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Archive of posts published in the tag: National Review

The Liberal Q-Anon

“A note to our progressive friends: This is your version of Q-Anon — falling for obvious, ridiculous lies because you want to believe the worst about people you hate.”

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Democracy and Climate

“Progressives have long struggled with the tension between their desire, often genuine, to be democratizers and their desire to give experts (however unreliably identified) a larger role in the administration of public affairs. “

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Covid Progressivism

“In its Wilsonian form, progressivism is a system in which the elected branches attempt to permanently outsource many of the country’s key political decisions to an ostensibly disinterested technocracy. When that technocracy is trusted, as it was for a while in the early 20th century and again in the 1950s and early to mid 1960s, those attempts enjoy a sufficient degree of support. When that technocracy is not trusted, as was the case after the fall of Robert McNamara and during the malaise-ridden 1970s, those attempts create a mighty backlash.”

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The Agent Principal Problem

Because socialism always begins with a man in a workshirt and ends with a guy dressed up as Cap’n Crunch,

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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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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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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 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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The Great Fiction

“Federalism and localism aren’t aesthetic preferences or ideological leanings that come out of nowhere — they are peace-keeping mechanisms necessary to the stable functioning of a diverse society.”

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A Different Bundle of Prejudices

“Conservatives have long understood that our choice is not between a bundle of prejudices and enlightened scientific management but between a bundle of prejudices and a different bundle of prejudices.”

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Protecting the Devils and the Saints

“..we still cannot cut down the rules that protect the Devil without cutting down the rules that protect the saints.” 

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Economic Nationalism

“For the politician, jobs are not a means to some end — Cadillacs, bales of cotton, iPhones — but an end in and of themselves.”

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Electing the Proper Elites

Our government attempted to bring the best features of a monarchy, and aristocracy and and democracy together without the faults; an ambitious project.  Our representatives are not just reflections of a majority will; but executors of judgment with an eye towards more that the next election.  This means that sometimes they must say “no” to the populist majority.  The Constitution makes this easy on some issues but not all.

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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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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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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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History Can be Discovered but not Dictated

“It is unprofessional for historians to view the multifarious and complex motivations of millions of people over hundreds of years through a single prism, as for example the 1619 Project does in its attempt to view all American history solely through the monstrous story of slavery. Similarly, although more and more people believe in conspiracy theories, they do not make good history. If there is a choice between a conspiracy and a mess, the truth is usually the mess. Or a messed-up conspiracy.”

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Temperamental vs Classical Conservatism

“One of the paradoxes of American conservatism is that one of the things American conservatives seek to conserve is American liberalism, which is rooted in the Anglo–Protestant liberalism of Locke, Smith, et al. “

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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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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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