Monday, August 16, 2010

Karl Marx – Wage Labour and Capital

Text available here.

This is going to be the first installment of my study of Marxism. I think it’s a good place to start because it seems to deal with some of the major issues in Capital (based on my understanding from secondary sources since I’ve only gotten through the first few chapters), which many readers never get to because they give up during the dull―but important―section on commodities.


I am using a text edited by Fredrick Engels. There is some argument that Engels’s views represent a specialized offshoot of Marxism and attempt to make it into a scientific version of political economy. Here, Engels’s goal is to turn the essay into a work that Marx would have written in 1891, rather than 1849. He notes that his chief alteration is to describe workers as selling their “labor power,” rather than their “labor” in exchange for wages. I don’t know of any reason to think that this affects the substance of the work.


Labor power is a commodity that workers sell to capitalists. Like any commodity, labor power has both a use value and an exchange value, which conflict with each other.1 From the perspective of capital, labor power is a use value and the capitalist purchases the right to put the worker to work for a certain period of time. That labor power produces goods or services that the capitalist can sell to replace expended materials, pay labor costs, and generate profits.


In contrast, labor power only has an exchange value to the worker. The worker does not receive a direct share of the product of his or her labor power, but receives the amount that the employer is willing to pay for that labor power. The exchange value of labor power consists of the wage. Workers are forced to sacrifice their labor time and power to those who own the means of production because the alternative is typically starvation (the capitalist system has imposed high costs on unemployment since the proletariat was forced off the land and into the cities and it became necessary to compel them to choose work rather than criminality or some other unproductive (from the standpoint of capital) means of living).


The value of labor power is affected in the same fashion as any other commodity: when demand outpaces supply, the exchange value (wages) go up and when demand decreases, prices go down. If Marx seems to be drifting a little close to classical microeconomics, his approach remains thoroughly non-orthodox.2 He goes beyond mere supply and demand and explains how armies of sellers and workers compete not only with each other, but with themselves. This relationship is dialectical, since the competition is also internal: different kinds of workers (e.g., undocumented immigrants and union labor) compete with each other, driving down wages. However, despite the flux of supply and demand, prices tend to balance out, more or less, meaning that a commodity’s exchange value is brought in accord with the cost of its production: in this case, the cost of materials and labor time.


Another key point is that commodities symbolize social relationships. Something only becomes capital by being transformed by the social relations of production. Not all commodities with exchange values are capital. They must be multiplied and produced via labor power: “It is only the dominion of past, accumulated, materialized labor over immediate living labor that stamps the accumulated labor with the character of capital.” (See Marx's discussion of fetishism in Capital).


Marx shows how the interests of capital and labor are mutually exclusive. Whenever profits grow, relative wages must shrink, widening the lines of stratification between the bourgeois and working classes and increasing social control over labor. A rise in actual wages may often be offset by other factors. One such factor is a rise in commodity prices (often necessities, on which the working class spend the bulk of their income). See Frederick Kaufman, The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It, Harper's, July 2010, at 27 (describing how grain speculation led to a dramatic rise in global wheat prices). This effectively reduces the real wages of workers because, even if they receive more income, they can do less with that income. Capital, on the other hand, experiences an increase in profits, since commodity prices go up faster than does the need to pay workers (this is especially true in a speculation situation in which prices go up without the need for more labor inputs).


Further, even if real wages go up, they will rise more slowly than profits. Money received by businesses while selling goods can be divided into three segments: (1) the cost necessary to replace and fortify the material implements of production, (2) wages, and (3) profits. Since the cost to cover materials merely replaces preexisting wealth, wages and profits must be divided up from the fruits of labor power. This alienates the proceeds of the worker’s labor power and allows capitalists to benefit themselves to a proportionally greater degree than laborers. The effect is that wages fall in a relational sense, since the socioeconomic gap between the worker and the capitalist grows.


