Tagged: freedom

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...

Reflections On Not Being One of Them

It is standard among today’s professoriate to teach Plato’s Apology¬†with perplexity or mock-sophistication, agonizing over efforts to make sense of the charges against Socrates, seeking to persuade the students (and themselves) that those charges as recorded — impiety and corruption of youth — were “trumped up,” or perhaps merely a cover story for more immediate personal or political motives. For Athens was a...

Advice For Living Today

Do not attempt to live in ordinary ways — to “carry on with your life as well as possible” — during times of crisis and decline. When oppression is ascendant, liberation naturally becomes, or ought to become, the central theme of practical life. If it does not, then you are living in detachment from your true situation, which is never advisable and may...

Libertarianism vs. Classical Liberalism for Beginners

A women’s basketball player, Brittney Griner, is convicted of a drug crime in Russia, and handed nearly the maximum sentence under Russian law. The U.S. federal government, at every level, expresses outrage and anger over the apparent political motives behind the trial and sentencing. Whatever the merits of that accusation, and whatever level of illegitimacy one may find in either the Russian regime...

How To Reason Like A Loser

I just read a very sober and balanced assessment of the conceivable outcomes in Ukraine, written by one Andrew Latham, a very sober professor of International Relations and member of a very sober-sounding Washington think tank calling itself “Defense Priorities.” For “Defense” in that name, read “Surrender”; for “Priorities,” read “Rationalizations.” For Professor Latham’s short essay is a wonderful object lesson in that...

On Libertarians

The problem with libertarians is that they believe that if everyone were left to live as he pleases, human life in general would improve. But when did men in general ever improve themselves through the unrestricted pursuit of what pleases them? Is pleasure happiness? Is comfort the good? Is greatness achieved through living without limits, without conflict…

What Independence Means: A Personal View

I once had more readers in any given week than Nietzsche and Kierkegaard had in their entire lives, combined. I lost all those readers by choice, or rather I should say by lack of any agreeable alternative. The thought of “keeping them” was revolting, given what I would have had to do to myself to achieve that end. I now write — as...

Our Freedom

We have cast off all the gods and their tyrannical ways, and hence all need of submission. Thus we define our freedom. And thus, having rejected the notion that there are gods, which is to say aspirations and ideals beyond our present limits, we happily submit to our own chains, rejecting all thought of anything beyond ourselves, which is to say beyond our...

Left and Right Today

The problem is not that “the left” is winning, or even, for that matter, that “the right” is winning. The problem is that left and right today are mere euphemisms for various iterations of radical populism, while populism itself is merely a euphemism for something else, something one is no longer permitted to say in polite company without being scoffed at for alarmism...

Free Will and Failure

You are obliged by the most basic necessities of nature to make choices. You should therefore make your choices with the greatest degree of attention, the widest range of understanding, and the most serious appreciation for the extent to which your freedom to choose in any given circumstance is a gift that will come only once. But there is one more element of...