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Why The Culture Wars Won’t Die

From the very outset, the term ‘culture wars’ was misleading. Not that it wasn’t apropos — for, indeed, as all could see, there were different cultures contending over not just authority but power in America, many cultures in one manner but, in another, at rock bottom, only . . . . Continue Reading »

Playing With The Wild Things

David Brooks tells us that Where The Wild Things Are accurately shows that, for us, the “philosopher’s” way of thinking about the good life is out and the “psychologist’s” way is in. The wild things, just as the tagline tells us, are inside us all, just one of . . . . Continue Reading »

Letterman and the Abolition of Cruelty

Cruelty, the famous theorist Judith Shklar tells us, is the worst thing we do. For small-l and big-L liberals as different as Richard Rorty and George Kateb, cruelty is borne of moral solipsism, an overly me-centric attitude toward experience that blinds us to the truth about the reality of other . . . . Continue Reading »

Scattered Preliminary Thoughts on Ephemerisle

Those looking for the full-Gonzo narrative account of some of the more interesting 48 hours of my life will have to look elsewhere, if I ever get around to writing it. Short version: It was fun, nobody died. What follows is more like a post-mortem that includes things that surprised me, things that . . . . Continue Reading »

What’s in a Word?

I must confess that I wasn’t entirely expecting Conor to go in the direction that he did in his reply to my question for him about l’Affaire Latimer. In this case, I think the people is a very well-defined concept. It refers to all the citizens of the United States of America. The same . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics without Politics

I was very privileged to be able to attend a lecture by Alasdair MacIntyre at Catholic University here in DC over the weekend. The topic was “Ends and Endings”, and the speech was a delightfully rambling overview of the connections between teleology and literature, ethics and . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Loyalty a Virtue?

Perhaps I was raised in an overly-Confucian manner, but Conor Friedersdorf’s latest sets my head a-buzzing with questions and my stomach a-churning with unease. Of course, insofar as an administration must work as a team toward common ends, its employees should be loyal so long as they are . . . . Continue Reading »

Glenn Beck Is Not a Pomocon

Rod tells me that Nate Silver, who gained fame as the best, most readable electoral statistician around, has made a mistake . And so he has: Beck is a PoMoCon — a post-modern conservative. And his philosophy is not all that difficult to articulate. It borrows a couple of things from . . . . Continue Reading »

Scientific Americans

My review of Yuval Levin’s excellent and thought-provoking book, Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy , is up now at First Principles. Yuval’s closing exhortation to conservatives, to write more clearly, probingly, and persuasively about human dignity, is problematic, . . . . Continue Reading »

Only word on Tom Friedman

So it appears that the Mustache of Understanding has gotten in a bit of hot water over his latest op-ed . Having grown up in Hong Kong (pre and post-handover) and knowing plenty of people who fled Friedman’s “reasonably enlightened group of people” quite recently, I’m not . . . . Continue Reading »

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