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The National Lawyers Guild - Then and Now:

On The Right Coast, Gail Heriot reflects on the past and present of the National Lawyers Guild. The NLG's history is also detailed here.

carpundit (www):
From the first sentence of the NLG history on the NLG page to which you linked:

"The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system." (emphasis added)

If they had any power, they'd scare me. As it is, they are merely nettlesome.
8.16.2006 1:08pm
Person (mail):
I was something of very non-active member of NLG. I don't think I ever officially joined. When I got involved the last presidential election was well under way. NLG members were engaged in such radical actions as registering people to vote, and providing transportation on election day to individuals that needed it.

I cannot say if our chapter of the NLG was marxist. I would venture to guess that they would be fairly open-minded to marxism in its democratic variant. Big deal. Nations like Sweden and Germany could be described as somewhat akin to socialism con democracy. Only a radical on the right could describe these governments as dictatorships or tyrannical. To do so, you would have to equate rights of life and liberty with the right to property. Something the NLG explicitly declines to do. As does most members of the the United States Supreme Court. It is you who would equate rights of life and liberty with the right of property that are "radical." That doesn't mean you're wrong. It just means you have a lot of 'splaining to do. Reread Locke's justification of property? Persuaded? Moreover, it doesn't square with our intuitions. (E.g. the life of child versus the billionaire's second yacht.)

Its one thing to say that you disagree with a position it is another to show that your's is superior.
8.16.2006 1:12pm
therut:
Well the Medical profession has it's kooky left wing groups too now. Such as "Physicians for Social Responsibility".
8.16.2006 2:23pm
liberty (mail) (www):
person,

one day you should the constitution; and while you're at it, the declaration of independence.
8.16.2006 4:36pm
JosephSlater (mail):
The NLG had some Marxists in its background. It also admitted blacks when the ABA wouldn't.
8.16.2006 8:10pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
You know, I found Ms. Heriot's post on the NLG almost worthless, as there was so little information about the organization's current activities. I did like the information (taken from the book) about the resolution that the NLG failed to pass in 1939, which condemned dictatorships of the right and left. I wonder if the Republican party could credibily condemn dictatorships of the Right, given the party's leaders past actions in supporting them throughout the world.
8.16.2006 8:26pm
Yosef Ibrahimi:
In it's original usage the term property was a charecteristic of one's self. Thus a pocket watch was not one's property, rather you had a property in the watch.

Essentially in the Lockean sense, when one mixed one's labour with raw material, the material took on one's property.

The right to life and liberty mean nothing with out the right to property. Do you really have the right to life and liberty, if your means of supporting yourself can be seized for no reason at all?

Depending on your precise definition of property it basically has to be logically prior or concurrent to any other right.

Every successful society has respected property rights. Captialism and free exchange have lead to the flourishing of art and culture, have lead to the eradication of whole categories of disease, and have stretched the human lifespan to previously unheard of lengths.

Given the amazing results that our current economic order has delivered (and continues to deliver), people who advocate change have a very large burden of persuasion to meet.

Needless to say, they remain a fringe group because they can't meet this burden, since their beliefs are repugnant to the majority of the American people.
8.16.2006 8:41pm
Yosef Ibrahimi:
Oops. Look at those grammatical errors. Should have proofread more closely.
8.16.2006 8:43pm
Jack S. (mail) (www):
Wow...that was a pretty worthless link. I liked Prof. Adler better when he was Juan Non-Volokh. Seems like he only posts links to skewed factless crap now.
8.16.2006 11:11pm
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8.17.2006 12:02am
therut:
I just have to ask what it up with the guy posting above. Not only can I not read his written language I do not understand what he writes in English. Is this a joke or not.
8.17.2006 12:18am
Brian G (mail) (www):
What a waste of typing. Here is the most efficient description of The Lawyer's Guild:

"A gCommunist organization filled with lawyers and law students who still have not realized that communism has been an utter failure everywhere it has been tried."
8.17.2006 2:23am
Person (mail):
Liberty,
Where did I mention the constitution or the declaration of independence in my post? Why do you want me to read those documents? Are you trying to appeal to authority? The constitution was made by men as flawed as all men. That doesn't mean the constitution is wrong. It just means that its not right simply because the framers said so. Defend it. But first persaude me that your interpetation of the constitution is the correct one. Do all of that I would be happy to follow your request.

Yosef,

"Essentially in the Lockean sense, when one mixed one's labour with raw material, the material took on one's property."

How? You didn't create the raw material. That material didn't come out of you. You mixed your labor with it. What gives you the right to mix your labor with it?


"The right to life and liberty mean nothing with out the right to property. Do you really have the right to life and liberty, if your means of supporting yourself can be seized for no reason at all?"

This reminds me of the Rothbardian justification of property. Here you equate property with the "means of supporting yourself"? Isn't it possible to support yourself through the use of an unowned object? (Whose rights have you violated?) Don't we have to distinguish use from property. How else could we use (or mix our labor with) unowned property in the first place? Couldn't we simply say that life and liberty is nullified if anyone can interfere with our use of the means required to support us? But isn't that kind of another way of saying that we have a right to life and liberty?

Every successful society has respected property rights. Captialism and free exchange have lead to the flourishing of art and culture, have lead to the eradication of whole categories of disease, and have stretched the human lifespan to previously unheard of lengths.

Are you saying that indian societies are not (and have never been) successful? Then why didn't the human race die off along time ago? Because most of the history of humanity was based on a hunting and gathering way of life that did not recognize property rights.

Are you a utilitarian? Then make your utilitarian case? I want to know how you propose to get inside people's heads to determine their happiness. I want to know how you propose to measure the degree of an individual's happiness. I want to know how you propose to count each and every individual? I could go on... but before I do, I think its worth noting that utilitarians do not recognize rights as such.

The fringe group can't meet its burden? (I don't think you've met your burden.) Or is it a matter of ignorance backed by violence that maintains the status quo?

Communism has never worked? What do you mean by communism? What do you mean by worked? It existed for a time? Or was that communism? It failed. So have many other political/economic systems. Did feudalism work? What if capitalism fails? Then it didn't work? Does it matter if works or not? Shouldn't what matters what is right?
8.17.2006 10:44am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Well the Medical profession has it's kooky left wing groups too now. Such as "Physicians for Social Responsibility".
I think you'll find, if you investigate, that PSR has very little connection to "the medical profession." Despite the name, you don't even need to be a doctor to join. I get random mailings from them all the time asking for money; they describe themselves as "doctors, health care professionals [already, we've diverged from "physicians"] and concerned citizens."
8.17.2006 12:33pm
therut:
David---------You are correct. They use the title to mislead and let the MSM mislead people. Kinda like "Americians for Gun Safety" or People for the Americian Way. All misleading names used for front groups.
8.17.2006 11:31pm