False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:44 am

Moneytrees wrote:I never said you shouldn't critically analyze the legal field or the motivations people have for going to law school. But to assume that most people who go to law school have not undertaken any form of self-reflection, and then to claim that this state of affairs leads to a cycle of apathy and intellectual enslavement, is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

You're trying to tackle too many disparate issues all at once, which leads to generalizations and blanket statements that may not apply to all students. In my experience, both with friends in law school and on TLS, law students don't equate landing a Biglaw gig, or a prestigious clerkship, with achieving the American Dream or fulfillment. Many people are aware that the legal field is ridden with stress, challenges and a stream of never ending work.

There are too many law schools, too many students in debt, and not enough jobs. Fair enough, the legal field is in need of a major shake up. But I think it's a mistake to assume that most students are a bunch of sheep that have never considered the downsides of the legal profession.

It would be better if you actually read my posts. Do your friends in law school equate question-begging ball-moving defeatist non-responses with reading moderate amounts of text and figuring out what's going on as well, or are you a single data point in support of my hypothesis? Just trying to be empirical here.

e: Oh, wait, I'm being an asshole and you're right.
e2: Well, you're not really right exactly, but I'm still being an asshole.
e3: Wait, didn't you just make conclusory jobs-based arguments on the last page? Maybe I'm not being an asshole.
Last edited by Businesslady on Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Moneytrees
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Moneytrees » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:49 am

Businesslady wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:I never said you shouldn't critically analyze the legal field or the motivations people have for going to law school. But to assume that most people who go to law school have not undertaken any form of self-reflection, and then to claim that this state of affairs leads to a cycle of apathy and intellectual enslavement, is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

You're trying to tackle too many disparate issues all at once, which leads to generalizations and blanket statements that may not apply to all students. In my experience, both with friends in law school and on TLS, law students don't equate landing a Biglaw gig, or a prestigious clerkship, with achieving the American Dream or fulfillment. Many people are aware that the legal field is ridden with stress, challenges and a stream of never ending work.

There are too many law schools, too many students in debt, and not enough jobs. Fair enough, the legal field is in need of a major shake up. But I think it's a mistake to assume that most students are a bunch of sheep that have never considered the downsides of the legal profession.

It would be better if you actually read my posts. Do your friends in law school equate question-begging ball-moving defeatist non-responses with reading moderate amounts of text and figuring out what's going on as well, or are you a single data point in support of my hypothesis? Just trying to be empirical here.


My post is my response to the list of assumptions that you posted. You made a ton of points in this thread, some that I agree with, some that I don't, and I'm not going to reply to each one individually.

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bjsesq
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby bjsesq » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:53 am

fats provolone wrote:
bk1 wrote:
fats provolone wrote:if the usfg is still sovereign in 20 years you've got bigger problems than tax liabilities

Touche.

it's okay that's extraordinarily hypocritical coming from me

Such a fucking transfer

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fats provolone
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:55 am

bjsesq wrote:
fats provolone wrote:
bk1 wrote:
fats provolone wrote:if the usfg is still sovereign in 20 years you've got bigger problems than tax liabilities

Touche.

it's okay that's extraordinarily hypocritical coming from me

Such a fucking transfer

trash recognize trash

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:57 am

Moneytrees wrote:
Businesslady wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:I never said you shouldn't critically analyze the legal field or the motivations people have for going to law school. But to assume that most people who go to law school have not undertaken any form of self-reflection, and then to claim that this state of affairs leads to a cycle of apathy and intellectual enslavement, is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

You're trying to tackle too many disparate issues all at once, which leads to generalizations and blanket statements that may not apply to all students. In my experience, both with friends in law school and on TLS, law students don't equate landing a Biglaw gig, or a prestigious clerkship, with achieving the American Dream or fulfillment. Many people are aware that the legal field is ridden with stress, challenges and a stream of never ending work.

There are too many law schools, too many students in debt, and not enough jobs. Fair enough, the legal field is in need of a major shake up. But I think it's a mistake to assume that most students are a bunch of sheep that have never considered the downsides of the legal profession.

It would be better if you actually read my posts. Do your friends in law school equate question-begging ball-moving defeatist non-responses with reading moderate amounts of text and figuring out what's going on as well, or are you a single data point in support of my hypothesis? Just trying to be empirical here.


