Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Philosophy

Paglia on #MeToo

“I am wholeheartedly in favor of women students or employees knowing their rights and speaking up to defend them. However, the #MeToo movement has gone seriously off track in encouraging uncorroborated accusations dating from ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. No democracy can survive in such a paranoid climate of ambush and summary execution. This is Stalinism, a nadir of politics.”

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The Dogma Within You

Donald Trump is the devil, removing any need for rationality, morality or honesty from the resistance movement.  The evil of Donald Trump  is required to justify the batshit behavior we have witnessed at the Kavanaugh hearing.

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Who Is Really Hostile to Free Speech?

The left has exhibited far more hostility to free speech than Trump has ever remotely considered.

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Is Capitalism Natural?

By acknowledging human flaws and addressing them, conservatives permit human potential to flourish.  By seeking a non existent perfection socialists require central control and power that frustrates human potential and growth.

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The Means Matter

As we have seen with the elimination of the filibuster by Harry Reid, sacrificing the means to the end is a short sighted strategy and creates tools that will be used against you. No matter how noble the ends the means still matter.

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Little Platoons of Civil Society

Socialism and its cousin, Progressivism, are not the forward-thinking ideologies they pretend, but regressions to the natural tendencies of man.

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Progress is Not Inevitable

Reform is seductive.  The faults of the status quo and our current institutions are vivid, magnified in an academic media complex that considers ‘viral’ an achievement. Reform is inchoate and illusive with faults yet to be recognized, presently clear only in the minds of critics and reactionaries.  In the future these faults are the subject of history.

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Was Madison Wrong?

Madison was correct that a dispersal of special interests over a large land mass could protect a republic from tyranny, but he failed to foresee that special interests are no longer restrained by mere distance and geography. They now exist in the cloud.

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The Origin of Ideology

“As Adams explained it, the French philosophes had invented the word, which became a central part of their utopian style of thinking and a major tenet in their “school of folly.” It referred to a set of ideals and hopes, like human perfection or social equality, that philosophers mistakenly believed could be implemented in the world because it existed in their heads. Jefferson himself thought in this French fashion, Adams claimed, confusing the seductive prospects envisioned in his imagination with the more limited possibilities history permitted. “

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The Need for Ideology

“There’s nothing wrong with partisanship per se, but it’s a problem when the parties view each other as enemies and existential threats. Centrism may seem an obvious solution, but too little ideology can be as dangerous as too much.”

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Detours and Destinations

At some point ideology does matter. sound ideology must yield results but also requires commitment and patience. This requires the clarity of leadership that can balance ideology and pragmatism.  Pragmatism without ideology is a an unmoored ship that will eventually crash on the rocks.  Having a sound ideology, while acknowledging its imperfections, is a map that assures that detours do not become destinations.

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The Price of Rage

by Henry Oliner One of a few themes that I return to in this blog is the fascination with poor decisions from very intelligent people. It has led me from  reading history to reading about the way we think and…

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An Epidemic of Bad Ideas

From Glenn Harlan Reynolds in The USA Today, Social media threat: People learned to survive disease, we can handle Twitter: Likewise, in recent years we’ve gone from an era when ideas spread comparatively slowly, to one in which social media in…

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Trend Illusions

by Henry Oliner The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli (highly recommended) is a compilation of biases and psychological barriers to clear and rational thinking. Dobelli warns of “trend gurus who see trends in everything”.  He contends this is…

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Transitional Politics

by Henry Oliner Both parties are fragmented, trying to assemble a consensus from groups that do not want to concede. Populist movements are defined by their demons. It is why they are prone to seduction by saviors.  They would settle…

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The Critical Difference Between Good and Bad Regulation

Mark Levin is a rabid right wing radio talk show host.  Because I at least scan about any title with the word progressivism in it, I viewed his latest book Rediscovering Americanism: and the Tyranny of Progressivism and was pleasantly surprised at…

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The Perversion of Individualism

Mark Levin is a rabid right wing radio talk show host.  Because I at least scan about any title with the word progressivism in it, I viewed his latest book Rediscovering Americanism: and the Tyranny of Progressivism and was pleasantly surprised at…

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Rules Based Individualism

Mark Levin is a rabid right wing radio talk show host.  Because I at least scan about any title with the word progressivism in it, I viewed his latest book Rediscovering Americanism: and the Tyranny of Progressivism and was pleasantly…

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Pragmatic Liabilities

by Henry Oliner The reason ideology is relevant in the health care debate is that at the core of the difficulty is the separation of pragmatic solutions from sound ideological support. Our health care problem is an accumulation of short…

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Why the Working Class Rejected Marx

from Sarah Hoyt, Poor Darlings: So the bright men and women who embraced Marxism for all things, particularly as a cure-all to the “greed” and “hatred” that had led to world war one were destined to be disappointed.  The working class…

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