Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Progressivism

The Madisonian Insight

“This was the Madisonian insight,” he contends: “that you can make all sorts of promises on a piece of paper, and call it a ‘bill of rights,’ and it’s not worth the paper it’s written on unless you have some means to enforce it. Like any good contract, it’s only worth the enforcement mechanism it stands on.”

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Of the Elites, By the Elites, and for the Elites

“Progressivism was exactly a doctrine of the elites, by the elites, and for the elites. They said–I mean, their objection to market society was that markets function so annoying well, without the supervision of intellectuals.”

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Another Failed God

“the worst forms of tyranny very much include majoritarian tyranny. One might think that the Trump presidency would cause progressives to think twice about what William F. Buckley Jr. dismissed as “the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.”

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A Watery Ceasarism

“Hence, there is such a thing as a human nature that is fixed and settled, not plastic to the touch of culture or government. That, we are more than culturally-acquiring creatures that take on the coloration of whatever social situation we are in. And third, from this flows the most important principle, which is separation of powers, to make government strong enough, to protect our natural rights, and not so strong that it threatens them. “

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Conrad Black on American Legal System

“The U.S. criminal justice system, because of the corruption of the plea bargain system that facilitates the prosecutors’ extortion of perjured inculpatory evidence with impunity, is just an immense kangaroo court.”

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Centrally Planned Ignorance

From National Review, Kevin Williams’ China’s Population Problem: Governments always operate in ignorance, and authoritarian governments suffer from this more than the governments of liberal societies. That is because in liberal societies, the spontaneous orders of markets, civil society, and…

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Jacobin Democrats

Hanson’s Jacobin moniker is more accurate than ‘progressive’.  It is a far more radical, illiberal, and often violent way to move  the political needle. It is different than populism;  it shares impatience and passion but lacks a root to the old order.  Among populists you sense a love for the country, even if it is an older version of it; with the Jacobins you sense a disgust for the country. One could argue that the Jacobin wing on of the Democratic Party is just a violent radical populist movement, but its lack of civil restraints make it far more dangerous.

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The Business Roundtable

Their compliance and subjugation to this class warfare rhetoric perpetuates the giant lie of the social justice warriors; that their wildest spending programs can be borne by a narrow band of the extremely wealthy.  If the middle class understood how much their share of the bill would be, they would lose in a McGovern style landslide.

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Incubator of Civility

While politics dismisses  ideology, it still underlies our differences.  The belief in permanent human nature and governing principles is what distinguishes the conservative from the progressive.

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The Self Righteous Mob

Half of Trump’s supporters like his in your face, hit back twice as hard, refusal to be intimidated, trolling, protocol style.  The other half fear the poorly thought, lunatic, illiberal, and authoritarian ideas and behavior of the Democrats much more than the ego and unpredictability of Trump.  The Kavanaugh hearing was a live rehearsal of how they handle power, like a self righteous mob. 

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Abandonment of Common Sense

Half of Trump supporters like his anti-elite, control the narrative, fearless and aggressive posture.  Half of his supporters have great problems with his style, lack of diplomacy, thoughtless tweets, and divisive rhetoric; but fear the radical ideas that are pouring from the barrel of Democratic candidates like liberal tourettes.

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Five Brief Book Reviews

Founders considered the Electoral College their crowning achievement of the Constitutional Convention.  The divisions by state make the system less corruptible;  the hanging chad problem in Florida was limited to one area of one state.  The system requires a candidate to appeal to a broad range of interests, not just the interests of a small if heavily populated area.

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Political Thoughts 2019 08 17

Identity Politics is just a politically correct form of racism.  We should not be surprised to hear more accusations of racism in response to greater reliance on identity politics as a political strategy.  The more that racism is used as a political weapon the less moral authority it retains.

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Real vs Hypothetical Evil

“…the real evils of censorship and suppression are considerably worse than the hypothetical troubles that a more liberal attitude toward unpopular speech might risk.”

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Prosperity and Democracy

“..the longer a successful society is stable, the more numerous are the successful factions—not the poor, or the unemployed, or the new entrepreneurial risk-takers who are trying to gain a foothold against established competitors—who become deft at gaming the political system for advantages.”

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Holding Progressivism Accountable

The essence of conservatism is the recognition and acceptance of the flaws in human nature, and the need to build a political structure that mitigates it. Once government accepts a mission to improve upon his nature, the moral threat of power is muted. Once democracy is in the hands of unlimited political power, tyranny is almost assured. The founders understood this. Progressives rejected the political nature of man and replaced it with a mythical general will, antithetical to individual rights.

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Facing the Limits of the Administrative State

This leads to a rethinking of the Administrative State in line with lessons learned and new thinking on how such organizations function.  Regulators are OK for executing clear laws, but terrible at designing systems and regulations  to advance unproven political theories.

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Three Core Defects of Socialism

“The third problem is that socialism, following Marx’s dialectical theory of history, lends itself to a theory of inevitability or preordination that leaves no room for dissent, and that leads in consequence to the elevation of a political class that responds to failure by searching for wreckers and dissenters to punish. “

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A Democratic Condiment

“It is reasonably well understood in this country that to place the word “democratic” in front of, say, “speech restrictions” or “warrantless searches” or “juryless criminal prosecutions” would be in no way to legitimize those things or to make them more compatible with the preservation of a free society.”

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2020 Election Questions

The country can recover much more quickly from a bad character than from bad ideas with wide support. Will the independents have more to fear from the radical elements within the Democratic party and their bad ideas than they have to fear from Trump’s flawed character? That may be the central question in the 2020 election.

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