My post is my response to the list of assumptions that you posted. You made a ton of points in this thread, some that I agree with, some that I don't, and I'm not going to reply to each one individually.

OK, yeah, read my posts. "Too many disparate issues?" There are 2 in the title, and then the sub-issue that people who don't want to read text for reasoning but just want to wax lumpenproletariat Panglossian and make conclusory statements should be exiled from the Republic or at least JD programs. You're on blast for the last one, buddy.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:59 am


Moneytrees
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Moneytrees » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:00 am

Businesslady wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:
Businesslady wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:I never said you shouldn't critically analyze the legal field or the motivations people have for going to law school. But to assume that most people who go to law school have not undertaken any form of self-reflection, and then to claim that this state of affairs leads to a cycle of apathy and intellectual enslavement, is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

You're trying to tackle too many disparate issues all at once, which leads to generalizations and blanket statements that may not apply to all students. In my experience, both with friends in law school and on TLS, law students don't equate landing a Biglaw gig, or a prestigious clerkship, with achieving the American Dream or fulfillment. Many people are aware that the legal field is ridden with stress, challenges and a stream of never ending work.

There are too many law schools, too many students in debt, and not enough jobs. Fair enough, the legal field is in need of a major shake up. But I think it's a mistake to assume that most students are a bunch of sheep that have never considered the downsides of the legal profession.

It would be better if you actually read my posts. Do your friends in law school equate question-begging ball-moving defeatist non-responses with reading moderate amounts of text and figuring out what's going on as well, or are you a single data point in support of my hypothesis? Just trying to be empirical here.


My post is my response to the list of assumptions that you posted. You made a ton of points in this thread, some that I agree with, some that I don't, and I'm not going to reply to each one individually.

OK, yeah, read my posts. "Too many disparate issues?" There are 2 in the title, and then the sub-issue that people who don't want to read text for reasoning but just want to wax lumpenproletariat Panglossian and make conclusory statements should be exiled from the Republic or at least JD programs. You're on blast for the last one, buddy.


Panglossian. I like that.

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los blancos
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:06 am

Businesslady wrote:
A Harvard Law School graduate could expect in 1960 to bill fifteen hundred hours a year at a major big-city law firm. In return, he was virtually certain to make partner in six years, share in the firm's profits, and enjoy a collegial, relaxed, lifetime position of prestige. His desk and office would be kept for him until he died, sometimes for years after, as a show of respect.

http://www.esquire.com/features/killing ... rvard-0800


But even then, was/is the work socially valuable? Other than the x pro bono hours they let you bill to the firm, is there really any socially valuable work that came/is coming out of these places, such that it's truly a worthwhile existence even assuming one isn't 2200 billable hours highly leveraged firm pwned?

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:07 am

I think the Yves Smith links speak to that somewhat in a manner that should be of some comfort.

I'd still defer to Socrates on the unexamined life.

e: which includes wondering how the fuck it got to be this warped (spoiler alert: corporatism / defeatism / collective action problem)

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:18 am

Moneytrees wrote:I never said you shouldn't critically analyze the legal field or the motivations people have for going to law school. But to assume that most people who go to law school have not undertaken any form of self-reflection, and then to claim that this state of affairs leads to a cycle of apathy and intellectual enslavement, is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

You're trying to tackle too many disparate issues all at once, which leads to generalizations and blanket statements that may not apply to all students. In my experience, both with friends in law school and on TLS, law students don't equate landing a Biglaw gig, or a prestigious clerkship, with achieving the American Dream or fulfillment. Many people are aware that the legal field is ridden with stress, challenges and a stream of never ending work.

There are too many law schools, too many students in debt, and not enough jobs. Fair enough, the legal field is in need of a major shake up. But I think it's a mistake to assume that most students are a bunch of sheep that have never considered the downsides of the legal profession.


It's not that people don't do any self reflection. It's that that reflection has likely taken place almost exclusively within the dominant success ideology. For an example see almost any reference to jobs coming out of UG on this board.