This argument is persuasive in light of recent events. First, wages have not kept pace with increases in productivity. Second, moral hazard (the idea that insuring loss discourages loss avoidance) has been inscribed into the capitalist system. It was necessary for the federal government to bail out banks and investment firms when their speculation schemes fell through. The people who stand to profit from such risky activity are effectively shielded from that risk and only stand to gain in the form of short-term profits or a golden parachute. Those who bear the risk (workers, communities, environmental stakeholders, etc.) are simultaneously unable to receive the rewards of such risk-taking and must bear the brunt of it when the bubble bursts and the system collapses. It is difficult to imagine a form of capitalism that would do away with this kind of moral hazard. Simply letting the banks fail would have caused an even greater depression, wounding the working class. However, while large firms are now recovering from the recession and are seeing larger profits, those firms are sitting on their new revenues, rather than allowing them to "trickle down" to workers. See Tom Petruno, Big Companies are Awash in Cash as Economy Picks Up, L.A. Times, Mar. 24, 2010, http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/24/business/la-fi-rich-companies24-2010mar24. Meanwhile, the jobless rate continues to be abysmal. While recent numbers might show a slight decrease in unemployment, that may be because some of the jobless have simply given up hope of finding a job and are no longer counted on the unemployment roles. Andy Kroll, More Grim News on Jobs Front, Mother Jones, Aug. 6, 2010, http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/08/more-grim-news-jobs-front. For a discussion of the moral risk argument as applied to capitalism, see Slavoj Žižek, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce 12-13 (2009).


Marx isolates two means by which capitalism ensures that profits rise to the detriment of wages: (1) technological development and (2) the division of labor. The technological side of this was evident when I was paid to do data entry at Blue Cross–Blue Shield and the company moved from the inefficient process of having people directly type insurance claims into computers to a scanning system. While scanning might have been less unpleasant from my perspective, it required a lower degree of skill and didn’t take as many hours to complete. This meant slashing hours and pay. People who were on track to become full-time employees remained part-time, losing out on health benefits. While the technology allowed me to accomplish the same amount of work in less time, it became more difficult to qualify for productivity bonuses, so I found myself working more hours (informal full-time hours without accompanying benefits) to earn my old wage. Counterintuitively, the rise in productivity allowed by technology forced a drop in real wages, since I had to work longer and donate more of my time to my company without receiving the health insurance that would have once accompanied such an increase in working time.


Competition between capitalists drives this process on a global scale, something we have seen in the outsourcing of labor to nations with lower wages and less strict labor standards during recent decades. As available work and wages fall, workers must work more hours and do so under less pleasant circumstances. This increases the supply of labor and further depresses wages, allowing workers to hurt their own interests as a class for the sake of their individual well-being. Laborers not only compete with each other, but with themselves.



1 Marx writes:

The commodity itself appears as unity of two aspects. It is use value, i.e. object of the satisfaction of any system whatever of human needs. This is its material side, which the most disparate epochs of production may have in common, and whose examination therefore lies beyond political economy. Use value falls within the realm of political economy as soon as it becomes modified by the modern relations of production, or as it, in turn, intervenes to modify them. What it is customary to say about it in general terms, for the sake of good form, is confined to commonplaces which had a historic value in the first beginnings of the science, when the social forms of bourgeois production had still laboriously to be peeled out of the material, and, at great effort, to be established as independent objects of study. In fact, however, the use value of the commodity is a given presupposition -- the material basis in which a specific economic relation presents itself. It is only this specific relation which stamps the use value as a commodity. Wheat, e.g., possesses the same use value, whether cultivated by slaves, serfs or free labourers. It would not lose its use value if it fell from the sky like snow. Now how does use value become transformed into commodity? Vehicle of exchange value. Although directly united in the commodity, use value and exchange value just as directly split apart. Not only does the exchange value not appear as determined by the use value, but rather, furthermore, the commodity only becomes a commodity, only realizes itself as exchange value, in so far as its owner does not relate to it as use value. He appropriates use values only through their sale [Entäusserung], their exchange for other commodities. Appropriation through sale is the fundamental form of the social system of production, of which exchange value appears as the simplest, most abstract expression. The use value of the commodity is presupposed, not for its owner, but rather for the society generally.

Karl Marx, The Grundrisse 881 (M. Nicolaus trans. 1973).

