Category Archives: Politics

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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The privileged SJW

From my own experience, privilege manifests primarily in two ways, which apply equally to all people of every demographic: Incuriosity: Not feeling obligated to understand what your fellow citizens are trying to tell you. “I see clearly that I see … Continue reading

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Pluralistic insight

We use whatever concepts we have available to us to understand our experiences. When facing an unfamiliar situation, we intuitively choose a conceptualization that seems to fit in an attempt to make sense of it. And if the first pick fails … Continue reading

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Life is unfair

This scale is an attempt to diagram a framework I posted to Facebook. Lately, I’ve been hearing more and more people declaring that “Life is unfair.” I actually grew up hearing that. I’m starting to believe this statement is the essence … Continue reading

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I do not care what you think

It is easy to disregard what someone thinks if that person lacks the resources to make you feel the consequences of your disrespect and disregard. We only say “I don’t give a shit how you feel” to people who are … Continue reading

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Political orientations

Does the world need another political categorization scheme? Nope — so here’s one I just thought up: Political orientations can be categorized according to two original social experiences: A) early feelings of membership in one’s society; B) early feelings of … Continue reading

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Moral types

Some people listen carefully to others, learning from them how they perceive, think and act, and try to hear beneath it who this person is, what kind of life they live, what kind of world they inhabit, what might interest … Continue reading

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Principle of compromise

When I hear grandstanding imitation Martin Luthers or Martin Luther Kings — and there are so many of them — proclaiming unwillingness to compromise on their favorite principle, it makes me worry about America’s future. Whatever truth there is in … Continue reading

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Pluritarian Pluriversalism

To someone born into an autistic universe controlled by a single set of strictly logical natural laws, the experience of empathy and the subsequent revelation of an empathic pluriverse redefines the meaning of miracle, and of transcendence, and of religion. … Continue reading

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Central questions

The question at the heart of liberalism is: “Who decides?” The question at the heart of democracy is: “Who speaks for whom?” Is there a single question at the heart of liberal-democracy?

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Souls

Every soul is the size of the entire known universe, containing every known thing within it, endures for all time from the earliest known pre-history to the most distant imaginable future, and encompasses every conceivable possibility. Therefore, no two souls … Continue reading

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Postenlightenment harmony

Tillich (from The Courage to Be): The whole [Enlightenment] period believed in the principle of “harmony” — harmony being the law of the universe according to which the activities of the individual, however individualistically conceived and performed, lead “behind the … Continue reading

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Pop ideology how-to guide

Here is how to build a popular ideology: Do rock-solid factual investigation. Satisfy the requirements of the critical mind. Present the facts of the investigation in compelling stories that win over the heart, too. Adhere to the facts. Encourage the … Continue reading

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