Stress and challenges are good things. But only when in service to something valuable. The issue isn't that people don't know that the legal field has a particularly high level of these, it's that they don't seem to be accomplishing anything. The closest response I've typically seen (other than the reflexive desire for a "good career") is stability/providing for family, but that's self-deception: law has a strong tendency to ruin relationships and your mental health. If family and stability is truly your highest goal, you should steer clear of law.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:26 am

los blancos wrote:
Businesslady wrote:
A Harvard Law School graduate could expect in 1960 to bill fifteen hundred hours a year at a major big-city law firm. In return, he was virtually certain to make partner in six years, share in the firm's profits, and enjoy a collegial, relaxed, lifetime position of prestige. His desk and office would be kept for him until he died, sometimes for years after, as a show of respect.

http://www.esquire.com/features/killing ... rvard-0800


But even then, was/is the work socially valuable? Other than the x pro bono hours they let you bill to the firm, is there really any socially valuable work that came/is coming out of these places, such that it's truly a worthwhile existence even assuming one isn't 2200 billable hours highly leveraged firm pwned?


I don't think demanding that the work be socially valuable in that way is key, especially because "socially valuable" tends to just be code for progressive politics. More like does the work allow for, or even better facilitate, a self-actualized human being? I'd wager that 1500 billables in a relatively intellectual, well-remunerated profession does.

edit: The Yves Smith article that BL posted focuses on this idea that alienation is usually not inherent to the job, but is rather typically a result of surrounding conditions.
Last edited by cotiger on Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby fats provolone » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:35 am

everyone itt should read violent cartographies

self-alienation is the real demon

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los blancos
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:38 am

cotiger wrote:I don't think demanding that the work be socially valuable in that way is key, especially because "socially valuable" tends to just be code for progressive politics. More like does the work allow for, or even better facilitate, a self-actualized human being? I'd wager that 1500 billables in a relatively intellectual, well-remunerated profession does.

edit: The Yves Smith article that BL posted focuses on this idea that alienation is usually not inherent to the job, but is rather typically a result of surrounding conditions.



Susan Webber IMPLIES lit is socially valuable

therefore i'm self actualized. see you later guise.


(goes back to doc review, the most mindless of all activities ever undertaken in entire lifetime)

(is put in insane asylum in 3 weeks)

...

Yeah, I don't know. I guess I can agree with that - like I would really like my job if it was without its "Yvesian bullshit" elements bc I genuinely enjoy researching/writing/complex lit as a practice (but even then I'd still probably feel a public service itch). But that's circular I guess. And what it doesn't get to is whether our rules are so needlessly complex that even if we're self-actualized we're still social rentiers.

Like I've got a case right now where my clients [small biz] are kind of fucked bc even though we could probably nail defendants to the wall and get treble damages and whatever, it'd cost them so much to do it that it wouldn't be worth it (and Ds are probably judgment proof). The point being... we're still some real transaction costs.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Moneytrees » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:53 am

cotiger wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:I never said you shouldn't critically analyze the legal field or the motivations people have for going to law school. But to assume that most people who go to law school have not undertaken any form of self-reflection, and then to claim that this state of affairs leads to a cycle of apathy and intellectual enslavement, is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

You're trying to tackle too many disparate issues all at once, which leads to generalizations and blanket statements that may not apply to all students. In my experience, both with friends in law school and on TLS, law students don't equate landing a Biglaw gig, or a prestigious clerkship, with achieving the American Dream or fulfillment. Many people are aware that the legal field is ridden with stress, challenges and a stream of never ending work.

There are too many law schools, too many students in debt, and not enough jobs. Fair enough, the legal field is in need of a major shake up. But I think it's a mistake to assume that most students are a bunch of sheep that have never considered the downsides of the legal profession.


It's not that people don't do any self reflection. It's that that reflection has likely taken place almost exclusively within the dominant success ideology. For an example see almost any reference to jobs coming out of UG on this board.

Stress and challenges are good things. But only when in service to something valuable. The issue isn't that people don't know that the legal field has a particularly high level of these, it's that they don't seem to be accomplishing anything. The closest response I've typically seen (other than the reflexive desire for a "good career") is stability/providing for family, but that's self-deception: law has a strong tendency to ruin relationships and your mental health. If family and stability is truly your highest goal, you should steer clear of law.


Definitely. The notion that people can be misled by a variety of factors to believe that they are doing something worthy or fulfilling is a legitimate concern.

