Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Progressivism

The Need to Say ‘No’

What distinguishes a republic from a democracy is recognition of the need to say ‘no’ to the majority every now and then.

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Heartless Tyranny of Ideas

“Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.”

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The Necessity of Auxiliary Precautions

The dignity and flawed nature of man and the need to restrain his access to central power, the necessary limits on democracy, and the need to view freedom in the individual rather than collective have become the defining tenets of modern conservatism. History has confirmed their value.

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Noble Ends Require Noble Means

Each side justifies divisive means to achieve their ends; but even when you win a race to the bottom you end up at the bottom.

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Checking Government Power

Not only is the growth of central government power antithetical to the founding principles, it has proven as short of necessary competence as it is short of legitimacy.  As economics has rivaled politics for our attention new scholarship has observed the dispersed nature of knowledge that separates knowledge from power at the federal level.

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Trump Clickbait

Trump will not go away because 1) despite his flaws he reaches a demographic no one else reaches and 2) the left will not want to give up the lucre of Trump click-bait.

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Expunging Guilt from Affluent Liberals

“Human history for these guys is just an endless rotation of oppressor and oppressed, a revolving door of masters and slaves in Hegel’s view, proletariat and bourgeoisie for Marx, privileged white people vs. marginalized people of color in Critical Race Theory. “

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Federalism Ends Where the Bill of Rights Begins

“States can grant more liberty than required by the Bill of Rights, but they cannot grant less.”

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A Nicer Form of Tyranny

“The village may have replaced the state, and in turn may have replaced the fist with the hug, but an unwanted embrace from which you cannot escape is just a nicer form of tyranny.”

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The Neo Progressive Era

While the second Wilson Administration pushed illiberal policies such as the Sedition Act of 1918, today we have voluntarily embraced illiberal mean to achieve liberal ends. I find this even more disturbing. The cancel culture and politically correct curbs on free speech has eroded legitimate debate and made the voting booth the last remaining safe space. This is magnified by a media that has replaced objective journalistic standards will the protection of partisan narratives.

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Postmodernist Blinders

Oppression was held to be an expression of bourgeois power that, like sin, was all-pervasive. But widespread though it was, the demonic realm of oppression somehow didn’t include Eastern Europe under Communism.

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Politics and Policy

I lament the subversion of ideas and policy to the passions of the electorate, but it is hard to escape that reality.  The more distant we get from our founding principles, both chronologically and intellectually, the more divisive we become.  When you do not know what you believe everything becomes an argument.  Without the unity of commonly held ideas we descend into the combat zone of identity politics.

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The Political Immune System

“Our nation has a strong immune system against threats of the sort Trump presents. It has a very weak immune system against threats of the sort Harris presents. “

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Woke Book Burning

Banning books is no different than burning them.  Tolerating this nonsense is how tyrannical minorities assume power.

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Federalism and Health Care

Healthcare does more to illuminate the divide in political ideology than any other issue. It merges the ideological and pragmatic limits of central power;  the dispersal of interests (and thus the difficulty of consensus) and the dispersal of knowledge, the ‘fatal conceit’ that any central power can know how to manage complex markets for a vast and diversified nation.  Health care challenges the authority and the competence of central power.

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The Rise of Neo Progressives

Political power comes from building coalitions; identity politics is the opposite. It will get support from the woke left as long as it serves their interest or until they exhaust themselves. The left can take a legitimate cause and squander potential support with the exercise of radical means. Their only hope is to embrace the liberal traditions of our political culture.

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Economic and Political Freedom

Just as a slight difference in the angle at it origin can dramatically change the direction and distance of a trajectory, a seemingly slight change in a definition can dramatically change the the outcome from from the use of a commonly used term or idea.

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The 1619 Riots

But the 1619 Project claims that the entire founding was motivated by the most immoral objectives.  History is much too complex to be reduced to a single theorem; good and evil often ride on the same horse.  George Floyd may have ignited the riots but the idea that we are irretrievably racist, that it is in our DNA, not only ignores the incredible progress made, but ignores scores of other influences on our social and racial constructs.

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