Political Philosophy

On a Tweet-Drizzle on Trump’s Honest Dishonesty

We cannot say that this firstly and even only emotionally authentic form of conservatism is not a conservatism at all.

Posted in notes, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Jeff Goldstein: The Alt-Right Is The Mirror Image Of The New Left – The Federalist

Vox Day concludes his alt-right manifesto by declaring: “The great line of demarcation in modern politics is now a division between men and women who believe that they are ultimately defined by their momentary opinions and those who believe they

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with:

Jason Willick: The Campus Left and the Alt-Right Are Natural Allies – The American Interest

The PC left and the alt-right exist symbiotically with one another: Working together to exacerbate tribal loyalties, to undermine the legitimacy of the state as a political unit, to question the idea that Western institutions can really treat groups of people with equal respect—in other words, to

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: ,

Robert Zubrin: The Alt-Right Is Proof We’re In Late-Stage Socialism – The Federalist

Dugin’s endorsement of Trump is more significant than merely signaling the Kremlin’s appreciation of a useful idiot. Dugin is one of the principal philosophical theoreticians of the alt-right internationally, and his publications are regularly featured in such American identarian outlets

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: ,

Devoted and Selfless Consecration

The sacred essence of the American state is not a common topic of discussion, but the state or nation or country itself, or we ourselves, on behalf of itself or on behalf of ourselves, deems or deem it the proper topic in relation to the final questions.

Posted in notes, Political Philosophy, War

The classics and the Constitution: The smokescreen of republicanism and the creation of the Republic – OUPblog

Neither Adams nor the authors of the Federalist Papers were classical republicans in either the Aristotelian, Sallustian, or Machiavellian sense of the term. In a way you could say, therefore, that the political theory of the Constitution and the ratification debates left

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, US History

Subtweet (American Conservative Eschaton)

With less and less semblance of temperamental conservatism, ever more self-destructively, nominally conservative Americans have sought in vain to immanentize as eschaton the non-immanentization of eschaton.

Posted in Featured, Political Philosophy, Politics, US History

Subtweet

The absolute evil for politics as politics is the introduction of the question of absolute evil into politics, as the dissolution of politics. This rule is of the same form as the prejudice of philosophy against the entrance of prejudice into philosophy.

Posted in Featured, Political Philosophy

Sam Haselby: Why did the secular ambitions of the early United States fail? – Aeon Essays

In hindsight, American secularism has experienced both clear victories and stark defeats. The Anglo-Protestant heresy of making all members of the political community into Luther’s sovereign individuals has become something of an American orthodoxy. Who is more consistently certain that

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, Religion

Peter Baker: Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism – The New York Times

Mr. Paxton, the fascism scholar, said he saw similarities and differences in Mr. Trump. His message about an America in decline and his us-against-them pronouncements about immigrants and outsiders echo Europe in the 1930s, Mr. Paxton said. On the other

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, Politics

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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