My response to that, and this is clearly subjective, is that I believe the vast majority of jobs don't actually accomplish anything of value. What is truly valuable? Very few things/professions. To save people's lives, or move them in a way only art or music can? I don't believe, for instance, that Steve Jobs changed the world in any genuinely important way. I don't see how creating a better or more efficient computer is inherently more valuable than being an attorney, social worker or small business owner.

This belief is based on the assumption that there really isn't any real purpose in life, no natural order or inherently purposeful endeavors. Existence precedes essence, as Sartre would say. You give your life meaning through your actions; if you live your life in accordance to what you genuinely believe will make you happy, then you are creating value through that choice. The importance of introspection, in my mind, is that it allows you to critically look at your life and thus take responsibility for your choices.

So while I admit that it's very important for people to critically examine their lives and their motivations, I don't think law is inherently less fulfilling than other professions. The hard work that you put into building a successful law career can be valuable. It can be a source of pride and fulfillment. It can also be a source of misery. It depends in large part on your motivation for choosing law as a career path, and on whether you are aware that there is nothing inherently fulfilling about being successful.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:00 am

cotiger wrote:It's not that people don't do any self reflection. It's that that reflection has likely taken place almost exclusively within the dominant success ideology. For an example see almost any reference to jobs coming out of UG on this board.

Stress and challenges are good things. But only when in service to something valuable. The issue isn't that people don't know that the legal field has a particularly high level of these, it's that they don't seem to be accomplishing anything. The closest response I've typically seen (other than the reflexive desire for a "good career") is stability/providing for family, but that's self-deception: law has a strong tendency to ruin relationships and your mental health. If family and stability is truly your highest goal, you should steer clear of law.

One of the most depressing things about it is that it's probably a good, worthwhile civic education. If there were no tax bomb, I'd think 15% of discretionary income over the poverty line for 20 years - at a maximum - would be a pretty decent trade for the experience in a world that didn't degrade everyone at every level. But IRL the rentier class ties employment to healthcare, survival, and self-worth and then doesn't even fucking hire properly. It's not an efficient allocation of resources at all, and the bastardized version of the free market that warps the idea of utility into a wrongheaded ideology is fundamentally antidemocratic. The whole logic of the system is fucked up.

Image
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2 ... -Economics

I can't speak to the transaction cost feeling on a small scale, but it seems like in MFH the sense of your talents being wasted on wealth concentration / tax avoidance / doing bitchwork on something-must-be-done acquisitions that themselves may not be socially productive would more than anything breed resentment. It's objectively fucked what the rentier class has done to an intellectually stimulating and interesting profession that had some dignity at one point.

Anyway, I see this neverending, equivocating exercise of dignifying capital's excuses with the type of logic that results in the absurdity of "dollars are speech" under the umbrella of, among other misguided and deadening phrases, "think like a lawyer" - and consider it to have about as much credibility as a long-form treatise on intelligent design or global warming denial. Do these places need to be swarmed with Chomskyites? Gonna read Marcuse when I get around to it.


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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:28 am

los blancos wrote:
cotiger wrote:I don't think demanding that the work be socially valuable in that way is key, especially because "socially valuable" tends to just be code for progressive politics. More like does the work allow for, or even better facilitate, a self-actualized human being? I'd wager that 1500 billables in a relatively intellectual, well-remunerated profession does.

edit: The Yves Smith article that BL posted focuses on this idea that alienation is usually not inherent to the job, but is rather typically a result of surrounding conditions.



Susan Webber IMPLIES lit is socially valuable

therefore i'm self actualized. see you later guise.


(goes back to doc review, the most mindless of all activities ever undertaken in entire lifetime)

(is put in insane asylum in 3 weeks)

...

Yeah, I don't know. I guess I can agree with that - like I would really like my job if it was without its "Yvesian bullshit" elements bc I genuinely enjoy researching/writing/complex lit as a practice (but even then I'd still probably feel a public service itch). But that's circular I guess. And what it doesn't get to is whether our rules are so needlessly complex that even if we're self-actualized we're still social rentiers.

Like I've got a case right now where my clients [small biz] are kind of fucked bc even though we could probably nail defendants to the wall and get treble damages and whatever, it'd cost them so much to do it that it wouldn't be worth it (and Ds are probably judgment proof). The point being... we're still some real transaction costs.

