Author: Daren Jonescu

Smashing Stuff At Columbia

Columbia University is under siege, 1960s style, by violent “protesters” whose goals are, shall we say, mixed. From a brief news clip survey of the ongoing mess at Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, it appears that some of these “students” are merely hoping to win a Muslim holy war against Israel by screaming about it from the cozy campus of an elite American university. Others,...

The Ego As A Mechanism of Progress

One of the most universal and predictable bromides, spoken by people of all temperaments and political persuasions, in reply to any contemporary warning about the societal dangers inherent in this or that significant change in information technology, educational norms, economic relations, popular entertainment, or public mores: “But that’s what they said about X back in the day.” This rejoinder is meant to carry...

The Philosophers and The Gentlemen

Socrates, in The Republic, defines the five essential forms of government in rank order, from most to least just: aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, tyranny. His cleverest rhetorical trick, the most famous (and probably least understood) conceit in the dialogue, is his redefinition of aristocracy by means of the radical proposal that in order to realize a truly just city in practice, philosophers would...

Dream Come True: Dennett vs. Mary

In honor of the passing of Daniel Dennett, I offer the following foray into my misspent youth, in which I assess Dennett’s materialist critique of consciousness in some detail. Read at your own risk. Daniel C. Dennett’s Sweet Dreams, though concluding with some positive suggestions regarding avenues of future consciousness research, exists primarily as a clearing house for his most developed efforts to...

Dan Dennett

Daniel C. Dennett, one of the most famous and accomplished philosophy professors of the past fifty years, has died. I choose my words carefully, though I confess somewhat (certainly without intention) disrespectfully. Dennett was not a philosopher; he was a philosophy professor, a very different entity. And in saying that he died, I know that I am insulting his thought and that of...

Russian Wisdom, Russian Reality

Pushkin wrote the following lines almost exactly two hundred years ago, describing with grim fatalism his vision of liberty’s chances in his fatherland:

“With Freedom’s Seed”

“Behold, a sower went forth to sow.”

With freedom’s seed the desert sowing,
I walked before the morning star;

American Dreaming, Kremlin Style

A few Republicans in the U.S. Congress are finally willing to admit to themselves, and more importantly to the world, what so many have refused to face until now with regard to their populist faction’s opposition to offering any further aid to Ukraine, and to House Speaker Mike Johnson’s newfound willingness to concede the need for some form of Ukraine package. As Texas...

You Are Living Through It

An Orwellian entity called the European Court of Human Rights has declared that duly elected governments which pursue paths of fiscal responsibility and rational restraint with regard to the neo-Marxist demands of climate activists are by definition guilty of violating human rights, such rights now implicitly including the right to have one’s society and economy micromanaged by unfettered climate communists. In Scotland, it is...

A Few Political Questions Answered

Q. What would Donald Trump have to do to change your mind about him? A. He would have to replace his rational faculty with that of Thomas Jefferson, his temperament with that of Ronald Reagan, and his principles with those of George Washington. Unfortunately, his life, past and present, shows him to be on the very opposite end of the spectrum on all...

Reflections On Old and New Ways

Art and non-art.— Every drama worthy of the name has some sort of implied agenda. The difference between dramatic hackery and dramatic art is that the hack begins with the agenda, and manipulates his characters and scenario around as needed to “prove” it, whereas the artist begins with characters and scenario, and allows these to unfold as feels natural to him until, willy-nilly...