Submitted by Colin Marks
Discussion Group: “The Ric Flair Rule: Market Economics, Political Power, and Critical Awareness in a Global World.”
This discussion group took wrestler Ric Flair’s saying “To be the man, you have to beat the man” and applied it to a number of modern issues. The discussants brought expertise from tax, bankruptcy, property, contracts, antitrust, intellectual property, advocacy theory and critical race theory and combined them into a sweeping and highly interactive discussion on the role power plays. Issues such as the intransigence of police reform, the persistence of legal theories, and how institutions maintain and increase their power were all explored. Along the way, the discussants seemed to converge upon the idea that though established theories and ways of doing things may have value, once established it is very difficult to displace these norms even when there is evidence that they are no longer necessary, efficient or even desired. As an added bonus, Professor Lucy Jewel of the University of Tennessee Law provided everyone with a brief but fascinating summary of the infamous Ric Flair’s life and rise to fame.