2 See David Harvey, The Limits to Capital 8 (1982) (“Marx accepts the importance of supply and demand in equilibriating the market, but he vehemently denies that supply and demand can tell us anything whatsoever about what the equilibrium prices of commodities will be. ‘If supply and demand balance one another, they cease to explain anything, do not affect market-values, and therefore leave us so much more in the dark . . . .’” (quoting 3 Karl Marx, Capital 189 (F. Engels ed. 1967))).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Course of Study (updated)

I think this is how my theoretical comments are going to go over the next year. It's fairly ambitious, not overly consistent (Kautsky to Lacan), and in no way complete. But I think it will provide me with some solace while coping with my daily life. Some of my writing might consist of more exegesis than original analysis on the subjects that I'm just trying to get a handle on (especially Capital . . . my grip of economics is very tenuous). Some of them are definitely out of order and others only list an author or movement until I figure out what specific works I want to comment on. This will be filled in as time goes by (I hope).

If you have a suggestion of something I should check out, feel free to contact me. I'm open to old and new things, regardless of whether I think I'll agree with them or not. I'm definitely missing out on some people who are influenced by Marx, but are not Marxists per se, and a lot of non-Marxist socialism, like the Utopians, Proudhon, anarchists, etc.

I can go back to being a good post-structuralist next year.