These questions don't even seem answerable except through the lens of utopia. It is hard to express just how pernicious ankle-biting lazy-Friedmanite conclusory defeatist neoliberalism is in lay terms. A culture that makes a point of shooting down idealism as naiveté and is self-congratulatory in its "mature" appreciation of the complexity of issues (read: capitalist bootlicking equivocations and longwinded obfuscations) is not well-equipped to do anything but create Zerg rush after Zerg rush of damaged betas who wake up strangers to themselves.

Image
http://www.strongwindpress.com/pdfs/tui ... uelson.pdf

So, you have to really consider it in this light: what is it that makes you a transaction cost, and does it matter? Would it matter in a world where the market system was exclusively used for surplus goods and resources? Does it make sense to think in terms of bilateral efficiencies? Of one's "job" independent of the social fabric? Things are fucked up on a very basic level and I think that the personal is very much political, especially for a class of people trained in the law and who should know better than anyone how to suss out bullshit instead of piling it on. It's complex, but like I said, I want to approach a Mille Plateaux idea of how to think about it but I don't like reading Deleuze. For now, casual Marxism is all I've got.
Last edited by Businesslady on Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:16 am

georgej wrote: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.

Image
http://genius.com/Hannah-arendt-vita-ac ... -annotated

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby EricHosmer » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:51 am

Businesslady wrote:That reminds me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave


Most people know the gist of the allegory, but an expansion on the final part of the allegory fits a lot of what you've been saying:

When the person who had seen reality came back to the cave, the imprisoned would not free themselves even when showed that they were looking at mere shadows of reality. Socrates says that the imprisoned may even try to kill the person who was trying to free them. The problem was that they had only experienced the shadows, and through them, they had created significance for their lives. In order to escape the cave, the imprisoned must be willing to admit their lives up to that point had lacked significance; the truth was not important compared to maintaining their preexisting significance. From my layman's perspective, it seems that this is a huge obstacle for people.

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cotiger
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:09 am

Moneytrees wrote:
cotiger wrote:It's not that people don't do any self reflection. It's that that reflection has likely taken place almost exclusively within the dominant success ideology. For an example see almost any reference to jobs coming out of UG on this board.

Stress and challenges are good things. But only when in service to something valuable. The issue isn't that people don't know that the legal field has a particularly high level of these, it's that they don't seem to be accomplishing anything. The closest response I've typically seen (other than the reflexive desire for a "good career") is stability/providing for family, but that's self-deception: law has a strong tendency to ruin relationships and your mental health. If family and stability is truly your highest goal, you should steer clear of law.


Definitely. The notion that people can be misled by a variety of factors to believe that they are doing something worthy or fulfilling is a legitimate concern.

My response to that, and this is clearly subjective, is that I believe the vast majority of jobs don't actually accomplish anything of value. What is truly valuable? Very few things/professions. To save people's lives, or move them in a way only art or music can? I don't believe, for instance, that Steve Jobs changed the world in any genuinely important way. I don't see how creating a better or more efficient computer is inherently more valuable than being an attorney, social worker or small business owner.


That very narrow definition of what is truly valuable is exactly the problem I'm talking about. The near impossibility of effecting that kind of change leads to a nihilism that expresses itself either in traditional striverism or the self-righteous social justice warrior variant (georgej's option c gunners).

This belief is based on the assumption that there really isn't any real purpose in life, no natural order or inherently purposeful endeavors. Existence precedes essence, as Sartre would say. You give your life meaning through your actions; if you live your life in accordance to what you genuinely believe will make you happy, then you are creating value through that choice. The importance of introspection, in my mind, is that it allows you to critically look at your life and thus take responsibility for your choices.

So while I admit that it's very important for people to critically examine their lives and their motivations, I don't think law is inherently less fulfilling than other professions. The hard work that you put into building a successful law career can be valuable. It can be a source of pride and fulfillment. It can also be a source of misery. It depends in large part on your motivation for choosing law as a career path, and on whether you are aware that there is nothing inherently fulfilling about being successful.


