Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the tag: National Review

Rights Trump Democracy

“The destructive nature of socialism comes not from its tendency to trample on democracy (though socialism often does trample on democracy) but from its total disregard for rights — rights that are, in the context of the United States and other liberal-democratic systems, beyond the reach of mere majorities.”

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Restricting Democracy

“The rising authoritarianism of our time is not an aberration but the ordinary natural fulfillment of mass democracy when it has overflowed its constitutional restraints”

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A Bottomless Well of Misery

“The problems of socialism are problems of socialism — problems related to the absence of markets, innovation, and free enterprise and, principally, problems related to the epistemic impossibility of the socialist promise: rational central planning of economic activity. The problems of socialism are not the problems of authoritarianism and will not be cured by democracy.”

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Impeachment Afterthoughts

The impeachment seemed liked a hail Mary from the inception, motivated more by rage than reason. That is precisely why the constitution designed the process as they did to start in the House and then move to the Senate.  Rather than viewed as a Constitutional crisis, it should be affirmed as its proper functioning. It does not become a threat to the constitutional order just because you disagree with the outcome.

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Democracy and Property

“The right of property is of course always and everywhere a necessary but not insufficient condition for the flourishing of genuine liberty, which is a different thing from genuine democracy. Democracy despises property when it does not envy it and envies it when it does not despise it, and hence Senator Bernie Sanders et al. extol democracy in their war on property, which is a war on liberty, its sometime synonym. “

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Democracy and Progressivism

Progressives wish for more democracy yet wish to move the accountability of the administrative state further from the accountability of the voter.  Progress comes from the unique output from a minority.  Minority rights should be protected from majority rule.  Freedom should not be sacrificed to the false god of democracy.

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Transactional Trump Support

“The president has become a convenient straw man for all the political anxieties on the left, which have manifested in an unhealthy obsession and antagonism toward the constitutional system that allowed Trump to win. “

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Moral Agency

“The problem for Warren (who should know better) and others like her (who often don’t) is that there is a lot more juice in the moralistic account of economic problems than in the economic account of economic problems. To make things worse, the moralistic account offered by Senator Warren is untrue. Americans are not incapable of being anything other than passive victims of forces beyond their control. “

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John Coltrane’s America

“..this is not Donald Trump’s America or Elizabeth Warren’s America but ours and Walt Whitman’s and John Coltrane’s and Herman Melville’s and Toni Morrison’s, and that if we really love this country, then that can only be because we love the people in it, the ones who are with us still and the ones who have been, who are “not enemies but friends.”

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Who Is Undermining Our Institutions?

I realize no one is a villain in their own eyes and that we can rationalize any means to fit the end if it is important enough.  Our failure to recognize the way we are seen by others and our own failures sacrifices any legitimacy.  Voters will tolerate mistakes, gaffes, and failures, but they will not tolerate contempt. 

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Ignorance and Certitude

“I do not believe that only those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. Plenty of people who study history are entirely capable of making the same mistakes as their ancestors, and worse ones, too. “

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The New York Time’s Deceptive Reporting

“Those of you with $1,001 in savings worth have more in the bank than the great majority of all Americans. That is not because Bill Gates and you hoovered all the money up — it is because a great many Americans do not save very much.”

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Unfettered Government is the Greater Threat

Capitalism works best when knowledge and power meet.  Government is power without knowledge; regulation strips power from knowledge. It is suspicious when the answer to unfettered capitalism which does not exist is  unfettered government which is the greater problem.  It is hard to conceive of distant parties with no skin in the game making wiser decisions than people who have to face the consequences of their choices.  The problem is political actors who want to dispense benefits without paying for them.

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The Revolt of the Ruling Class

The elite have remained in outrage mode, blaming everything for this upset except their own complicity in marginalizing a very large segment of the nation, first with neglect and then compounded with contempt.

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Wealth Creation is Not a Transfer

“A relatively small number of high-growth firms has accounted for a very large share of economic growth in the United States in the past several decades. That represents wealth creation, not a wealth transfer.”

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Peter’s Wall

When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can count on Paul’s approval, but you can also count on Peter moving to another more friendly place.  When you try to build a wall to keep Peter in, you also discourage Peters from moving here, and you encourage young and enterprising Peters to move away BEFORE they become wealthy enough to be worth robbing.

Warren’s policy is as destructive of our long term financial health as any policy we can imagine. 

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When the Parties Abandon Ideology

A political party is a coalition of interests designed to convince a majority to trust it enough to let it govern. The Progressive Era in its aim to neuter the constitutional speed bumps to majoritarian democracy pushed for democratic primaries. Initially the parties retained some ideological commitment, but in the age of instant outrage media, they have descended into tribal warfare where emotions rule over ideas. The two sides do not share common information or common narratives that define us as a nation.  There is no mere disagreement on how we arrive at common goals; we no longer agree on who we are.

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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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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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The 1619 Project is Anti-History

Thus 1619 Project from the NYT is the opposite of history; it is anti-history.  Instead of studying the past to learn about the present, it projects current passions on the past.  Confirming events are generalized to be the sole motivation,  non confirming events are ignored or minimized as inconsequential.

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