Category: Liberty’s Labors Lost

Democracy In Essence

If democracy, in its essence, is reducible to the principle of one man, one vote, which is to say if, in its purest, most unadulterated instantiations, democracy amounts to some form of simple majority rule, then there is almost no limit to the horrors that might be perpetrated and perpetuated under the auspices of democratic self-government. Furthermore, the special danger of such democratic...

Notes On Saving Democracy

We are told in a thousand ways today that we are engaged in a global struggle to save democracy. Perhaps we are. If so, it would do us well to take a moment to ask what it is that we are trying to save, exactly, and furthermore, whether or in what sense it deserves to be saved. Democracy, we like to say, was...

Principles and Their Consequences, Political Entertainment Edition

Whatever it might once have been, or may someday be, at this moment Fox News — that media entity as a whole, as may be judged, with total fairness, by its most popular and unfettered content — is essentially a fount of quasi-Soviet propaganda served with neo-Nazi overtones. It is an apologist for genocidal terrorism, a willing mouthpiece for messaging framed by the...

What An Echo Chamber Is For

“We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” So everyone says these days, quoting a character no one remembers from a movie no one has seen — repeatedly, incessantly, droningly, ad nauseam. Our performative riling up, on cue and at the cracked whip of our preferred “news sources,” is not a call to action, let alone to serious reflection,...

Free Speech

Whatever one thinks of the ultimate validity or political importance of the right to free speech, there is an ironclad condition that must be understood as essential to the concept, and no free speech defense which ignores or seeks to limit this condition can amount to anything but a self-contradiction.

Leader as Follower as Bloodthirsty Authoritarian

From Day One of his mock-political career, Donald Trump has been a classic and self-evident example of the unprincipled sycophant who pretends to be strong by parroting in an authoritative voice whatever he perceives to be the feelings or preferences of the people whose love and admiration he so weakly and desperately craves. In other words, the danger of Trump, like all of...

Necessary Conditions for A Just Revolution

One of the great falsehoods of late modernity is that our political structures are so ingeniously self-renewing and self-correcting that the days of the just revolution are over. This position is not only untrue, but likely an indication of devious motives on the part of those who maintain and seek to perpetuate it. For political leaders to say, as President Biden and others...

U.S. Midterm Election Day, and Other Irrelevancies

Over the next forty-eight hours, the United States Federal Government is either going to become substantially dumber and more unhinged from reality, or substantially more Marxist and inclined towards the coercive silencing of all alternative thoughts or ways of living. In either case, however, the U.S. is about to become more overtly authoritarian (which is saying quite a lot given the recent trajectory),...

Money As Politics: Musk Sacrifices a Few More Million Humans to His Profit

Elon Musk, who soiled himself for all time by defecating on the people of Ukraine last week, has decided to raise his profile in the pantheon of profiteering punks to yet another level of shame. This time, rather than waiting for a tyrannical government to actually invade a smaller, sovereign neighbor, destroy much of that neighbor’s infrastructure, and kidnap thousands of its children...

Russia’s Trump?

Six days ago, I wrote of the Russian state media’s calls for Vladimir Putin to consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to NATO’s alleged nuclear threats against Russia. At that time, I wrote: In short, Russia, in desperation and about to suffer the most humiliating military defeat since the United States scurried away from the Taliban like the frightened rats...