- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Ladles and Jellys Spoons of the Jury...

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, Uk ) on June 24, 1999 at 13:09:12:

OK, to return encore to the problem of individual and society:

Regulars will recall my bemusement somewhile bacvk regarding this statement:

"Slavery exists in America, it called Jury Service"- a statement which remains beyond my comprehention, and which is thus a source of constant irritation. You will recall, that Gee and, I think, Zen-Meister Borg booth assented to that proposition.

Now, for me, Jury service is a sign and source of freedom, despite the fact that attendance is compuklsory. I will try and ex[plore some more, as I think it highlights the point I was making about Individualism and Positivity (BTW- Borg, you said my argument was subjectivist, I wouldn't have thought so, but I assume that comment was a Randism, she's not read here, could you explain to me what you meant by it. I thunked it was a perfectly objective analysis.)

You see, for me, sitting onm teh jury means that I know I am part of teh state, and that I can copntrol its actions, and use my will, my freedom and energy, to ensure that right is done. Not sitting on Juries means we have tribunals of Judges, people seperated from society, given rank and power, and ordered to execute the law (and human beings). As such they are beyond my will, uncontrollable, and seperate from me, and my world-wview (weltungshauung).

This is a positive state (one which would be recreated under "free-archy" and privatised free-market law). I would be less free, because instead of jury service being a means to secure my freedom, the courts would be an external source of constraint, something beyond me which controls me.

Now, surely if I am compelled to go, its not free, I don't have a free chocie? I'd say not, because freedom does not come *alone* from having teh capacity to freely choose everything (a free choice is a misnomer, certainly, I have a free chocie to leave a man lying in the gutter, I have a free chocie to waggle my private parts at small girls, etc.) Reality and real world conditions determine our choices, much more that will does, or apparent freedom of choice. Genuine freedom is not based on an accumulation of *apparent* chocies (apparently I can choose whther or not to have a hiome, whether or not to have a job, but can I really?).

Now, to brog's 'third Way'. He is right to note that all ssocieties require a 'third-term' a mediating term, a master signifier that legitimises and justifies teh system. And often oppression. Further, that third term often exists to overcome a contradiction in the signifying structures of society.
Lets look at one such third term- money. SO long as some people have something, and otehrs not, and the twain collide, money will be required to legitimise the exchange, and to legitimise the power of one over another. (I could beat you up- I have lots of money).

Another third term, and here is where things get interesting, is 'the Soveriegn Individual'. Louis Althusser notes that 'Man' now holds the place that God did in medieval discourse/ideology- no bad thing perhaps. Certainly, it serves to legitimise Borg's ideology/system in the extrapolated form of non-violence and individualism. Whether this third term is any better than the others, is for another debate- though suffice to say 'I am individual, you have no claim on me' means you canleave people lying dying in teh gutter.

As I also said, we have been here before, such ideology has been long exposed. The Divine Marquis DeSade and Later freidrich Neitzche bopth saw through such legitimation. According to Borg and gee 'What I do is right, so long as *I* choose it. The fact that it is *my* chocie is legitimation enough. Whatever *I* choose to do is right by me. Doing something is justification for doing itself in and of itself. What I do is right, because it is what I do.

Neitzche saw through this, and saw it led straight to Nihilism, to nothing meaning anything, to there being no meaning, and consequently no freedom (how can we have freedom without meaning?).

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