Category Archive 'Political Philosophy'
21 Jan 2021
Curtis Yarvin (from his peculiar personal perspective in the hyper-intellectual Alt-Right) explains why our elite institutions (which he aptly calls “the Cathedral”) are currently so truly, horribly awful, and hints darkly at what must be done to effectuate reform. Not a terribly practical program, alas! but still a fun read.
An oligarchy inherently converges on ideas that justify the use of power.
I notice more people using this label, which I coined a long long time ago, and have always had ambivalent aesthetic feelings about. I used a capital C, but I see more of the miniscule and I think it’s better.
“The cathedral” is just a short way to say “journalism plus academia”—in other words, the intellectual institutions at the center of modern society, just as the Church was the intellectual institution at the center of medieval society.
But the label is making a point. The Catholic Church is one institution—the cathedral is many institutions. Yet the label is singular. This transformation from many to one—literally, e pluribus unum—is the heart of the mystery at the heart of the modern world. Read the rest of this entry »
19 Jul 2017
Patric Park, Adam Smith, 1845, Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
A must-read essay.
As Boaz says at the outset of The Libertarian Mind, “In a sense, there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power.” …
[The new liberalism, by inspiriting for the first time in history a great mass of ordinary people, produced a massive explosion of betterments. Steam, rail, universities, steel, sewers, plate glass, forward markets, universal literacy, running water, reinforced concrete, automobiles, airplanes, washing machines, antibiotics, the pill, containerization, free trade, computers, the cloud. It yielded in the end an increase in real income per head by a factor of thirty, and a startling rise in the associated ability to seek the transcendent in Art or Science or God or Baseball.
I said 30. It was a stunning Great Enrichment, material and cultural, well after the classic Industrial Revolution.
The Enrichment was, I say again in case you missed it, three thousand percent per person, near enough, utterly unprecedented. The goods and services available to even the poorest rose by that astounding figure, in a world in which mere doublings, increases of merely 100 percent, had been rare and temporary, as in the glory of fifth century Greece or the vigor of the Song Dynasty. In every earlier case, the little industrial revolutions had reverted eventually to a real income per head in today’s prices of about $3 a day, which was the human condition since the caves. Consider trying to live on $3 a day, as many people worldwide still do (though during the past forty years their number has fallen like a stone). After 1800 there was no reversion. On the contrary, in every one of the forty or so recessions since 1800 the real income per head after a recession exceeded what it had been at the previous peak. Up, up, up. Even including the $3-a-day people in Chad and Zimbabwe, world real income per head has increased during the past two centuries by a factor of ten, and by a factor of thirty as I said, in the countries that were lucky, and liberally wise. Hong Kong. South Korea. Botswana. The material and cultural enrichment bids fair to spread now to the world.
And the enrichment has been equalizing. Nowadays in places like Japan and the United States the poorest make more, corrected for inflation, than did the top quarter or so two centuries ago. Jane Austen lived more modestly in material terms than the average resident of East Los Angeles.
HT: Arnold Kling.
27 Jan 2017
Open Blogger offers a pretty darn good justification for supporting Trump.
Personally, I don’t feel in any way responsible for Trump, nor do I feel compelled to defend him against attack.
Why? Because I voted for retribution.
“He’s think-skinned and petty!” shrieks the left. “He takes everything personally!”
Good, I say. I want him to take attacks personally and deal out payback. I know I won’t be the target, you will be.
“He’s unpresidential! He’ll destroy the integrity of the office!”
No, that’s already happened. Remember, you elected a shit-talking jackass who takes selfies at state funerals when he’s not giving stealth middle fingers to his opponents during debates. There is no dignity of the office, not after Clinton and Obama.
“He’s a narcissist! He’s got totalitarian impulses!”
Yes, he’s basically a mirror version of Obama. Except now, he’ll be working for what I want. The end justifies the means. You taught me that.
“A sitting president going after the media. OMG!”
Oh, like Obama trashing Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? How about when he sent his lackeys to berate news reporters for failure to flatter him at all times. Oh, and NSA spying on the press. That was pretty great, too.
“He won’t show his taxes!”
Don’t care. Where are Obama’s college transcripts, by the way?
“He’s a bully! Is this what you want? Someone who uses his power to bully other people?!!!”
And this is where everything funnels down to the very nexus of my change in attitude from “Do unto others” to “I will do unto you what you do unto me.”
It’s two words: Memories Pizza.
It was that moment that everything changed for me–not only the harassment, fake Yelp reviews and the death threats that forced them to temporarily close up shop–oh, that was bad enough, but the most powerful man on Earth bullying a couple of small town pizza owners from Indiana simply for expressing an opinion on a hypothetical asked of them by a reporter with a malicious agenda? That was when I snapped.
Do you remember?
It’s this that sent me to a place from which I’ll never return. I literally don’t care what Donald Trump does because nothing he can do is worse than what they’ve already done.
Donald Trump isn’t the bully; he only insults and abuses people in power who have attacked him. They’re the fucking bullies. The left, with their smears, their witch hunts, their slanders, their insults, their riots, their violence, and their weaponizing of the federal bureaucracy.
There aren’t any rules anymore because the left only applies them one way. And in doing so, they’ve left what once was a civil compact between the two parties in smoldering ruins.
I have no personal investment in Donald Trump. He is a tool to punish the left and roll back their ill-gotten gains, no more and no less. If he succeeds even partially in those two things, then I’ll consider his election a win.
Further, I no longer have any investment in any particular political values, save one: The rules created by the left will be applied to the left as equally and punitively as they have applied them to the right. And when they beg for mercy, I’ll begin to reconsider. Or maybe not. Because fuck these people.
This new philosophy has freed me of more emotional angst that I can describe. Literally nothing the left says or does matters to me anymore. I don’t care about their tantrums. I don’t care about their accusations. I don’t care if they say Trump is lying. I don’t care if Trump is lying.
They created this Frankenstein. They own it. I am free of all obligation. I will never play defense again. I will attack, attack, attack, attack using their own tactics against them until they learn their lesson.
What I will not do is let them play my values against me ever again. I don’t need to prove that I’m better than them. I already know it.
Read the whole thing.
I, btw, agree. I opposed Trump throughout the GOP nominating process. I declined to vote for him, in fact. I did not elect Trump. The Left did. Donald Trump is Barack Obama’s true legacy. I’m surprised that Trump is keeping so many promises, and (mostly) doing things I like. I intend to sit back and enjoy watching the Left meltdown as Trump fires liberals from the State Department, authorizes pipelines, and guts the EPA. I hope he insults the liberal press some more. Who knows? Maybe next week, he’ll force Peter Salovey to resign and take away federal funds from Yale. Go get ’em, Trump!
30 Jan 2016
King Charles I’s scaffold speech:
“For the people. And truly I desire their Liberty and Freedom as much as any Body whomsoever. But I must tell you, That their Liberty and Freedom, consists in having of Government; those Laws, by which their Life and their goods may be most their own. It is not for having share in government, Sir, that is nothing pertaining to them. A subject and a soveraign are clean different things, and therefore until they do that, I mean, that you do put the people in that liberty as I say, certainly they will never enjoy themselves.
Sirs, It was for this that now I Am come here. If I would have given way to an Arbitrary way, for to have all Laws changed according to the power of the Sword, I needed not to have come here; and therefore, I tell you, (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge) That I Am the Martyr of the People.”
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