from Jonah Goldberg at National Review, The Left’s Illogical Logic of Diversity
Ellison was hardly alone. Everyone seems to be talking about those American “values” of tolerance, diversity, and pluralism. Obama has been on a tear about how rejecting refugees is “not American” and how those refugees are akin to the pilgrims who arrived on our shores. He pays rote lip service to denouncing murderers in Paris.
Meanwhile, back on our campuses, those very values are routinely denounced as little more than “white privilege.” Needless to say, the people who want to see Columbus Day banned and call for an accounting of America’s crimes against Native Americans don’t think too highly of those Pilgrims.
As for our values, student protesters and their enablers on and off campus offer a full-throated rejection of America’s (classical) liberal principles and, at times, America itself. By now you’ve heard it said that “free speech” is just code for “white privilege” or even “hate speech.” Tolerance itself has become a dirty word for many.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427696/campus-protests-diversity-liberal-illogic
From Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek, Sometimes There Are No Good Options:
Whenever I hear politicians and their deputies discuss the subject that I know best, economics, they typically get it wrong. And they get it wrong not in minor ways; they get it wrong in fundamental ways. They frequently speak and write as if trade-offs don’t exist – as if the titles of statutes determine the outcomes of statutes – as if prices are arbitrary numbers that can be manipulated by government with no undesirable or unintended consequences – as if the benefits of international trade are “our” exports while the costs of such trade are our imports – as if nations “compete” against each other economically – as if the destruction wrought by natural disasters has an economic upside – as if government officials are immune to the knowledge constraints and self-interested motivations that affect actors in private markets.
In short, when the subject of discussion or the object of action is the economy, politicians and their deputies typically sound and act as if they are imbeciles (or as if the audiences they aim to please are made up largely of imbeciles). So why should I trust that these same politicians and their deputies, when they discuss and act on matters about which I know far less than economics, are not imbeciles? Why should I suppose them to be any more informed, reasonable, and wise – and less politically motivated – than they are when they discuss economics?
In the economy there is at least a choice between private and public action that does not exist in foreign affairs.
“Part of Mussolini’s reputation as a new kind of leader stemmed from his embrace of “modern”ideas, among them American Pragmatism. He claimed in many interviews that William James was one of the three or four most influential philosophers in his life. He surely said this to impress American audiences. But Mussolini really was an admirer of James (and the James-influenced Sorel), who believed that Pragmatism justified and explained his governing philosophy and governed in a pragmatic fashion. He was indeed the “Prophet of the Pragmatic Era in Politics,” as a 1926 article in the Political Science Quarterly (and subsequent book) dubbed him”
“If at times he would adopt, say, free-market policies, as he did to some extent in the early 1920s, that didn’t make him a capitalist. Mussolini never conceded the absolute authority of the state to dictate the course of the economy. By the early 1930s he had found it necessary to start putting Fascist ideology down on paper. Before then, it was much more ad hoc. But when he did get around to writing it out, doctrinal Fascist economics looked fairly recognizable as just another left-wing campaign to nationalize industry, or regulate it to the point where the distinction was hardly a difference. These policies fell under the rubric of what was called corporatism, and not only were they admired in America at the time, but they are unknowingly emulated to a staggering degree today.”
“Pragmatism is the only philosophy that has an everyday word as its corollary with a generally positive connotation. When we call a leader pragmatic, we tend to mean he’s realistic, practical, and above all nonideological. But this conventional use of the word obscures some important distinctions. Crudely, Pragmatism is a form of relativism which holds that any belief that is useful is therefore necessarily true. Conversely, any truth that is inconvenient or non-useful is necessarily untrue. Mussolini’s useful truth was the concept of a “totalitarian” society—he made up the word—defined by his famous motto: “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” The practical consequence of this idea was that everything was “fair game” if it furthered the ends of the state. To be sure, the militarization of society was an important part of fascism’s assault on the liberal state, as many anti-fascists assert. But that was the means, not the end. Mussolini’s radical lust to make the state an object of religious fervor was born in the French Revolution, and Mussolini, an heir to the Jacobins, sought to rekindle that fire. No project could be less conservative or less right-wing.”
Excerpt From: Goldberg, Jonah. “Liberal Fascism.” Knopf, 2008-01-08. iBooks.
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