It is difficult for me to deal with abstract conflicts on a theoretical level when I lack success in the kind of humor that appeals to me more than Fuller's attempt to wrap himself in the mantle of righteousness as he considers law as an interactive enterprise trying to create a context in which independent actors can go about their business without having to do anything about $14 trillion dollars that has already been spent. The Preface to the Second Edition, dated May 1, 1969, just a month before I went to Vietnam, was prepared during the year that I would have remained in Professor Fuller's Contracts class at Harvard Law School if I had not been drafted in Novcember, 1968. The fifth chapter, A Reply to Critics, prepared at that time, might as well give up trying to "trace the consequences of a particular action through the fabric of society unless that fabric itself preserves some measure of integrity." (p. 238). The monetary circumstances keep giving away any case that would be moral in outlook. As Fuller claims:
one can imagine a lunatic
erupting on the scene and demanding to know
where his intended victim is hiding (pp. 239-240)
like Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Station, if I recall November, 1963, as well as millions of Americans watching a TV network as it was showing the aftermath of the JFK assassination for those who expected to see some legal consequences of an action that changed the nature of the government within the Constitutional limits on the official actions of elected officials.
A real shift in psychology noticed by Fuller:
In sociology and legal anthropology
there is a discernable trend
away from structural theories
and toward a study of interactional processes;
I am told a similar shift has taken place
during the last fifteen years in psychiatry
and psychoanalysis. As for the law, . . .
In this new climate of opinion,
there is no longer any need to apologize for being
critical of positivism,
nor does one run any serious risk
that a rejection of positivism will be taken
to imply a pretension that one has established contact
with Absolute Truth. (p. 241).