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11/21/2004

Loopification

Why are so many people searching for "loopification?" For about a week, I've been getting 5-10 hits/day from search engines looking for that term.

I first came across the term in Richard Chused's property text book, where he excerpted Duncan Kennedy's, The Stages of the Decline of the Public/Private Distinction, 130 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1349, 1354-57 (1982). It's the phenomenon where political positions (and occasionally personalities) at the end of a continuum are closer to each other than the middle. See also McClosky and Chong, Similarities and Differences Between Left Wing and Right Wing Radicals, 15 Brit. J. Pol. Sci. 329 (1985).

One of the more fascinating examples of the phenomenon is the tale of Carl Schmitt; from Jan Werner Muller, A Dangerous Mind:

Converseley, many left-wing radicals in different parts of Europe felt repulsed (and sometimes secretely attracted) by Schmitt's supposedly supremely realist antiliberal theories. This was not a simple case of les extremes (antiliberaux) se touchent. Rather, as I shall argue in a number of chapters, it reflected the fact that European political thinkers after 1945 often addressed similar problems..." (6)

 

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