Preliminary Readings
  • Karl Marx - Wage Labor and Capital (this seems like a good prelude to Capital, since it lays out the argument that people often don't get to because of the dry and difficult early chapters)
  • Slavoj Žižek - First as Tragedy, Then as Farce (not chronological at all, but I just read it and it's giving me some ideas about the limits of industrial democracy, especially in relation to collective bargaining, unionization, and shareholder proxy voting)
Marx and Early Marxism
  • Karl Marx - Capital (this will be informed by Harry Cleaver's Reading Capital Politically & Study Guide to Capital and David Harvey's The Limits to Capital as well as his podcast lectures).
  • Karl Marx - The Poverty of Philosophy (I suppose this should be in conjunction with Proudhon's Philosophy of Poverty)
  • Karl Marx - Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
  • Karl Marx - Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy
  • Karl Marx - Critique of the Gotha Program
  • Karl Marx - The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
  • General Rules of the International Working Men's Association
Socialism and Statism
  • Mikhail Bakunin - Statism and Anarchy
  • Mikhail Bakunin - God and State
  • Karl Marx - Conspectus of Bakunin's God and State
  • Ann Robertson - The philosophical roots of the Marx-Bakunin conflict
  • Post-Fordism and Social Form: A Marxist Debate on the Post-Fordist State - Bonefeld/Holloway, Eds.
  • State and Capital: A Debate – Holloway/Picciotto, Eds.
  • The State Debate - Clarke, Ed.
  • Law and Marxism
German Social Democracy
  • Rosa Luxemburg - Reform or Revolution
  • Rosa Luxemburg - Organisational Questions of the Russian Revolution
  • Rosa Luxemburg - The Mass Strike
  • Rosa Luxemburg - Leninism or Marxism
Revisionist Social Democracy
  • Eduard Bernstein - Evolutionary Socialism
Orthodox Marxism
  • Karl Kautsky - The Economic Doctrines of Karl Marx
  • Karl Kautsky - Thomas More and His Utopia
  • Karl Kautsky - The Class Struggle
Lenin and Bolshevism
  • V.I. Lenin - What is to be Done
  • Alexandra Kollontai - The Worker's Opposition
  • G.V. Plekhanov - Materialist Conception of History
  • G.V. Plekhanov - Monist View of History
  • Evgeny Pashukanis - General Theory of Law and Marxism
Trotskyism
  • Leon Trotsky - Results and Prospects
  • Leon Trotsky - 1905
  • Leon Trotsky - Terrorism and Communism
  • Leon Trotsky - Platform of the Joint Opposition
  • Leon Trotsky - The Third International After Lenin
  • Leon Trotsky - The Permanent Revolution
  • Leon Trotsky - The Revolution Betrayed
  • Leon Trotsky - The Stalin School of Falsification
  • Tony Cliff - Trotskyism after Trotsky
  • Tony Cliff - The Nature of Stalinist Russia
  • Tony Cliff - Rosa Luxemburg
  • Ernest Mandel - The Marxist Case For Revolution Today
  • Ernest Mandel - Trotsky's Ideas and the Soviet Union Today
  • Ernest Mandel - Trotsky's Conception of Self-Organisation and the Vanguard
  • Ernest Mandel - How to Make No Sense of Marx
  • Ernest Mandel - Social Democracy and Social Movements
  • Ernest Germain - In Defence of Leninism
  • Ernest Mandel - Rosa Luxemburg and German Social Democracy
  • Ernest Mandel - World Revolution Today
  • Ernest Mandel - The Labor Theory of Value and Monopoly Capital
  • Ernest Mandel - An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory
  • Ernest Germain - The Theory of State Capitalism
  • Tom Novack - Understanding History
Western Marxism
  • György Lukács - What Is Orthodox Marxism
  • György Lukács -History and Class Consciousness
  • István Mészáros - Marginal Utility and Neoclassical Economics
  • István Mészáros - Marx's Theory of Alienation
  • Etienne Balibar - The Philosophy of Marx
  • Etienne Balibar - Self-Criticism
  • Etienne Balibar - On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Council Communism
  • Anton Pannekoek - Workers Councils
  • Anton Pannekoek - Party and Working Class
  • Anton Pannekoek - General Remarks on the Question of Organisation
  • Paul Mattick - Economic Crisis and Crisis Theory
  • Paul Mattick - Bolshevism and Stalinism
  • Cajo Brendel - Proletarian Spin-off of the Russian Revolution
  • Cajo Brendel - Goodbye to the Unions! - A Controversy About Autonomous Class Struggle in Great Britiain
  • GIK - Fundamental principles of communist production and distribution
  • GIK - Origins of the Movement for Workers' Councils in Germany
  • Syliva Pankhurst - Communism and its Tactics
  • Sylvia Pankhurst - Communism vs. Reformers
  • Herman Gorter - The Lessons of the March Action
  • Herman Gorter - Why we need the Fourth Communist Workers' International
  • Herman Gorter - Open Letter to Comrade Lenin
  • Dave Graham - An Introduction to Left Communism
  • Otto Ruhle - The Fight Against Fascism Begins With the Fight Against Bolshevism
  • Otto Ruhle - The Revolution is not a Party Affair
Hegelian Marxism
  • Paresh Chattopadhyay - On Some Aspects of the Dialectic of Labor
