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madmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:46 PM
Original message
"No Exit: Judicial activism is inevitable."
ADDED: My point in this piece is that activism/restraint rhetoric is very common and that you need to realize that it's being used by people who probably have substantive preferences. As such, you've got to expect them to warn you about "activism" with respect to outcomes they don't like and characterize things they do like as a way to avoid activism. I refer to Justice Scalia's recent ACLU debate and to Richard Fallon's SLU lecture (which I blogged about here).

AND: My editor says it's okay to reprint the whole text. Here it is:

Wall Street Journal
No Exit
October 21, 2006; Page A9

Everyone seems to oppose judicial activism these days. If you don't like the role the courts are currently exercising, you find a way to call it "activism" and argue that the change you want would be "restraint." But if the status quo pleases you, you insist that what the judges are doing is not "activism," rather, nothing more than what the law requires. Or you concede the existence of activism -- but contend that changing things will only unleash a new form of far more virulent activism.

There was a time -- not all that long ago -- when we openly praised the activist judge and scoffed at the stingy jurist who invoked notions of judicial restraint. That restraint was a smokescreen for some nasty hostility toward individual rights, we'd say. Now we all seem to love to wrap ourselves in the mantle of the new fashion. But that fashion comes at the price of candor.

Consider abortion. The Supreme Court has begun its 2006 term, and there are two abortion cases scheduled for argument on Nov. 8. Up for decision this time around: whether the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act violates the Constitution.
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Doublethink. We have truly descended into hell.
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 10:14 PM by bluerum

Doublethink (known in Oldspeak but never used as reality control) is an integral concept in George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, and is the act of holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously, fervently believing both, and being unaware of their incompatibility.

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one deniesall this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

Some people think that doublethink is a concept unique to Nineteen Eighty-Four, and others think that it is a real psychological function. Among those who consider doublethink real, there are two conflicting definitions:

1. "believing contradictory beliefs for reasons of practicality, convenience, and/or emotional stability" or
2. "enjoying the malicious pleasure of the contrast between what one believes to be true and what one knows to be true."

Both of the above can be observed to exist.

The second definition explains the affinity for opposites (e.g. war is peace, freedom is slavery, etc.), because opposites maximize the contrast with the truth. It also explains Newspeak words that consist of two contradictory definitions, especially among words of fundamental importance such as 'truth / deception', 'good / evil', etc, as such malicious doublethink creates an affinity for making such deceptions deeply ingrained in one's thinking, and therefore very subtle. The main antangonist in Nineteen Eighty-Four, 'O'Brien', made explicit note of such maliciously deceptive subtlety when he told Winston that (paraphrased) 'in the future, the oppression will come in increasingly subtle forms'. That means that the second definition is closer to the doublethink of Nineteen Eighty-Four, but the similarity with the first definition is also notable.

on edit: Emphasis mine. Hope this does not count as more than 4 paragraphs.
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madmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. They no longer hide it..
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