Category Archives: Blogging

Making sense of the Arab explosion

Pastoralist peoples exploding out of the their lands and conquering farming peoples is a recurring feature of human history. The Indo-Europeans did so with great historical consequences, expanding into Europe, the Iranian plateau and North India. They were the first of a recurring waves of steppe conquerors: Huns, Turks, and Mongols most famously. The Maghreb also generated at […]

Working class alienation as a driver of political polarisation

This is based on a comment I made here. The US has a legislated two Party system. (Left-cynics say that if the Soviet Communist Party had divided itself into two wings who disagreed on abortion, it would still be in power.) The UK has working class voters who will never vote Tory, so the Labour […]

Firms, Cities, States: who has open borders and why?

This is based on a comment I made here. Econblogger Robin Hanson notes that firms and cities have open borders and argues that: So if nations act differently from firms and cities, that should be because either: 1) there are big important effects that are quite different at the national level, than at firm and […]

The urban rural divide in the US and other complexities of polarisation

Former libertarian, now progressive, Will Wilkinson has a report up on the rural urban divide in US politics (pdf), connecting the concentration of economic production in a service economy in megacities, sorting by migration and internal movement, and cognitive patterns (particularly pertaining to Openness to Experience and, to a lesser degree, Conscientiousness) to the drift in the […]

Silver is the monetary metal with proven historical resilience

This is based on a comment I made here: Milton Friedman suggested that the pre-1873 mix of silver standard, gold standard, and dual standard countries was possibly more stable than having almost all the major countries on the gold standard.  I think he is correct: that international monetary order certainly lasted a lot longer. The […]

Sex, Sexuality and doing evolutionary reasoning badly

This post by Darwinian Reactionary provides an excellent example of using evolutionary reasoning badly. He is using evolutionary reasoning to critique the notion of sexual orientation. There are lots of problems with the concept of sexual orientation. Starting with the fact that human sexuality is multi-dimensional. There is (1) who you fall in love with, (2) […]

Marx at 200 Robespierre at 260

This year is the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883). A recent biography of Marx (reviewed here) places him very much as a man of his time. It is a sign of the success of Marx that his legacy is still so debated; it is a sign of his failure that defending Marx involves separating him, and […]

The dissident right and the race thing

The blogger Zman provides a very useful summary of the dissident right: If you were trying to reduce the main points of the Dissident Right with a few bullet points, it would be: The people in charge have dangerous fantasies about the future of society and the nature of man The mass media is just propaganda for those fantasies […]

The uselessness of “bubble” talk

This is based on a comment I made here. If turning points in asset prices could be reliably predicted, they wouldn’t happen (since no none would buy at the “about to be seriously undercut” price). The “bubble” folk don’t seem to understand that calling it a “bubble”: (1) entails not knowing when the turning point will […]

Why there is so much nonsense spouted about fascism

If you are going to invoke the interwar period, particularly the 1930s, please do so intelligently. By which I mean, non-propagandistically. And by interwar period I mean the phenomenon of fascism and neo-fascism. Despite self-serving (look at me, I am opposing fascism!) shrieking, there is not a lot of fascism or neo-fascism in contemporary Western politics. […]