Mark S. Weiner

Archive for the ‘Conversations’ Category

Blues Break

In Aesthetics, Conversations, Video on September 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm

It’s true, this video has nothing at all to do with law, except that it was made by a legal historian. Still, I had a great time the other week helping spin blues and R&B records with my friend Al Bell at the WPKN studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut … and I brought along my camera … so I thought I’d post this for a fun break on a Saturday night.

 

Water, Paper, Law

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Books and libraries, Conversations, Video on July 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm

In my latest video, an eighteenth-century Italian legal treatise about water inspires some thoughts about law, rare books, and the passage of time. The video is part of a series I’m developing about rare law books. You can view the video here:

Small Blank Space

I’ve also posted the video on my new channel on Vimeo, to which I’ll be posting all my videos in the future.

Blackstone Goes Hollywood

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Books and libraries, Conversations, Law and film, Video on May 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I’ve made a new video—about Blackstone’s Commentaries. It’s also about storytelling form in legal history. My sister-in-law once named a fish Blackstone, which I thought was a very nice sign of respect to the great eighteenth-century explicator of the common law, but the fish plays no part in this video. But Humphrey Bogart does. And so does Orson Welles. You can watch the video here:

Odds & Ends

In Conversations, Rule of the Clan on April 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

5 Nuts

Five odds and ends today:

1) My discussion “The Legal Foundations of Individualism,” which I presented as a talk at the annual Telos conference in January, is now available on TELOSscope. As I explain at the start of the piece: “I’ll be addressing two questions about democracy raised by our conference description: first, ‘the reasons for its rarity and volatility’; and, second, ‘the factors that are essential for its stability.’ For each question, I’ll try to provide a concise, mildly provocative answer from my perspective as a writer and scholar about constitutional law and comparative legal history.”

Regarding the first question, “why is democracy so rare and volatile,” I write: “I think one answer we could give to this question is that democracy is volatile because the modern self is a legal achievement. There is nothing outside of law, including individual subjectivity.”

2) ICYMI (in case you missed it): the forum last month about The Rule of the Clan on Cato Unbound was really interesting—and great fun. I was very fortunate to have three thoughtful commentators from different parts of the political spectrum engage with my work: libertarian blogger Arnold Kling, American Conservative editor Daniel McCarthy, and Yale Law School professor John Fabian Witt. There were also many lively comments from readers. The editor of Cato Unbound, Jason Kuznicki of the Cato Institute, posted his own very interesting response on the website Ordinary Times, speaking to some debates within libertarian theory.

3) There were a number of responses to the Cato Unbound forum in various corners of the blogsphere, including an especially interesting discussion on The Sweep, which published another post today that comes into dialogue with my work.

4) My lead essay on Cato Unbound is now available in Spanish on La Tercera Cultura. There seem to be a number of interesting comments en español. To the translator and editors: abrazos!

5) This coming week I’ll be speaking at the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues at Dickinson College. My fellow panelists will be Prof. Carol Horning of the U.S. Army War College, Prof. Erik Love of the Sociology Department at Dickinson, and Prof. Andrew Wolff of the Dickinson Political Science Department. Earlier that day I’ll be speaking to one of Prof. Horning’s classes on international development at the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.

6) Totally apropos of nothing I’ve discussed above: I’m looking forward to spending the weekend at a course on wilderness first aid sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club. If any of my readers have taken one of SOLO’s wilderness first responder courses, do let me know. See you on the trails!

P1060839 copy

 

Rule of the Clan Unbound

In Conversations, Rule of the Clan on March 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

The Rule of the Clan

There’s a symposium this month about The Rule of the Clan on Cato Unbound, the online journal of the Cato Institute. My contribution is now online. In coming days there will responses by Arnold Kling, on March 12; Daniel McCarthy, on March 14; and John Fabian Witt, on March 17. I hope readers will join in the conversation, which promises to be lively and controversial.

In other news, I’ll be speaking tomorrow at Yale Law School beginning at six o’clock, and the paperback of The Rule of the Clan is now available from the good folks at Picador.

It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t …

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Conversations, Individualism, Law and music, Rule of the Clan on March 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

“What can the jazz process tell us about life?” That’s the overriding theme of Trading Fours on Blog Talk Radio, hosted by Drs. Jackie Modeste and Wesley J. Watkins, IV.

I had a lively conversation about The Rule of the Clan on the show today, and in keeping with the spirit of Trading Fours—and trading fours—our discussion ranged widely. You can hear the full one-hour show through this media player (or by clicking on the link in the first paragraph):

In the course of our conversation, the three of us had a lively exchange about jazz and democracy I thought worth sharing. Among other things, it seemed like an American version of the discussion I had with Prof. Stefan Kirste about the relation between law and musical aesthetics:

Here’s an excerpt from the conversation, which in the audio file begins at about 33:00:

Me: What liberal government has to sell has to be better than what’s on offer from other social theories.

Jackie: Right.

