• Robert Spicer

The law industry, money fetishism and the legal profession

The law industry

If all law were to be abolished, which is not necessarily to argue that it should be, then thousands of workers in the law industry would be thrown out of work. Police, prison officers, probation officers, court ushers, civil servants, judges, lawyers, paralegals, ancillary workers, workers in legal publishing and wigmakers – all have career structures built on the legal system.

It is a fundamental mistake to see this system as some sort of social service, or even as part of the state apparatus. Look at most firms of solicitors or sets of barristers’ chambers. The bottom line is not academic expertise, justice or state control. It is profit. This explains why so many small, socially conscious operations fail. Groups of lawyers whose commitment is to something other than money find it very difficult to survive without taking highly-paid work to boost their bank balances.

The reality is that many solicitors, barristers, legal executives and the whole panoply of the “justice” system see law as a way of making a good living.

This general criticism of lawyers as willing participants in the money-fetish society does not include the undoubted selfless dedication of many of those involved in law centre and advice work or on the radical fringes, who do not see themselves as acting in the commercial interests of the profession.

Money is a God not only in the legal system. Materialism throughout society is reflected in the practice of law. Money control of the legal system reflects increasing money-worship in British society. The fetishisation of money reflects its role as the supreme representation of social power, and the functioning of the legal profession is an exemplar of this representation.

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