Category: Ideas and Reflections

Reality TV for Pompous Idiots (Season 1, Ep. 1)

Performance art: Progressivism made tangible. Bland hatred for self, life, and the Individual, combined with a snake oil salesman’s chutzpah, in a naked emperor’s play for money and fame — all of it masquerading as the revelation of truths hitherto unimagined. Artifice at the apogee of absurdity, droning on for hours and days, all the while claiming to be more real than Being....

A Nation of Libertarians and Leftists

I have received some interesting feedback about last week’s article, “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success,” and its follow-up, “Concluding Unscientific Postscript,” in which I challenge the current orthodoxy among so-called conservatives regarding the place and value of material acquisitiveness in the hierarchy of natural concerns. One very thought-provoking comment came from my old friend Tim Birdnow (visit his blog here), who e-mailed...

Facebook et al Ban Alex Jones (and Conservatives Go Berserk)

Facebook and other social media platforms have banded together and agreed to delete the content of Alex Jones, the political sleaze merchant at Infowars. Some popular conservative commentators, including Brent Bozell and Ben Shapiro, while conceding that Jones himself is reprehensible, are shouting “Censorship!” I understand that this issue is particularly touchy for conservatives who make their living on internet discussion platforms, but…....

The Myths of Mental Illness: A Thomas Szasz Appreciation (Part One)

  The most humbling honor of being a teacher — I mean a teacher, not just a salaried “education worker” — is earning the trust of variously perplexed, abnormal souls who have intuited that they need some extraordinary help with their self-understanding or their relationship to the world around them, and have come to believe that you might be able to provide that...

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success”

My recent article, “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success,” was calibrated and fully intended to rattle the cages of my so-called “conservative” friends by calling into question one of the central pieties of the late modern advocacy for liberty, namely the implicit belief in commercial success as an indication of virtue, and of the successful businessman as an exemplary human, and even statesman....

The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success

Modernity is, or was, the age of the triumph of practical reason, and the flourishing and harnessing of an emancipated desire for earthly wellbeing and individual self-determination. Its definitive political development was the limited republic, the premise of which was that normal human beings left to their own devices will sort themselves into a reasonable public shape beneficial to all, and the necessary...

Well, it’s hazy but… [UPDATED]

  Imperfect conditions, imperfect equipment, but happy start! (Isn’t that a typically human sentiment too?) And it’s back to God’s drawing board…. UPDATE: And here, an hour later, is what I can report, as the partial eclipse evolves: Well, the total phase, i.e., the real blood moon, has been achieved, just as Thales’ descendants predicted. (Take that, Neil deGrasse Tyson and the rest...

Blood Moon Fever!

If you have a constitutional preference for permanent things over transient things — which is to say, if you have a soul that tilts toward the ancient rather than the modern sensibility — then you may already know that the night of Friday, July 27th, 2018 is a special one for sky-watchers. For this is the night of a lunar eclipse, and even...

Trump Derangement Syndrome, Collectivism, and Lynch Mobs

One of the most childish, irresponsible, and profoundly anti-rational argumentative techniques is to accuse your opponent of a mental disorder. Childish because it is a leading technique of the schoolyard (“Retard!” “Fag!”); irresponsible because it is merely an attempt to harm your opponent, rather than to persuade or critique him; anti-rational because it is designed precisely to evade or short-circuit reason and logic....