Category Archives: Politics

Laddering

In marketing there is a research technique known as laddering for getting at a customer’s root motivations. I’ve also heard it called the “seven whys”. When interviewing a customer about her feelings about some aspect of a product, the interviewer … Continue reading

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Liberal symbol

I’ve been marking passages in Inventing the Individual that show the emergence of liberal traits. I’m making a list of these traits in the back of the book, with the goal of distilling a set of liberal family resemblances which, … Continue reading

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George Soros

I’ve been hearing such dark and incredible tales about George Soros’s depravity and deviousness I felt I’d better look into who he is. And what better better place to start than to go directly to the source and read one … Continue reading

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The victory of the marketing worldview

The training of students to conceptualize themselves in terms of “intersectionality” of identity represents the victory of the marketing worldview over all other philosophical competitors. Those who are truly of our times have internalized their demographics and have no desire … Continue reading

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Naive moralism

A naive moralist cannot discern the difference between his own moral views and justice, which adjudicates precisely between conflicting moral views, assuming the ultimate validity of none. Justice does not “privilege” any moralism over any other, but this view requires a … Continue reading

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Coalition of opposites

One group of individuals is systematically oppressed by another group of individuals. Two witnesses to the oppression are offended and moved to stop the injustice, but for opposite reasons. The first witness sees the rights of individuals being violated by … Continue reading

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Political Platonism

When one person commits a crime against another, a liberal habitually sees an individual criminal and an individual victim. You can conceptually thematize the parties involved in the crime and the nature of the crime itself in myriad ways, but … Continue reading

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America’s new religion is Antiracism

John McWhorter has observed that America’s new religion is Antiracism: …they have developed a new religion. That religion is antiracism. Of course, most consider antiracism a position, or evidence of morality. However, in 2015, among educated Americans especially, Antiracism—it seriously … Continue reading

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Slurpy, mergy, touchy-feely notions of interpersonal being

Wow, this post really sprawled out. It hits a lot of my enduring interests. I’m not sure it is suitable for reading. It might just be a personal journal entry written to myself. Feel free to eavesdrop if you wish, … Continue reading

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Bernard Loomer

From Bernard Loomer’s “Two Conceptions of Power”: The world of the individual who can be influenced by another without losing his or her identity or freedom is larger than the world of the individual who fears being influenced. The former … Continue reading

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Critical reverence

In Torah study my fellow students regard our heritage with a distinctive attitude that can be characterized as critical reverence. We are horrified by much of what the Israelites did in God’s name, but we know that this is where … Continue reading

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Autumn 2011, when the canary died

A friend texted me a link to an article by Yascha Mounk, “Authoritarian by Instinct“. What follows is a somewhat edited (and hyperlinked up) version of my SMS avalanche of a response. * I was about to say that I’m surprised at … Continue reading

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Update on my “LEF” political model

Since my last update on my “newish political model” I have continued trying it out on different political positions and playing with new ways to conceive the various dimensions, and I’ve developed a slightly new (and, I think, improved) way … Continue reading

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Illiberal delusions of depth

In general, the social sciences teach us more about societies of social scientists than it does society in general. * Show me an example of political or sociological “realism” — a claim of inalterable facts — and I’ll show you … Continue reading

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Mark Lilla on the trajectory of ideologies

From Mark Lilla’s The Shipwrecked Mind: “Successful ideologies follow a certain trajectory. They are first developed in narrow sects whose adherents share obsessions and principles, and see themselves as voices in the wilderness. To have any political effect, though, these … Continue reading

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Mark Lilla on political thought today

From Mark Lilla’s The Reckless Mind (2nd edition): “Never since the end of World War II, and perhaps since the Russian Revolution, has political thinking in the West seemed so shallow, so clueless. We all sense that ominous changes are taking … Continue reading

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Bodies and categories

If an individual elects to be part of a political body, then that individual shares responsibility for those who act on behalf of that body. It is fair to hold people responsible for what their political bodies do. But if you classify a … Continue reading

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Overcoming ressentiment

I’ve been thinking a lot about ressentiment lately. It saturates the news, art, conversations, nearly everything. Or so my eyes tell me. * What is ressentiment? It is not as some (including me) an exact synonym of resentment, but a distinct flavor of resentment. I … Continue reading

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Equalities

It seems true to me that the kind of equality that matters most is legal equality — equality before the law.  To secure full, enduring equality before the law it is necessary that some degree of social equality be maintained. Severe … Continue reading

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America is philosophically diseased

America is philosophically diseased. Most Americans perceive, believe and intuit using 19th and 20th century modes of understanding which are 1) are incompatible and irreconcilable with the others, 2) mutually hostile, and 3) inadequate for making theoretical, practical and moral sense of … Continue reading

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