Category Archives: History

The social justice steamroller: a pervasive and profound attack on citizenship

Political scientists Eric Kaufman and Matt Goodwin, in a recent online dialogue, discussed how centre-right parties have not found a language to deal with the current woke surge. There is language available: it is the language of citizenship. For the woke surge is, by its nature, a profound attack on citizenship. Do you belong to […]

The toll in black lives is why the BLM movement is not worthy of anyone’s respect

African-Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be poor than Euro-Americans. African-American males are more than twice as likely to be shot (not necessarily fatally) (pdf) by police than Euro-American males and perhaps 3.5 times more likely to be unarmed and killed by police. Are these results because the colour of their skin or because of the […]

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 […]

Self-refuting scholarship

[NB: this piece has been updated to incorporate links to further relevant scholarship.] One of the signs of the increasing intellectual conformity of the academy, particularly the social science and (even more) the humanities, is the rise of scholarship that treats voting the “wrong” way as a pathology, to be explained pathologically. In the US, […]

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 […]

Montesquieu and the US: explaining the US’s Presidential aberration

That pioneer political scientist Montesquieu‘s theory of the separation of powers was both a very odd take on the English system of government (which he claimed it to be) but also very influential in the drafting of the US Constitution. Listening to a paper on considerations of Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws by Louis Althusser and Albert Hirschman, a […]

Giving something away for free is not a sign of it having value

The progressivist push against citizenship took another big leap forward with the British Labour Party decision committing the Party to giving the vote in general elections to all UK residents. As things reveal their nature (and importance) in their history, a quick trip through citizenship’s backstory helps to see what is going on. Origins 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 […]