Of course law can be a fulfilling career path. The point is, though, that for that to be the case there has to be a level of introspection that appears to be lacking en masse among those headed to the legal profession, a particular tragedy given the amount of brainpower involved in that cohort.
Last edited by cotiger on Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

hill1334
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby hill1334 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:13 am

EricHosmer wrote:
Businesslady wrote:That reminds me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave


Most people know the gist of the allegory, but an expansion on the final part of the allegory fits a lot of what you've been saying:

When the person who had seen reality came back to the cave, the imprisoned would not free themselves even when showed that they were looking at mere shadows of reality. Socrates says that the imprisoned may even try to kill the person who was trying to free them. The problem was that they had only experienced the shadows, and through them, they had created significance for their lives. In order to escape the cave, the imprisoned must be willing to admit their lives up to that point had lacked significance; the truth was not important compared to maintaining their preexisting significance. From my layman's perspective, it seems that this is a huge obstacle for people.


If people find significance in their lives, does it really matter if that significance is grounded in reality? For society as a whole, I can certainly understand why it would be hugely problematic for a large number of individuals to be living in a dream world, but on the individual level I am not sure you can really ask for a whole more out of life than a sense of significance. I guess my overall point is that I think a false sense of significance is really more of a problem for society than individual people. (I would love (actually) for someone to explain how a false sense of significance is a thing if, from an existential perspective, there is no overarching order/meaning to the universe and we are responsible for determining our own purpose.)

[Disclaimer: I am entirely out of my depth in this thread, but I have been reading most every post and find it all interesting, so I thought I would try to engage]

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:23 am

hill1334 wrote:If people find significance in their lives, does it really matter if that significance is grounded in reality? For society as a whole, I can certainly understand why it would be hugely problematic for a large number of individuals to be living in a dream world, but on the individual level I am not sure you can really ask for a whole more out of life than a sense of significance. I guess my overall point is that I think a false sense of significance is really more of a problem for society than individual people. (I would love for someone to explain how a false sense of singicance is really a thing if, from an existential perspective, there is no overarching order/meaning to the universe and we are responsible for determining our own purpose.)


To even begin with this line of argument you have to assume that people in the dream world experience at least the shadow of a true sense of fulfillment. Problem is that in the world we're looking at, it's blindingly obvious that that's not the case. Lawyers are (on the whole) miserable and dissatisfied, as evidenced by the high dropout rate, mental health issues, and alcoholism, as well as by anecdote.

hill1334
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby hill1334 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:32 am

cotiger wrote:
hill1334 wrote:If people find significance in their lives, does it really matter if that significance is grounded in reality? For society as a whole, I can certainly understand why it would be hugely problematic for a large number of individuals to be living in a dream world, but on the individual level I am not sure you can really ask for a whole more out of life than a sense of significance. I guess my overall point is that I think a false sense of significance is really more of a problem for society than individual people. (I would love for someone to explain how a false sense of singicance is really a thing if, from an existential perspective, there is no overarching order/meaning to the universe and we are responsible for determining our own purpose.)


To even begin with this line of argument you have to assume that people in the dream world experience at least the shadow of a true sense of fulfillment. Problem is that in the world we're looking at, it's blindingly obvious that that's not the case. Lawyers are (on the whole) miserable and dissatisfied, as evidenced by the high dropout rate, mental health issues, and alcoholism, as well as by anecdote.
cotiger wrote:
hill1334 wrote:If people find significance in their lives, does it really matter if that significance is grounded in reality? For society as a whole, I can certainly understand why it would be hugely problematic for a large number of individuals to be living in a dream world, but on the individual level I am not sure you can really ask for a whole more out of life than a sense of significance. I guess my overall point is that I think a false sense of significance is really more of a problem for society than individual people. (I would love for someone to explain how a false sense of singicance is really a thing if, from an existential perspective, there is no overarching order/meaning to the universe and we are responsible for determining our own purpose.)


To even begin with this line of argument you have to assume that people in the dream world experience at least the shadow of a true sense of fulfillment. Problem is that in the world we're looking at, it's blindingly obvious that that's not the case. Lawyers are (on the whole) miserable and dissatisfied, as evidenced by the high dropout rate, mental health issues, and alcoholism, as well as by anecdote.
cotiger wrote:
hill1334 wrote:If people find significance in their lives, does it really matter if that significance is grounded in reality? For society as a whole, I can certainly understand why it would be hugely problematic for a large number of individuals to be living in a dream world, but on the individual level I am not sure you can really ask for a whole more out of life than a sense of significance. I guess my overall point is that I think a false sense of significance is really more of a problem for society than individual people. (I would love for someone to explain how a false sense of singicance is really a thing if, from an existential perspective, there is no overarching order/meaning to the universe and we are responsible for determining our own purpose.)