Me: And if liberal government is working, if it’s corrupt along any lines, certainly those of nepotism, if it’s ineffective, then liberal government deserves to lose. But I don’t think it should. And that’s why I think it’s important to defend central government, to defend modern liberal ideals of robust government capable of vindicating the public interest and thereby liberating individual energy.

Jackie: OK, yes. Yes! So what I’m thinking about is when we—

Me: Jackie, sorry to interrupt you. Something that Wes said … maybe we could play with this a little bit. I’m trying to draw connections to the jazz concerns that you have here on the show. Maybe government is like a band leader. And so if you’re thinking about Duke Ellington, right, and the kind of music that he was able to enable, if you don’t have a good band leader, then someone is going to steal that show and the swing is going to be undermined. I’m not sure if … is that the case in jazz?

Jackie: Wes, do you want to talk about that? Read the rest of this entry »

Rule of the Clan Radio Interviews

In Conversations, Rule of the Clan on August 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm

The Rule of the Clan

I’ve really enjoyed speaking on the radio about The Rule of the Clan over the past few months. The interviewers have been really sharp and insightful, and it’s been great to have the chance to talk with readers well outside university circles.

I’ve posted links to the interviews as they were broadcast, but I’ve just learned how to embed audio files from external sites into WordPress (better late than never!). And so for ease of use, I’ll make them available again here, all in one place. To listen, just click on one of the audio players below.

The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC (New York)—12 minutes:

The American Bar Association (Chicago)—15 minutes:

“Think,” with Krys Boyd, on KERA (Dallas)—50 minutes:

Central Standard, with Susan Wilson, on KCUR (Kansas City)—one hour:

Unfortunately, my hour-long interview with The Kathleen Dunn Show on Wisconsin Public Radio can’t be embedded into WordPress. If you’d like to listen, click here for the audio file. And if you’d like to watch a lecture I gave at BYU in 2012 about the book’s national security implications, click here.

I’ve also held an online interview Deven Desai of the blog Concurring Opinions: here.

From Wikipedia Digital Commons

If Your Law Were an Animal … or a Tool … or Music?

In Austria, Constitutional law, Conversations, Cross-cultural encounters & comparisons, Europe, Germany, Law and music, Netherlands, Romania, Video on July 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

When I was in Europe last November, I asked a group of legal professionals some unusual questions. The results are in my new video.

 

A Lively, Learned Symposium

In Conversations, Guest Posts, Rule of the Clan on July 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

The symposium about The Rule of the Clan on Concurring Opinions continues—and continues to be highly engaging, with many intelligent, learned posts from the respondents and interesting comments from readers, spanning subjects as diverse as the war in Afghanistan, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, and “The Godfather.”

You can find the full symposium thus far, with posts in reverse chronological order, here. The provided link will continue to update until the symposium comes to a close this Friday.

The Rule of the Clan

Symposium on Concurring Opinions

In Conversations, Rule of the Clan on July 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm

From July 22-26, the blog Concurring Opinions will host an on-line symposium about The Rule of the Clan, moderated by Deven Desai. All readers are warmly invited to take part in what I’m sure will be a stimulating, wide-ranging discussion. I’m grateful already to my valued friends and readers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan for their interest contributing—if you’re able, I’ll be delighted to have you be a part of our conversation.

The dedicated commentators of the symposium come from a wide variety of intellectual backgrounds—and they’re terrific. They are:

Prof. Mark Fenster, Levin College of Law, University of Florida, author of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture.

Dean Lucas Grosman, University of San Andrés School of Law, Argentina, author of Escasez e Igualdad: Los Derechos Sociales en la Constitución.

Dr. Arnold Kling, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute, blogger at askblog, author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: How the Discrepancy Between Knowledge and Power Caused the Financial Crisis and Threatens Democracy. Dr. Kling is also the author of “State, Clan, and Liberty,” a review of The Rule of the Clan for The Liberty Fund’s Library of Economics and Liberty.

Dr. Jan-Christoph Marschelke, Managing Director, Global Systems and Intercultural Competence Program (GSiK), University of Würzburg, Germany, author of Jeremy Bentham — Philosophie und Recht.

Prof. Tim Murphy, Universiti Utara Malaysia (University of North Malaysia), formerly professor at the University of Akureyri, Iceland, author of Law and Justice in Community (with Garrett Barden).

Prof. Abdullah Saeed, Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia, author of Islamic Thought: An Introduction.

Dr. Doyle R. Quiggle, Jr., author of “Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy Ibn Yaqdan in New England: A Spanish-Islamic Tale in Cotton Mather’s Christian Philosopher?” Dr. Quiggle has taught oratory, rhetoric and classics to U.S. soldiers in both Djibouti and Afghanistan.

Prof. Jeanne Schroeder, Cardozo School of Law, author of The Triumph of Venus: The Erotics of the Market. Prof. Schroeder is also the author of “Family Feud,” a review of The Rule of the Clan soon to be under consideration for publication.

Prof. Kevin Stack, Associate Dean for Research, Vanderbilt School of Law, author of The Regulatory State (with Lisa Schultz Bressman and Edward L. Rubin).