Preventing Putins

“What liberal societies have is not better men — it is independent courts, a free press, the rule of law, checks and balances, democratic accountability, competitive elections, powerful private institutions, and vibrant civic life. There have been some men of remarkably low character elected to the American presidency, but the American system has limited the damage they could do.”

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The Contexts of History

History is complicated and not easily reduced to single theory explanations such as the 1619 Project.  We can address our sins without ignoring our redemption. We can learn more from understanding context than by either glorification or demonization.

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Freedom of Mind

“Free speech and freedom of mind, if we understand them properly, should be rooted in intellectual humility. It is possible — it is certain — that some of the things we believe are wrong, be those matters of fact, matters of moral judgment, or estimates of the dangers posed by words and ideas that offend us. “

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When Philosophy Gets Democratized

“We see this wonderful paradox today that democratic intellectuals want more democracy than the American people—who are not intellectuals—want. They speak for the people and ask for reforms that the people themselves haven’t thought of or aren’t demanding or wouldn’t care about really but for their intellectuals, who impose on them.”

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The Cost of Media Failures

“The more elite institutions fail to do their basic jobs, and the more they abuse their positions at the commanding heights, the more room they create for populist demagoguery..”

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The Truckers’ Spring

“A working-class revolution led by the working class is the left’s worst nightmare because the working class doesn’t want what the left wants. “

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Why The Radicals Devour Their Own

“As every good utopian knows, The Plan cannot fail — The Plan can only be failed. And that is how the people-over-profits socialist humanitarians of the 20th century ended up murdering more than 100 million people in the pursuit of fairness and social justice.”

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Joe Rogan vs The Expert Class

“Like medieval nobles claiming a right to rule based on being a superior breed, and then openly practising inbreeding, our current elites rarely live up to their own hype. Often, the experts are stupid and wrong, sometimes to an almost comical degree. “

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Dignity and Due Process

“Due process is giving legal form to your rights. To have rights is to be dignified.”

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The Guilty Bourgeoisie

“One could charge the white upper middle class of America as committed to a form of ruthless meritocracy in some areas of life and to ruthless egalitarianism in all the others. Debt relief and minimum-lot-size regulations for the households in their neighborhoods. Lawlessness in the name of advancing equality for your neighborhoods.”

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Too Much Democracy Undermines Democracy

“Rule of the people requires that the power of the people be limited, spread out, and qualified, and argued out. “

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Democracy is Vulgar

“He’s more authoritarian, but that’s just what democracy is, when it isn’t made moderate and deliberate by constitutions. So he’s the underside of our system. And he’s the very kind of enemy that we were warned against at the very beginning.”

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Culture and Economics

“So each thinks it’s losing, because it’s losing what it most wants. But if you look at those two things—economics and culture—that just goes back to the two rights in Locke: economics, private property; and culture, toleration. “

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A Liberal Democracy is a Limited Democracy

A liberal democracy is a limited democracy.  Without that immensely important modifier, democracy is ripe for tyranny.

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Motivating Madness or Extremism

Rhetoric may not stop extremism, but it will direct and influence it.  If Trump is deemed responsible for Charlottesville then Omar and her gang are responsible for Colleyville.

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Private Property and Toleration

“So the intellectuals were no longer allies or friends of businessmen and became enemies. This happens with Rousseau. The whole idea of keeping together these two social currents of liberalism—namely, private property and toleration—gets lost. What we have today are mostly progressive intellectuals.”

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Normalizing Luxury

There is the unplanned and unintended benefit of making luxuries into ordinary items. Such spending primes the pump on some items, but it is not an essential element for progress.  When wealth is generated to provide consumers with products and services they want we all benefit; when wealth is generated by rent seeking behavior most of us lose.

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Democratic Headwinds

Their grab for power in suggesting court packing, elimination of the filibuster and federalizing elections clearly suggests they cannot be trusted with centralized power.

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Perpetuating Racism

We are all the same because we are all different. Condoleeza Rice summarized it brilliantly, “Black people are not perpetual victims and White people are not perpetually guilty”.

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Remembering the Yacht Tax

Progressives think the Constitution is organic and the economy is mechanical; in reality it is the reverse.  Thinking you can tax an isolated segment without affecting others ignores the dispersed nature of knowledge that no central authority can emulate.

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