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April 01, 2022


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I am interested in the recent increase in academic endeavors that seem to be seeking to employ individuals, at a relatively low salary with no job security beyond a brief period (e.g., two years), to pursue a "concern" for the "vulnerable" that highly paid members of law faculties are so apt to assert.

How should we think, e.g., about "the proper ordering of the paired relationships of cooperation and contribution contained within [the] employer/employee" relation, as implemented by law schools?

Specifically, it seems to me that there is reason that the "income inequality" that plagues society is never addressed self-referentially by high-income individuals with relative job security in legal academia, with respect to the relation of their own relative positions in society with those they employ in "lesser" roles, e.g. VAPs, Fellows, Adjuncts, Lecturers, LRW instructors, Clinical Instructors, Professors of Practice, and so on.

Is there any thought on this? Is the degree to which income disparities in legal academia are "institutionalized" justified in all instances?

Perhaps a research fellow could begin by "focusing attention on the law’s construction and maintenance of the social structures and relationships in which we all live our day-to-day lives" in legal academia.

Then again, however, would that be working in a "collegial and cooperative manner with the faculty supervisor and other co-workers"?

Anonymous Bosch

Someone should lodge an application promising to undertake research into whether any alternative conceptions of liberty or equality are, and even in principle could be, less "distortive," and by what why metrics one could ever prove that to be the case... Why dress up one's political prejudices as if they are predicated upon one's having greater epistemic access to reality by possessing the (more) "accurate" conceptual apparatuses? Oh, that's right, because they're just a bunch of hypocritical Leftist ideologues... (Sorry, my false consciousness was just triggered by the possibility of confronting Wokedness. I'll go back to watching Fox News to simultaneously comfort, and exacerbate, my race-and-class driven fear and ignorance now...)

Still, one would enjoy learning more about the program's bandwidth for tolerance of researchers "explor[ing] the distorting effects of current conceptions of “liberty” and “equality” on the ways we understand and order essential social institutions such as the family, workplace, financial system, or health care..." in ways that don't track the faculty's ideological group thinking, circle jerking B.S.

Examples. First, in the spirit of vulnerability theory, will a candidate who lodges an application noting the middle class's vulnerability to being compelled to pay income tax to fund the complete scam that is the federal government and its welfare system be taken seriously? (After all, the candidate is herself in a vulnerable position.)

Second, in a world where free will is now regarded by the educated to be in the same category as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, shouldn't ANY and all conceptions of equality and liberty be tossed into the rubbish bin of history? Accordingly, ought not claims about the requirements for publicly provided and funded health care, education, and civil rights all simply be deemed passé because there are no moral agents who deserve anything? (So too with criminal law and tort law, if not the whole system?) This would make for fruitful research, methinks.

Third, even if one persists in clinging on to the pernicious myth of free will, what if a candidate, in accordance with vulnerability theory, nevertheless offers to undertake research premised upon the rejection of all conceptions of liberty and human equality as equally nonsense ("distortive"), and which calls for the law to be systematically be reformed in ways that structure and enforce economic, politic, and social inequality - on whichever vector is deemed to be most unfair (race, hair color, shoe size, taste in music, quality of mucous production, some combo thereof). This, on the premise that the vulnerable, being weak, unequal, and undeserving of liberty, both MERIT their current vulnerabilities and warrant even more? Surely this gets us past the anachronistic "rights-based," "social-contract" paradigm, right?

Fourth, as the call for applications notes that "[t]he theory draws theoretical attention to the inherent inequality and unavoidable dependence of the human condition...", what if a candidate advances POST-humanist research. S/he/it could inquire into the fundamental "human" right for the government to provide viable options, and to fund, our transcending the human condition. For example, uploading our brains to advanced computers, voluntarily undertaking extreme eugenic programs, going cyborg, going avatar 24/7, etc.



It seems that much of what you postulate as "what if" is actually "what is" in the proposal.

For example, "decentering the individual," “liberty” and “equality” in scare quotes, "inherent inequality and unavoidable dependence."

AB, I sense that you know from what political regime this sort of rhetoric derives. Can you name it? This is the language and the thinking of the vanguard, no?

Red State Kulander

So long as we're quoting:

"Assist in teaching courses aligned with VHC’s mandate when appropriate..."

Presumably these courses will be advanced electives. You know, 3L courses that should teach students to do useful things. Tell me, what discernible skills will be taught in these courses for which a client will pay?



I think the answer is the skills necessary to help to "transform" this society.

The post above suggests to me that the proponents of this program believe that the ways "we" understand and order essential social institutions such as the family, workplace, financial system, and health care, distort the concepts of “liberty” and “equality.”

I fear that these members of a pseudo or proto vanguard don't know history and don't understand what concepts about "liberty" and "equality" would be applied should their goals be realized. Indeed, they seem to have failed the first test: a sense of self-reflection that would demand that their standards be applied to themselves.

Should that standard be applied, in my view, the very notion of the job posting above should be questioned.

Anonymous Bosch

Hi Anon,

Well, I'd already mentioned "false consciousness," so yeah...

What's also fascinating is, beyond the fact that they don't (and can't) really believe what they're saying themselves (given their own views about our conceptual scheme, morality/moralities, and languages), why the HELL they expect anyone to treat them with respect for denigrating non-believers thus.

I have a "distorted" conceptual lens, but you possess the true one? Prove it. My sense of masculinity is "toxic" but yours is true and "healthy"? Based on your socially constructed normative preferences? (On which is in turn the product of the "ideology" of the capitalist system, which means it's just a product of "false consciousnesses" if not also tainted by the "cultural hegemony")? My political ideology is addled with contradictions, but yours isn't? Prove it. I ONLY believe X due to racist, ignorant reasons? I CAN only believe X for racist, sexist, ignorant reasons? Prove it.

Since at least Marx's notion of false consciousness, the Left has pseudo-psychologized the right. So, we can talk about "care," or treating people as equals, or with "dignity," and engaging in "dialogue," but the Left has never really believed ANY of its own rhetoric in this regard, and certainly hasn't acted in accordance with it either.

Now that they're completely wrecking Western civilization, however, and showing the white middle and lower class in the United States that they're to be completely vilified (and disempowered), I find it increasingly difficult to imagine HOW - in a country like America with its sizable military and its composition, the composition of its police forces, and the composition of legal gun owners in the country- they think they're going to survive this, let alone pull it off. The Blue team beating the Red team in elections, passing "progressive" laws, feeding us incessant ideological propaganda in both the news and television entertainment programming, etc., will do nothing to stop either the social schism or the right's continued alienation, disgust, and push towards anarchism and complete lack of trust in the major legal institutions. Indeed, these things will just act as accelerators. The Blues therefore really need exit strategies - from the United States. Although in light of the new Cold War, and much of the world's contempt for America's liberal-progressive legal-economic imperialism, it's difficult to see where in the world they'd actually be welcome...

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