Legal Fetishism at Home and Abroad
Unbound, Vol. 3: 6, 2007
13 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2007
Over the years, as the flame of my activism sputtered during the long winters in Cambridge, a particular intellectual curiosity about the law grew to replace it. I wondered about holding rights as “an object of devotion and not of calculation.” It seemed to me not only that in myself did rights indeed hold that place, or had, but that the phenomenon was in itself of interest, and not to be lightly discarded by the assumptions of consequentialism (i.e. that it was “bad faith,” or bad politics, or alternatively, “false consciousness” or even “slave morality”). I do not mean to say that there is no need to examine consequences, and thus, costs and benefits. My point is rather that desire for and enjoyment in law reform is not fully explained by actual benefits or the expectation of benefits, but that there is instead an excess of passion and pleasure that is only explained by enjoyment in the law as an end in itself.
Keywords: Law and Social Movements; Legal Mobilization; Violence; Legal Fetichism
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