Monthly Archives: February 2014

The fight for the right to outcast

Modern societies are not made of sturdy yeoman farmers, able to provide most things for ourselves. We live in highly interdependent societies, dependant on the civility of strangers for all manner of basic amenities and elementary comforts. Nor do we all live in large, cosmopolitan cities, where another provider is just down the road. Nor […]

That word, it does not mean what you think it means

In US states such as Kansas, Idaho and Arizona a new legislative push is on to create a religious entitlement to treat (a specific group of) fellow American citizens like crap. What’s more, it is being paraded as a defence of religious liberty. The process kicked off in Kansas, where the lower House passed House Bill […]

Robert Waldman’s really clever, very bad, idea

Over at interfluidity, Robert Waldman posted a really clever bad idea. Tax property rights on things where exclusivity has high costs on others (he nominates real estate and patents) at whatever price the owner sets — with the proviso that the state (or possibly all comers) then have the right to acquire the property at the […]

Marriage, procreation and the triumph of rhetoric and rationalisation over evidence

Arguments against same sex marriage (such as here and here) typically get marriage and procreation the wrong way round.  It is not that marriage is supported because it produces children — the only common defining feature of marriage across cultures is that it connects kin groups, it creates in-laws. It is that a public commitment which binds two people together […]

The curse of managerialism

The ideology of managerialism (that societies are equivalent to the sum of the transactions made by the managements of organisations) must be just about the only case of an ideology whose key figure was an Australian. As Prof. James Hoopes tells it: But the main genesis of managerialism lay in the human relations movement that took root at […]