ritual or superstition maybe. A firm conviction that a thing is so can make it so. Maybe get some poor people jobs as caddies at the local country club and let the rich golfers get a mulligan or a point on their handicap if they, like, kneel down and wash the caddie's feet or something. Or make welfare checks way bigger but only for poor people who can learn, like, a national dance or how to swallow fire. Use rituals like these to undermine self-obsession?

tl;dr: don't go to law school-- play golf with poor people

User avatar
Elston Gunn
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Elston Gunn » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:59 am

slackademic wrote:The tough part about this thread is precisely that "special snowflake syndrome" will allow many to ignore it, in that they believe they are more conscious and informed than the people this thread must be attempting to reach. I would have felt that way before law school.

Now it hits pretty close to home.

I more and more think this is the theme song of TLS:



Poor young grandson, there's nothing I can say
You'll have to learn, just like me
And that's the hardest way

E.g.:
james.bungles wrote:ok well I will let the circlejerk continue but I seriously doubt the people without 10k posts are going to find this useful at all


Thinking critically about the whole experience is still very useful for those of us already here, however.
Last edited by Elston Gunn on Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
06102016
Posts: 13466
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:29 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby 06102016 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:00 am

..

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:04 am

yea there's a lot of fighting with yourself. a lot of "are you fucking kidding me?" spoken internally. it's funny, i get mad at myself when i fuck up, but i also get mad at myself when someone else fucks up my dinner/weekend plans.

User avatar
earthabides
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:48 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby earthabides » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:14 am

.
Last edited by earthabides on Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:17 am

yea, that sounds plausible.

User avatar
ymmv
Posts: 13025
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:36 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby ymmv » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:22 am

earthabides wrote:
slackademic wrote:The tough part about this thread is precisely that "special snowflake syndrome" will allow many to ignore it, in that they believe they are more conscious and informed than the people this thread must be attempting to reach. I would have felt that way before law school.

Now it hits pretty close to home.


special snowflake syndrome goes both ways. you and others in this thread seem to believe that people who have thought about these topics deeply are in the minority and that you and others are the enlightened few. I would say that most people have and do think about these things and the backlash to this thread is similar to what you would get if you were trying to teach HS math to an engineer. It's interesting for sure, but presenting it like it is this new and radical thought that should change everyones world view is pretty condescending.


I don't agree with this as a general sentiment, but is some condescension in the assumption a few people ITT make that many people haven't tried the whole starving artist thing and hated it. I also get the sense that some posters have completely forgotten the recession already or were too young to wholly appreciate how fucking awful it was to be fighting for even the shittiest of service jobs in 2009. Well-established corporate career paths can have an attraction to those who have already dealt with crushing undergraduate debt and un/under-employment in the real world, not just to naive lib arts college juniors deciding whether to LSAT or "follow their dreams" or dick around in China for a few years.
Last edited by ymmv on Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
06102016
Posts: 13466
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:29 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby 06102016 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:25 am

..

User avatar
utahraptor
Posts: 3440
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:32 am

I've literally never heard people justify law in that way in real life. I've heard people say it's the best of bad options, or that they regret the choice. I hear people admit that they want money and they think this is how to get it.

But, even that differs from what you're talking about. There's no real opt-out for most people. Or, if you think there is an opt-out, I'd like to know what it is. Awareness without options is pretty meaningless.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:33 am

utahraptor wrote:Or, if you think there is an opt-out, I'd like to know what it is.

ooh, ooh, call on me, i know

User avatar
utahraptor
Posts: 3440
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:34 am

fats provolone wrote:
utahraptor wrote:Or, if you think there is an opt-out, I'd like to know what it is.

ooh, ooh, call on me, i know

If that is the opt-out you want, you can take it. Didn't see TLS as actually advocating for mass suicide.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:36 am

utahraptor wrote:
fats provolone wrote:
utahraptor wrote:Or, if you think there is an opt-out, I'd like to know what it is.

ooh, ooh, call on me, i know

If that is the opt-out you want, you can take it. Didn't see TLS as actually advocating for mass suicide.

it's KYS, not KMS

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby bjsesq » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:36 am

utahraptor wrote:I've literally never heard people justify law in that way in real life. I've heard people say it's the best of bad options, or that they regret the choice. I hear people admit that they want money and they think this is how to get it.

But, even that differs from what you're talking about. There's no real opt-out for most people. Or, if you think there is an opt-out, I'd like to know what it is. Awareness without options is pretty meaningless.

I'm with Smaug here. Great, you recognize a systematic double dipping on those attempting to escape the proletariat, but what good does it do if their alternative is non-existent. Further, the idea of finishing law school and attacking the system from within sounds great in the abstract, but the devil is in the details. What exactly does that attack look like?

User avatar
utahraptor
Posts: 3440
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:38 am

fats provolone wrote:
utahraptor wrote:
fats provolone wrote:
utahraptor wrote:Or, if you think there is an opt-out, I'd like to know what it is.

ooh, ooh, call on me, i know

If that is the opt-out you want, you can take it. Didn't see TLS as actually advocating for mass suicide.

it's KYS, not KMS

im not the one bothered by it, tho

If you want to advocate for my murder, that's cool

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:42 am

yea im lost

User avatar
earthabides
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:48 pm

Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby earthabides » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:02 pm

.
Last edited by earthabides on Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Thewanderer and 1 guest