Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 22, 2017

More Law Prof Reactions To The Wax & Alexander Op-Ed On The Breakdown Of The 'Bourgeois Culture' 

Following up on yesterday's post, Controversy Over Law Profs' Op-Ed On The Breakdown Of The 'Bourgeois Culture' Shifts From Penn To San Diego:  

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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This whole "debate" is just about competing political ideologies, vying for hegemony. As Slavoj Zizek put it: "class struggle is ultimately the struggle for the meaning of society ‘as such’, the struggle for which of the two classes will impose itself as the stand-in for society ‘as such’, thereby degrading its other into the stand-in for the non-Social (the destruction of, the threat to, society)." “To simplify: Does the masses’ struggle for emancipation pose a threat to civilization as such, since civilization can thrive only in a hierarchical social order? Or is it that the ruling class is a parasite threatening to drag society into self-destruction, so that the only alternative to socialism is barbarism?” Slavoj Žižek, Afterword to "Revolution at the Gates: Selected Writings of Lenin From 1917" (pp. 209-10). It is OBVIOUS where Wax falls on this spectrum: conservative/reactionary. Though it is funny that the critical responses are mostly coming from Liberals who do not reject social hierarchy, they just want to soften its impact (see Domenico Losurdo's "Liberalism: A Counter-History").

Posted by: Bobby | Sep 27, 2017 7:11:54 AM


Posted by: Pedestrian Accountant | Sep 23, 2017 2:53:26 AM

So, I am about halfway through Gelbach's critique. Already, I see fundamentally misleading use of statistics. Just one example: He cites crime stats in general, yet avoids the elephant in the room, which would be to the sub-set of inner city crime, where 50's values have collapsed due to welfare, etc.

Posted by: Greg Micek | Sep 22, 2017 5:17:28 PM

I am surprised to find that I am with Brian Leiter on this issue: Bosses should not even try to intimidate their employees into silence or, worse, conformity on matters of religion, conscience, politics,etc. Let the free market of ideas sort things out.

Posted by: Kneave Riggall | Sep 22, 2017 1:40:14 PM

I don’t have the time at the moment to critique Gelbach’s idiocy properly so I point out that NOT ONE of his claimed critiques of Wax’s paper possess merit. His writing illustrates the well-known and widely documented cognitive bias that distorts reality in ways that support his biases. Nice case study for some college class discussion. To appreciate Gelbach’s -- seriously, this guy is a Law prof??? -- frightening level of ignorance, start with

Posted by: Winston Penn Handwerker | Sep 22, 2017 7:09:02 AM

So the left is so racist that it believes African-Americans are incapable of the bourgeois values and habits that lead to success in our society? Not surprising.

Posted by: Jim | Sep 22, 2017 7:04:02 AM