Sarah Perry, who appeared in these pages this week, has another piece at Ribbonfarm on “weaponized sacredness“:
Preference falsification is a mechanism by which sacredness can operate. But sacredness is not limited to causing people to lie; it can actually change their underlying, interior, private preferences. We might call the process of weeding and shaping individual preferences “preference husbandry.” This can be performed either by the individual himself, or by social forces acting on him.
How does sacredness operate, and what are its tendencies?
Texas governor orders state guard to watch Navy SEAL/Green Beret exercise
Marco Rubio <3 Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy advisor
Lost F. Scott Fitzgerald short story published in the New Yorker
The Mad Monarchist on conflicts that impacted the cause of monarchy
Pater Waldstein on David Graeber, usury, and the conquistadores
Alex Massie on the UK election
Female genital mutilation on the rise in England
The decline of tasteful bridal dresses
Australians protest the closure of indigenous communities
Chronicle covers Texas’ “dark” history of micronations
Chinese province trying to ban rooftop crosses
Sinn Fein loses the Bobby Sands seat, other autonomist parties do OK
I for one oppose clemency for masons, and hope a judge throws the book at this masonic “police department”
The kremlinology of establishment attacks on Rand Paul. Mitch McConnell says he isn’t happy about them, but what’s he going to do about it? Probably nothing.
The insanity of Iran harder-than-hardliners
Creeping georgism in the Week
What we can learn from Confederate foreign policy
Daniel Schwindt on Marx and church:
Every church building in America is an anachronism. They ought to please only the antiquarian. To everyone else they should appear strange and even repellent. The fact that they are not recognized as such is evidence, not of some remnant of spiritual vigor, but of an unprecedented capacity for self-deception on the part of the American people.
This is why it would perhaps be the healthiest of possible catastrophes if somehow or another all the churches were razed to the ground. The believer would suffer, to be sure, just as the alcoholic suffers when his bottle is taken from him. But perhaps without his church walls to blind him, the believer would finally have to face with courage the cold discomfort of his world as it is.
Jack Ross at the Mitrailleuse on Bernie Sanders:
I do not expect Bernie to substantially revive the old faith in the ballot – it is true that he is more Swedish welfare statist than Jeffersonian radical. At the same time, it is misleading to say that he would be perfectly at home in a mainstream European center-left party; the example of the 1960s was ultimately adopted by, and profoundly transformed, the European social democratic left and turned upside-down the Cold War-era question of “American exceptionalism.” Indeed, if only by virtue of the necessities of running for president, Bernie’s reliability on foreign policy and the surveillance state have risen substantially.
Let a thousand leviathans bloom:
Avner Greif’s seminal work on Maghirabi traders in the 11th century demonstrates both historically and theoretically that stable and effective systems of reputation could be and have been established in the absence of state power. The medieval trade systems referenced by Farrell did not establish their own centralized state authorities but instead negotiated access to existing legal and executive systems — something which Silk Road was of course unable to do. This was most famously studied in the context of the medievalChampagne Fairs. It is possible that Farrell means to imply here that these “more robust systems” coordinated with existing states, but again it would be unclear what this would imply for Silk Road. The example of the Maghirabi traders who eschewed trying to establish a monopoly of violence is more illustrative for the case of a darknet market, and the success of these coalitions indicates that doom is far from inevitable for darkweb markets. ….
Silk Road didn’t just establish trust in itself as a marketplace. It also provided a mechanism by which individual traders were able to establish their own reputations and brands through the use of cryptographic technologies that allowed them to credibly identify themselves while using pseudonyms. These merchants’ reputations managed to survive the closure of Silk Road, and several of them managed to quickly re-establish themselves at its successors.
There is a further critique to be made here. The history of darkweb markets did not simply end with the closure of Silk Road. Since the site had closed not due to economic failure but due to Ulbricht’s identity being compromised, Ulbricht’s arrest was not interpreted as a strong signal that the economic model underlying Silk Road was flawed. As has been so-often observed with real-world drug busts, taking down one supply chain simply created an institutional vacuum that could be filled through the establishment of new marketplaces.
And for Scotland…