  • Paresh Chattopadhyay -Value and Exploitation
  • Paresh Chattopadhyay - Marx on Capital's Globalization
  • Cyril Smith - Marx vs. Historical Materialism
  • Cyril Smith - Meszaros on Lenin
  • Cyril Smith - Marx's Critique of Political Philosophy
  • Cyril Smith - Karl Marx and Human Self-Creation
  • Karl Korsch - Marxism and Philosophy
  • Karl Korsch - The Present State of the Problem of Marxism and Philosophy
  • Karl Korsch - A Non-Dogmatic Approach to Marxism
  • Hiroshi Uchida - Marx's Grundrisse and Hegel's Logic
Autonomia and Associated Tendencies
  • Karl Marx - Grundrisse (all the way down here because it's so heavily associated with Negri and the Italian autonomists)
  • Antonio Negri - Marx Beyond Marx
  • Antonio Negri - Goodbye Mr. Socialism
  • Hardt & Negri - Empire
  • Nick Dyer-Witheford - Cybermarx
  • Nick Dyer-Witheford - Autonomist Marxism and the Information Society
  • Nick Dyer-Witheford - Cognitive Capital Contested
  • Selma James - The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community
  • Selma James - Sex, Race, and Class
  • Midnight Notes - Darkness at Midnight
  • Midnight Notes - Spatial Deconstruction in D.C.
  • Midnight Notes - Promissory Notes
  • Midnight Notes - Strange Victories
  • Raniero Panzien - The Capitalist Use of Machinery
  • Raniero Panzien - Surplus Value and Planning
  • Mariarosa Dalla Costa - The Door to the Garden
  • Sergio Bologna - Class Composition and the Theory of the Party at the Origins of the Workers' Council Movement
  • Sergio Bologna -Nazism and the Working Class
  • Mario Tronti - The Strategy of Refusal
  • Mario Tronti -Social Capital
  • Mario Tronti -Workers and Capital
  • Aufheben Magazine - Decadence
  • Harry Cleaver - Crisis Theory
  • Harry Cleaver - The Chiapas Uprising
  • Harry Cleaver - Kropotkin
  • Harry Cleaver - On Schoolwork
  • Paulo Virno - Between Disobedience and Exodus
  • Maurizio Lazzarato - Possibilities in the Public Sphere
  • Paulo Virno - Creating a New Public Sphere Without the State
  • Adelino Zanini - Multitude and Working Class
  • Adelino Zanini - Postfordist Lexicon
  • Matteo Pasquinelli - War Porn War Punk
  • Antonio Negri - Against Empire
  • Antonio Negri - Approximation
  • Antonio Negri - Empire and Multitude
  • Antonio Negri - Strategies of Resistance
  • Matteo Pasquinelli - Radical Machines Against Technoempire
  • Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri - Marx's Mole is Dead
  • Antonio Negri - Concept and Practice
  • Alessandro Pandolfi - Are We all Schmittians
  • Antonio Negri - Multitude and Metropolis
  • Maurizio Lazzarato - Biopolitics-Bioeconomics
  • Maurizio Lazzarato - Machines to Crystalize Time
  • Maurizio Lazzarato - A Deafening Noise
  • Paolo Virno - Republic of the Multitude
  • Antonio Negri - Grammar of the Multitude
  • Antonio Negri - Capitalist Domination and Working Class Sabotage
Johnson-Forest Tendency
  • CLR James - State Capitalism and World Revolution
  • CLR James - Notes on Dialectics
  • Raya Dunayevskaya - Socialism or Barbarism
  • Raya Dunayevskaya - Women's Liberation, Then and Now
  • Raya Dunayevskaya - The Uniqueness of Marxist Humanism
  • Raya Dunayevskaya - A restatement of some fundamentals of Marxism against 'pseudo-Marxism'
  • Paul Romano and Ria Stone - The American Worker
  • Radical America 1-1
  • Radical America 4-4
Socialism or Barbarism
  • Claude Lefort - What is Bureacracy
  • Cornelius Castoriadis - On the Content of Socialism
  • Cornelius Castoriadis - The Working Class and Organisation
  • Cornelius Castoriadis - Modern Capitalisma nd Revolution
  • Cornelius Castoriadis - From the Analysis of Bureacracy to Workers Management
  • Socialisme Ou Barbarie - The Role of Bolshevik Ideology in the Birth of the Bureacracy
  • Henri Simon - Some Thoughts on Organisation
  • Henri Simon - From the Suburbs Riots to the Student Movement
  • Henri Simon - The New Movement
  • Henri Simon - The Refusal of Work
  • Andy Anderson - Hungary '56
  • Solidarity - Third Worldism or Socialism
  • Solidarity - As We See It
  • Amadeo Bordiga - The Story of our Origins
  • Amadeo Bordiga - Is This the Time to Form Soviets
  • Amadeo Bordiga - Towards the establishment of workers councils in Italy
  • Amadeo Bordiga - Theses on the Role of the Communist Party in the Proletarian Revolution
  • Gilles Dauve - When Insurrections Die
  • Gilles Dauve - Eclipse and Re-emergence of the Communist Movement
  • Jacques Carnatte - About the Revolution
  • Jacques Carnatte - On Organization
Structuralism
  • Louis Althusser - On Marxism
  • Louis Althusser - How to Read Marx's Capital
  • Louis Althusser - Notes on Lenin and Philosophy
  • Louis Althusser - We Must Change in the Party
Gramsci
  • The Prison Notebooks
Frankfurt School
  • Max Horkheimer - Critique of Instrumental Reason
  • Max Horkheimer - Eclipse of Reason
  • Max Horkheimer - Traditional and Critical Theory
  • Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno - Dialectic of Enlightenment
