Category Archives: Politics

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 […]

Pandemic epistemology: discovery, feedback, ideological pomposity and banana peels.

I was going to forbear from posting on the Covid-19 pandemic, but this post by Arnold Kling prompted some more general observations about social dynamics. He refers to a podcast by biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein where they, in his words:  … cite instances in which odd corners of the Internet are outperforming mainstream […]

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 […]

Save us from historically tone deaf academics living in intellectual bubbles

The Evolution Institute wants to apply up to date Darwinism to politics. In their own words: The Federalist Papers sought to convince the citizens of New York to adopt the newly written American Constitution. This would create a UNION (a word that they capitalized) capable of accomplishing more than any state alone and would showcase […]

How to play intersectionality

I recently read, in quick succession, “Whiteness as Property” published in 1993 by Cheryl L. Harris and Kimberle Crenshaw’s 1991 essay “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color” and her 1989 “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics”. The […]