“Economists to Cattle Ranchers: Stop Being So Emotional About the Monopolies Devouring Your Family Businesses.” Matt Stoller argues that professional economists are stonewalling efforts to combat monopolistic price-fixing in the cattle market.
“An Emersonian Guide to American Politics.” Kerry Ellard relies on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s political observations to trace the shifting coalitions of U.S. political parties. We may be due for another substantive realignment.
“The Unvaccinated May Not Be Who You Think.” Zeynep Tufekci looks at comments from the unvaccinated to offer some nuance to the caricature of the unvaccinated as conspiracy-addled: “There was the very, very rare ‘it’s a hoax’ and ‘it’s a gene therapy,’ but most of it was a version of: I’m not sure it’s safe. Was it developed too fast? Do we know enough? There was also a lot of fear of side effects, worries about lack of Food and Drug Administration approval and about yet-undiscovered dangers.”
“Why Won’t Brits Pick Vegetables for £30 an Hour?” Helen Chandler-Wilde tries to make sense of vegetables rotting in the fields while grocery shelves remain bare and farmers offer higher wages to lure workers. The so-called labor shortage in farming, though, is symptomatic of much larger problems with the way food is grown.
“The High Church of Wokeism.” Joseph M. Keegin tells a fascinating history of Unitarians, Beacon Press, and antiracism: “The German political theorist Carl Schmitt famously said that all modern political thought occurs through ‘secularized theological concepts.’ Unitarian Universalism does it backwards: Instead of secularizing theology into politics, it has attempted to consecrate liberal politics into a theology.”
“The Disaster Girl Guide to Selling Online Assets in a Global Market.” Anthony M. Barr draws on the biblical prophets in critiquing certain kinds of nominal finance: “My critique of NFTs – and by extension many other expressions of finance-based capital – is double-sided like a coin. On one side, the critique is that nominal capital actively causes direct and indirect harm and exploitation, and on the reverse side, that it precludes the more productive uses for that same money. While NFTs are a particularly egregious example, once you start employing this logic of productive versus nonproductive financial capital, it becomes easier to critique a fuller range of financial practices by individuals, businesses, and even entire nations.”
“The Alienation of Henry Adams.” Gerald Russello reviews a new biography of Henry Adams, one that focuses on Adams as a “transition figure”: “At Adams’ birth, there were not a few Americans who had spent large portions of their lives as British subjects. By the time of his death, these people were all gone, and Ford was mass producing hundreds of thousands of cars in massive factories.”
“Rural Communities Across the U.S. Are Attracting Remote Workers Through Different Incentive Programs.” Kristi Eaton reports on an array of programs aimed to lure remote workers to move in. For instance, there’s “218 Relocate, a recently launched program to attract remote workers to Bemidji, Minnesota, population 15,000. The program attracts remote workers through various incentives, including up to $2,500 in reimbursed expenses for moving; free co-working space; and access to a program connecting newcomers to established residents.”
“Against Ideology.” Anne Snyder’s editorial opens a new issue of Comment magazine. Their new website looks pretty sharp as well.
“The Catherine Project.” Zena Hitz describes the structure and aims of a new program fostering conversations and community around great books.
“Philosophy of Life.” Marvin Olasky talks with John Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog stories, about what it’s like living on a remote Texas ranch: “Ranchers seldom, if ever, call themselves environmentalists because it has political overtones, but I’d say most ranchers are environmentalists, and they were before the term ever came about in the media. It’s a philosophy of life that’s built into animal husbandry and agriculture: You have to care for the place where you live and the animals.”
“How Environmental Damage can Lead to New Diseases.” The Economist sets out to answer an unsettling question: “Why are changes in ecosystems linked to the spread of disease, and what increases the risk of outbreaks?”
“Selling the Female Body for Parts.” Tara Thieke describes what happens when we reject the gifts of creation and embodiment: “Time and again we have seen that what is called liberation is actually warfare upon vernacular traditions that guided communities through the world.”
“Human History Gets a Rewrite.” William Deresiewicz reviews The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, co-authored by David Graeber and David Wengrow: “They demolish the idea that human beings are passive objects of material forces, moving helplessly along a technological conveyor belt that takes us from the Serengeti to the DMV. We’ve had choices, they show, and we’ve made them. Graeber and Wengrow offer a history of the past 30,000 years that is not only wildly different from anything we’re used to, but also far more interesting: textured, surprising, paradoxical, inspiring.” (Recommended by David Bosworth.)