Category: Liberty’s Labors Lost

Tribalism Today

“Biden embarrassing US on world stage,” announces a headline from Fox News, specifically concerning an episode of Laura Ingraham’s show in which she interviews Victor Davis Hanson to arrive at the startling investigative conclusion referenced in that headline. But Ingraham and Hanson, both highly educated and presumably fairly intelligent, along with the entire Fox News corporate entity from whose audience approval they profit...

Public Advocacy and Hypocrisy

I saw a headline from Fox News (where else?) declaring that Mark Levin — former “conservative radio firebrand,” now Republican establishment populist for cash — has said that Joe Biden is the closest thing to a dictator that America has ever had. That’s rich, coming from a man who, just five years ago, publicly sold his soul and his former Tea Party audience...

Checkpoint Normal

Governments around the world are well along the path toward forcing all places of employment to monitor their employees or potential employees for vaccination status; forcing all private gathering places, such as restaurants or theatres, to restrict access to their businesses (i.e., their private property) to people with “their papers” in order; and forcing all individuals in and out of the “health care...

On Authoritative Truth

Who knows?– When popular perceptions of reason and truth reach the point at which the categories of “legitimate opinion” and “dangerous misinformation” have become coextensive with the concepts “from the authorities” and “opposed to the authorities,” the last traces of independent thought and freedom of speech will have vanished from public discourse. The Washington Post reports the sad story of Benjamin Franklin, who...

Random Thoughts

Give and take.-– Everything that makes you tired of your fellow human beings can also, if you remember to let it, make you more appreciative than ever of trees, birds, turtles, clouds, and the way an otter’s head pops out of the thick river grass. Start to finish.–┬áThe first fully formed appearance of the essence of what is usually called Western civilization occurred...

Modernity’s Flagship Surrenders

To lose the most, you must have the most. America was modernity’s great winner, it once seemed; but that turns out to have been a shortsighted perspective. For insofar as America was the modern age’s exemplary case, its practical proof, we must concede that modernity’s conclusion, which we are privileged to be witnessing firsthand at this moment, may be most accurately described as...

Health Questionnaire

Do you believe that living longer, or living with the least risk to physical health and safety, is or ought to be the primary and overriding factor in living well? Do you believe that maintaining a clear line of demarcation between government officials recommending a course of action and the state demanding a course of action is an essential condition for preserving a...

Some Benefits of Being a Slave

You will always have a bed and food, and even last dibs on some medical care, as long as you remain useful. (And who doesn’t want to remain useful?) You never have to solve a significant problem or make a difficult decision — as long as you are reasonable enough to accept your status passively and learn to appreciate the advantages of going...

Notes on Hollowness

Today’s mass entertainment is obsessed above all with two themes: superheroes and zombies. This is self-revealing, as we are indeed trapped in the age of the undead, whose only mode of living is to suck the life out of others, and whose only hope of being saved from their emptiness is to lose themselves in the last realm of imagination left for hollow,...

Reflections on Power

Language and politics.– One man believes the central question of practical politics is, “Which powers should the government use?” Another man believes the central question is, “Which powers should the government have?” One word of difference is all that separates these two men — one small word that holds within it all their respective premises about human nature, the individual, and the value of...