The House always wins
I’m having a lot of thoughts about staying in law school or quitting this shit like a bad habit, so my reading focus hasnt been up to par (and thats saying a lot about how poor its been, since on my good days i read at roughly a demented snails pace). i’ve also been making a lot of bad jokes lately, maybe because my minds trying to figure out why the hell i went from sleeping 10 hrs/night and being around art and film and love and all things good to reading Property: Principles and Policies (i dunno who gets to decide the words that come after the colon on all these books. maybe its a random lottery. maybe ill get to pick next time), so its a little bit stressed, a little haywire at the moment. anyways, i was reading the always fascinating Property: principles and policies and i came across this line in guido calabresi & douglas melamed’s property rules, liabiltiy rules and inalienability,
“Whenever a state is presented with the conflicting interests of two or more people, or two or more groups of people, it must decide which side to favor. Absent such a decision, access to goods, services, and life itself will be decided on the basis of ‘might makes right’ – whoever is stronger or shrewder will win.”
and you know what? i may not have fully or carefully read the rest of the article (sorry prof), but i did have a lot of thoughts about these lines. first of all, guido, with a name like that what were you thinking going into law (AND economics, its like the two worst subjects)? what a wasted opportunity. secondly, though i appreciated the elaboration on what exactly “might makes right” means, i think we all could have done without it, and you know, every millisecond of reading time saved is another penny in the “lets stay in law school” pot. so guido, youve contributed to the get the fuck out pot in a small but not meaningless way. i hope you feel good about yourself.
thirdly, really? because the state isnt just one big MIGHT? this is just a system for making the state’s might right. instead of someone else’s might. i mean come on. the shrewder lawyer all wins.
fourthly, and i say this only because, like i said, ive been feeling a little punchy lately and it seems like a great idea: the house always wins. i was struck by the brilliance of this idea at around 11am this morning in the library about to fall asleep but apparently no one in the law school library falls asleep and while i may drop out ill be damned if ill fall asleep in public amongst this heathenous crowd, so i was actually doing my reading.
the state does not “decide which side to favor” – the state favors its own goddamn self.
you may know that we have what is called an adversarial system of law (i may not know exactly what this is, but being in law school, i feel i have the right to make up what i think it is), where one person sues another person, or the state charges a criminal (or the fed whatever). so you look at this and you might think, oh ok, t’s my guy against that guy. it’s my right to have a piss-free garden against his right to piss on the god given ground. so you look at this, and you see people arguing, and then the verdict comes down adn it’s for your guy and you think, ok, my guy won. you think this! but it’s not true. your guy did not win. the house won.
the moral of the story is: if youre suing someone, or the state’s charging someone on your behalf, dont kid yourself. you aint win shit bright eyes. i mean ok, you maybe won a ton of money but whatever. just like in vegas, you might take home a pot of cash, but you’re really just givin life blood to the beast that never sleeps. in the bigger “we are all selling our lives to the man” sense, the house won. it cashed you in for some legal capital and the right to restrict your freedom and tell you what’s important and what’s right and what’s wrong. im not saying i have a better system. im not even saying this is true. im just saying that it’s true right now, right here.
look, i already told you im really tired, so i dont want to hear it about this not making any sense. save it!