Category: Ideas and Reflections

Death to Capitalism! (Seriously)

In recent years, there has been an increasing undercurrent of discussion among conservative scholars and public voices about whether conservatism is theoretically hamstrung by the continued use of the term “capitalism” in mainstream political discussion. I wrote about this question six years ago, before it became something of a hot issue, and I’d like to reproduce my take on it below. A few...

Olympic Musings

A few passing thoughts related to the Olympic Games currently taking place a few hours north of where I sit, in Pyeongchang, Korea: As always, the International Olympic Committee and its major corporate partners have chosen to use the Games as a mock-UN platform for politically correct attitudinizing and blatant hypocrisy of all sorts. This year, not surprisingly, the main theme is gender...

“The News” and Mass Murder

A dead soul makes a desperate lunge for the nihilist’s meaning-substitute, notoriety, by killing people in the hope of becoming infamous. The media grants the dead soul’s wish, sensationalizing his act as though it were Significant. Other dead souls get the idea: “I could go out in a blaze of glory, too.” Question: Does the media desire this result? Or do they merely...

The Problem of Modern Scientific Materialism

Our scientists and philosophers confidently assure us that with each passing day they are closer to unraveling the mystery of consciousness, where by “mystery” they mean myth, and by “consciousness” primarily the combination of thought and desire. Now by “thought” they mean the power of inferential reasoning, and by “desire” the ability to form purposes or intentions. Thus, they are confidently assuring us...

Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Us

Those of us who believe we are living through a moment of final civilizational decline — to be clear, that’s “final” as in “last stage,” not “the absolute end of everything” — often cite late modernity’s fall into nihilism as either a symptom of the decline, a cause of it, or both. Nihilism — broadly, the belief in nothing (nihil), i.e., the rejection...

Trump’s Health Report

The presidential physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, has given Donald Trump a clean bill of health, including and especially mental health — I say “especially” because the press grilled Dr. Jackson on this. Many, not only among radical leftists but also among civilized humans, are responding to this news with a combination of incredulity, conspiracy-theory accusations, and above all, crushing disappointment. Shame on them....

On Defending Trump’s Vulgarity

The easiest defense one may offer for President Trump’s crude, idiotic, vulgar, ignorant, disrespectful, expletive-infested, “Who-taught-you-that-word-Johnny?” style of communication — his “grab ’em by the p—-,” “s—hole countries” manner of self-expression (and such language really does express Trump’s self quite well) — is the classic, “Oh, come on, we all talk like that behind closed doors. What’s the big deal?” This defense has...

Nietzsche on Jews and Germans

A couple of days ago, I spent an idle hour rifling through Nietzsche’s Gay Science, one of my personal favorites among his books. Reading various familiar but half-forgotten aphorisms almost at random, I came across the following excellent passage discussing a very “German” topic on which Nietzsche is always profound, scholars. Specifically, Nietzsche is addressing the problem of the scholar through the lens...

Trump in the Clouds

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s latest vulgarization of the U.S. presidency — his remark about “s—hole countries” — the cultists are out in full force arguing that (a) Trump was only speaking the truth (as if the truth could only be stated with ugly schoolyard imagery), and (b) his complete and repeatedly-demonstrated lack of propriety, respect, or civility is all part of...

Global Warming Strikes Korea, Signals Apocalypse (with pictures!)

On January 10th, global warming delivered an ominous message to the south coast of Korea: a rare snowstorm. This fall and winter have been colder than normal — evidence, as we all know, that the planet is getting warmer; and the sudden snowfall in a region that sees such events only once every few years only highlights just how much warmer it is....