  • Theodor Adorno - Hegel: Three Studies
  • Theodor Adorno - Negaive Dialectics
  • Theodor Adorno - On Pop Music
  • Theodor Adorno - The Culture Industry
  • Theodor Adorno - Culture Industry Reconsidered
  • Jurgen Habermas - The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
  • Jurgen Habermas - Legitimation Crisis
  • Jurgen Habermas - The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity
  • Walter Benjamin - The Life of Students
  • Walter Benjamin - The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
  • Walter Benjamin - Critique of Violence
  • Herbert Marcuse - Negations: Essays in Critical Theory
  • Herbert Marcuse - Counterrevolution and Revolt
  • Walter Benjamin - Illuminations
  • Ernst Bloch - Hitler's Force
  • Herbert Marcuse - One-Dimensional Man
  • Herbert Marcuse - The Foundation of Historical Materialism
Lettrist and Situationist Internationals
  • Raoul Vaneigem - The Book of Pleasures
  • Raoul Vaneigem - The Revolution of Everyday Life
  • Guy Debord - Theses on the Situationist International and Its Time
  • Guy Debord - Society of the Spectacle
  • Guy Debord - Preliminaries Toward Defining a Unitary Revolutionary Program
  • Guy Debord - Beneath the Idol, the Bureacrat
  • Guy Debord & Gil J. Wolman - Pourquoi le lettrisme
  • Guy Debord, Attila Kotanyi, & Raoul Vaneigem - Theses on the Paris Commune
  • Situationist International - May 1968 Documents
  • René Riesel - Preliminaries on Councils and Councilist Organization
  • Mike Rooke - Marxism is Dead! Long Live Marxism
  • Asger Jorn - Internationale Situationiste No. 1
  • Gilles Dauve - Critique of the Situationist International
  • Gilles Dauve - Intakes
Zerowork
  • Massimo De Angelis - Value Struggle or Classs Struggle
  • Massimo De Angelis - Marx's Theory of Primitive Accumulation
  • Massimo De Angelis - The Zapatista's Voice
  • Massimo De Angelis - Globalisation, Work, and Class
  • John Zerzan - Organized Labor versus the Revolt Against Work
  • William Cleaver - Wildcats in the Appalachian Coal Fields
  • The Zerowork Collective - Introduction to Zerowork 1
  • George Caffentzis - Throwing Away the Ladder
  • Paolo Carpignano - US Class Composition in the 60s
Open Marxism
  • Ferruccio Gambino - A Critique of Fordism and the Reformist School
  • Werner Bonefeld - The Permanence of Primitive Accumulation
  • Werner Bonefeld - The Politics of Debt
  • Werner Bonefeld - Labor, Capital, and Primitive Accumulation
  • Werner Bonefeld - The Politics of Globalisation
  • Werner Bonefeld - Social Constitution and the Form of the Capitalist State
  • John Holloway - Change the World Without Taking Power
  • John Holloway - Class Struggle is Assymetrical
  • John Holloway - The Concept of Power and the Zapatistas
American Socialism
  • Daniel Deleon - Reform or Revolution
  • Daniel Deleon - The Burning Question of Trade Unionism
  • Daniel Deleon - What Means This Strike
  • Hal Draper - Marx on Democratic Forms of Government
  • Hal Draper - The Myth of Lenin's Revolutionary Defeatism
  • Hal Draper - The Two Souls of Socialism
  • Hal Draper - Marxism and Trade Unions
Laclau and Mouffe
  • Hegemony and Socialist Strategy
Naomi Klein
  • The Shock Doctrine (I don't know where to put this, but I want to read it)
Psychoanalysis
  • Jacques Lacan - Écrits
  • Jacques Lacan - Various Seminars
  • Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari - Capitalism and Schizophrenia volumes
  • Slavoj Žižek - Revolution at the Gates
  • Slavoj Žižek - In Defense of Lost Causes
  • Slavoj Žižek - Violence
Alain Badiou
  • Alain Badiou - Being and Event
  • Alain Badiou - Metapolitics

So now what?

Well, law school is over, I took the bar, and I don't have a job. Few people are hiring and most of those positions gets snapped up by people who didn't go to Tier III schools. Law Review and top 5% don't help that much in this economy if you're didn't go to a top 14 school.

In a sense, it's kind of liberating. I don't have to worry about being a respectable lawyer. I don't even have to be a lawyer. Extinction might have kept me in law school just like a hapless pledge who keeps pursuing frat membership just so the week of humiliation he has already received will not be in vain, but I don't need to let that control my life. Sure, I need a job to pay soaring medical bills, avoid homelessness, and eat, but the death cult of the law doesn't have to my way of doing that (especially if the law doesn't want me).

So I think I'm going to try to focus on two things that I've neglected: my interests in philosophy and creative writing. I think I can use this space to post some of my attempts at writing fiction about new religious movement eschatology and exploring the ins and outs of libertarian Marxism and psychoanalysis that I thought I didn't have time to think about over the past two years because I was neck-deep in the drivel that I tried to pass off as legal writing.

We'll see. A plan might be forthcoming.