The Sanctuary of the Courts

The difference between progressives and conservatives today is far greater than their positions on issues; that is merely a distraction.  There is a fundamental difference between their position on the purpose of government, their understandings of human nature and knowledge,  and their philosophy that ensues from that understanding.

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Progressive Contradictions and Ironies

The first contradiction is the drive to greater democracy while driving more policy making to unelected administrators. Progressive thinkers like Goodwin, Wilson, and Dewey had a faith that bureaucrats would better serve the public interest objectively than elected officials.  They replaced the separation of powers with the separation of politics from administration. Their belief that administration would not be subject to political partisanship seems naive today.

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The General Will

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson turned this upside down, contending that property rights should be determined according its ability to serve the greater good, the general will. This shift of the Progressive Era from the primacy of minority rights to a majoritarian will defines the progressive shift in American politics.  The question is who or what determines the will of the majority. For Wilson it was the president as the sole official elected by all the people.

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The Inorganic Constitution

A mechanical view is not an obstruction to progress. An organic view is less flexible in its design than we need and it depends on an expertise and competency that is illusory.

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The Negative Job Value of the Ivy League

So for a high premium price the Ivy League provides negative value. Students are either coddled or cowards. Getting expelled may increase your job value.  Woke is a liability in the job market outside of academia and a few government positions.

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Will Banning Trump from Facebook be Counterproductive?

The media would be better to trust their users than to damage their own credibility. The rules should be clear and simple about what is allowed and should be followed strictly regardless of content.  No one who is suspended should be surprised and a suspension should not be judged by a board that will only  likely reflect an organization’s internal bias.

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Trust Evidence, Not People

“You consider their motivations, their ideological biases and their conflicts of interest. You interrogate their advice, and weigh it against that of their critics. You exercise diligence. You ask questions. You trust in evidence, not in people. You think for yourself.”

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Social Media Bypasses Important Mediating Institutions

“We need mediating institutions, because human beings are capable of extraordinarily evil things and very much prone to banal evil and petty corruption — and easily seduced by the crude stimulation of mere novelty.”

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The Bulverism of Identity Politics

“In other words, you must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. “

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Catharsis is not Progress

The fact that the history of the Tulsa massacre is such an outrage is because it is so rare today; indicative of the phenomenal progress we have made. We cannot change the past but we can impact the future. That means reckoning with the past honestly but also reckoning with the present honestly.  In Discrimination and Disparities Thomas Sowell addresses several other causes of inequities other than discrimination in the past and the present.  Real progress requires honesty more than outrage.

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The Sins of Others

Modern Critical Race Theory is sin with no redemption. Redemption of any sort would excise the political power from the movement. As it is practiced the movement depends more on appeasing white liberal elites than empowering Black individuals and communities.

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Populism and Democracy

“The Founders understood this, which is why they wanted a republic that was designed to filter and check populist passion when necessary. That’s why we have institutions and mechanisms that are supposed to ensure the survival of liberty and liberalism when populist passions are empowered by democratic majorities. The notion that one person can be evil, idiotic, ignorant, or irrationally angry, but a million people can’t, strikes me as logically absurd.”

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Peter Has Options

When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on Paul’s approval, but you cannot count on Peter to remain cooperative. Peter has options.

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The Media is Sacrificing Their Credibility

“In substituting politics for religion, the media, like much of America, finds itself seeing fulfillment by excising sin from their lives. “

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Governing the Here and Now

“”What we do at the personal level, we also do at the political level. That is why we are so fixated on statues put up a century ago and on the average daily temperatures a century hence — anything to avoid looking soberly at our real troubles in the here and now.”

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The Dictatorship of Reason

“I’m a big fan of reason, but Saul (and Schumpeter, Deneen, et al) have a point. Making reason the only criteria for a decision cleanses society of the nooks and crannies of meaning that make life worth living and the pursuit of happiness possible. The purely rational soldier will not fight, Chesterton observed. The purely rational man will not marry.”

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Critical Race Gnosticism

“Like the gnosticism of the first century, this gnosticism brings damnation not salvation. It posits that justice and reality are shaped by power. Whoever controls words, controls reality. Critical theory believes all the world is about power and the map of that power flows through intersections of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, “ableism,” etc. Doubt is elevated over truth and exceptions become the rule while the rule becomes the exception.”

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The Trouble With Narratives

As Mr. Scott put it, “It’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.” But this is precisely what narratives do—and in fact are meant to do.

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Insipid Rationalism

Mr. Peterson recalls the famous line of George Orwell in his review of “Mein Kampf” in 1940: “Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people ‘I offer you a good time,’ Hitler has said to them ‘I offer you struggle, danger and death,’ and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.”

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The Neighbor Proxy

“What we have instead today is the inclination on both right and left to make it as easy as possible for us to live as strangers to one another. “

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