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Showing posts from May 17, 2020

Why Liberalism Failed (Deneen): Uniting Individualism And Statism (VII)

Deneen begins this chapter by giving us a basic rundown of where our notions of "liberal" and "conservative" originated. Even in its European context, it makes a certain sense, as two sides of two fairly fundamental human dispositions: one oriented toward equality, progress, and social and economic justice, while the other values a respect for authority, hierarchy, and nostalgia for the past. He gets around quickly to saying that while these two dispositions seem to be locked in intractable battle, that they are actually united more fundamentally at the philosophical level. They are united he says, in the fundamental assumption that the individual ought to be liberated from all that encumbers his absolutely free choice in every situation. The progressives, it goes without saying, quickly recognize today the harm in conceiving of the good life in individualist terms, frequently castigating both their erstwhile opponents and friends for perpetuating especially individ

Since I'm Not One To Mince Words

It seems to me that considering David Frum or Jennifer Rubin, or any number of other "Never Trump" Republicans "tiresome" depends entirely upon one's thinking about the presidency of Donald Trump. For those of us who were sad and outraged at his election--and have been vindicated by events--we do not tire of criticizing President Trump, or hearing or reading the criticism of others. It is precisely because the character of Donald Trump has not changed that I refuse to accept him, or to consider the alleged "extremism" of his opponents as a reason to change my assessment. It's not a binary choice; I don't suddenly decide a baby is not a person, simply because I have decided that letting Joe Biden win is the best thing for the country, and at the very least, I won't be standing in the way. One can always find an enraged college professor, or a campus activist, or an actor, who will say something dumb. This has nothing to do with the moral c