To even begin with this line of argument you have to assume that people in the dream world experience at least the shadow of a true sense of fulfillment. Problem is that in the world we're looking at, it's blindingly obvious that that's not the case. Lawyers are (on the whole) miserable and dissatisfied, as evidenced by the high dropout rate, mental health issues, and alcoholism, as well as by anecdote.


Being miserable is not necessarily antithetical to finding significance. Obviously, it would be best not to be miserable, but I think, if I was forced to choose, I would prefer misery and significance over less misery and aimlessness.

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cotiger
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:43 am

hill1334 wrote:
cotiger wrote:To even begin with this line of argument you have to assume that people in the dream world experience at least the shadow of a true sense of fulfillment. Problem is that in the world we're looking at, it's blindingly obvious that that's not the case. Lawyers are (on the whole) miserable and dissatisfied, as evidenced by the high dropout rate, mental health issues, and alcoholism, as well as by anecdote.


Being miserable is not necessarily antithetical to finding significance. Obviously, it would be best not to be miserable, but I think, if I was forced to choose, I would prefer misery and significance over less misery and aimlessness.


For sure, but I don't get the impression that the kind of misery typically experienced by lawyers is one borne of being too plugged into life's realness. As a comparison, the archetypical tortured artist isn't dropping out of art; they're throwing themselves even deeper into it.
Last edited by cotiger on Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

EricHosmer
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby EricHosmer » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:45 am

cotiger wrote:
hill1334 wrote:If people find significance in their lives, does it really matter if that significance is grounded in reality? For society as a whole, I can certainly understand why it would be hugely problematic for a large number of individuals to be living in a dream world, but on the individual level I am not sure you can really ask for a whole more out of life than a sense of significance. I guess my overall point is that I think a false sense of significance is really more of a problem for society than individual people. (I would love for someone to explain how a false sense of singicance is really a thing if, from an existential perspective, there is no overarching order/meaning to the universe and we are responsible for determining our own purpose.)


To even begin with this line of argument you have to assume that people in the dream world experience at least the shadow of a true sense of fulfillment. Problem is that in the world we're looking at, it's blindingly obvious that that's not the case. Lawyers are (on the whole) miserable and dissatisfied, as evidenced by the high dropout rate, mental health issues, and alcoholism, as well as by anecdote.


Agreed on that point. According to Plato and Aristotle, the whole point of philosophy is to reach eudaimonia, which is roughly translated to complete happiness and contentedness. Aristotle would say that seeking pleasure is the highest form of thinking, but that we should seek pleasures that are most self-sufficient so we can achieve the most pleasure. Seeking fame/prestige/wealth is not self-sufficient because it requires others to subjugate, others with less fame/prestige/wealth to compare yourself to in order to feel pleasure, and then obtain a higher amount of people to subjugate endlessly. Knowledge of the truth, on the other hand, he sees as the most self-sufficient because learning always provides pleasure and only requires food/shelter.

To me, what matters is finding pleasurable activities that actually provide you with the most pleasure. Socrates would say that many people don't know what pleasure is, and they confuse actually pleasurable things (like learning) with moving from pain to indifference (eating food because you're hungry). Regardless of that prior point, self-introspection might help you discover which things in your life provide the most actual pleasure.
Last edited by EricHosmer on Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:47 am, edited 3 times in total.

EricHosmer
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby EricHosmer » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:58 am

hill1334 wrote:Being miserable is not necessarily antithetical to finding significance. Obviously, it would be best not to be miserable, but I think, if I was forced to choose, I would prefer misery and significance over less misery and aimlessness.


I think that's where the OP's various posts come in and fill out what the allegory doesn't: It is possible for people to find significance in the social benefit they bring from being a a janitor (or whatever non-prestigious job) and their everyday lives. These things are just as necessary and, because they are attainable by basically everyone, lack the self-insufficiency that a preexisting significance may have. The striving for prestige and wealth is a product of the capitalistic system, and isn't likely to make someone happy.




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