Tagged: tribalism

Independent Judgment In The Age of Mob Rule

A few days ago, Armond White at National Review published his retrospective assessment of Rob Reiner’s cult favorite comedy, The Princess Bride. His basic take on the movie, which as he notes with disapproval is often affectionately cited by conservatives (i.e., NR writers and readers), is that it lacks both artistic and moral coherence, and owes its enduring popularity to the fact that...

The USA and France, or Their Remnants

The United States of America Today: A Dialogue Truth: Donald Trump, with his self-seeking demagoguery, fear-and-lie-grounded radicalization of millions of his supporters, and open praise and normalization of tyrants and tyrannical methods at home and abroad, has done catastrophic and possibly irreparable harm to his country. Tribalism: But what about Biden, Hillary, and Obama! Truth: Fine. In that case reason affords you two...

Reflections on the Current Scene

Hostility, incivility, and outright barbarism are breaking out in our midst, on a mass scale. This proves that John Stuart Mill was wrong, and indeed that all progressive views of historico-political development — using progressive in its earlier theoretical sense, rather than in its current euphemistic sense — were wrong. There is no “stage of development” at which a society or civilization…

Tribes vs. Truth: Three Examples

Death counts, be not proud.– If you want to sound credible criticizing pandemic alarmists for padding the Covid death numbers and overstating the efficacy and safety of the vaccines, then it would be a good idea to stop shouting “Aha! The vaccine again!” every time an athlete, actress, or geriatric rock star happens to die. Reminder to both tribes: Dying was invented, and...

Random Reflections on Where We Are Today

To despise and vilify millions of fellow human beings as one’s enemy and a force to be defeated and eliminated, on the basis of disagreements about practical matters, is implicitly to despise and vilify oneself. For who among us has not significantly altered his own beliefs and attitudes over the course of adulthood, such that his own past views and statements might strike...

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,...

The Real “Long Covid”

In early 2020, moved by nothing but the basest of all human motivations, petty fear of personal harm, the populations of the entire civilized world succumbed to the basest of all human inclinations, the urge to protect one’s physical existence at all costs by harming or destroying others. Lacking the self-reliance and strength of their prehistoric ancestors, however, they allowed this latter urge...

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...

Has America Become Two Countries?

“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has created a situation where different parts of the country are going to have completely different laws about abortion, and people are going to start migrating to states that have laws they prefer!” Very likely; and wasn’t that essentially the intention and glory of the founding concept of The United States of America? A country...

Look Who’s Talking

I just read the following headline from the Washington Examiner, a Republican-friendly newspaper: “Biden voters owe the country an apology.” Now, I would wholeheartedly agree with that headline, and with the sentiments expressed in the accompanying editorial — were it presented from any perspective other than that of a party that dared to try to foist the Trump clown show on America for...