Mythologized Juridical Unconscious and the Juridification of Manifest Criminality
2007 Critical Legal Conference, Birkbeck School of Law, University of London, United Kingdom
1 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2007
Date Written: September 2007
This paper examines the hidden link between mythologized juridical unconscious and the juridification of manifest criminality in the codification of the Indian criminal law. History is nothing but an artificial extension of social memory. The historian writes history by looking at the past. The legislator judges the past by looking from the future. When the future judges the past, history becomes a tool for the vindication of the future and the law offers the past a funeral service.
The time inconsistency and inter-temporality of history and law produces cognitive dissonance. The role of law in the redemptive function of history is to reduce cognitive dissonance. Mythology, utopia and ideology are related in ways that do not depend on epistemological commitments to objective truth, but on a profoundly different vision of the necessary and necessarily mute ground of law, they reduce the dissonance of cognitions produced by the inter-temporality of law and history. Time is linear but history is circular. History repeats itself but time does not. Progress is characterized by the compression of space and time. The compression of space and time displaces history. It is in this displacement of history, mythology is founded. The aim of this mythology is to legitimize uncertain and fragile identities to the exclusion of intractable "others". The relegation of the burden of identity construction to the empire's law gave rise to a crisis in imperial temporality, necessitating temporal continuities and entailing territorial and jurisdictional imperative.
Keywords: mythologized juridical unconscious, codification, manifest criminality, time inconsistency, intertemporality
JEL Classification: H73, P16, C72, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation