Tag: politics

Toward a Politics of Beauty

This talk was delivered earlier this year at a conference on wellbeing held at the Sorbonne.

Beyond the Mechanism: An Economist Grapples with Statesmanship

When we refuse to engage our fellow citizens, we are also taking a public position. There is such a thing as non-partisan economics. But there is no such thing as non-political economics.

Two Leftists Walk Into a Pandemic . . .

Not only did the worst consequences of lockdowns occur in the Global South, but lockdowns were pushed on the South from the North, through well-known strongarm tactics of neocolonialism that have consistently pushed neoliberalism, austerity, and impoverishment on the South for the last several decades.

Politics Before History

It is an MSNBC segment with pseudo-historical gloss. Billed as a warning to American democracy, it is a simple yet pretentious work that will do nothing to solve the problems bedeviling the nation. No conservatives will read it, and none will be persuaded by its arguments.

Seeking a President for the End of the World

For brokenists, the new regime is not just a matter of garden-variety regulatory capture, and “the rules” are just as often a symptom of the problem as a solution to it. This “merger of state and corporate power” comes, like all regimes, with a legitimating ideology, a cultural vision. And there seem to be quite a lot of rules involved in that vision. It’s technocratic, to say the least.

We Could Do Worse…

Weak parties are susceptible to extreme candidates who take advantage of party weakness to run shallow, populist campaigns. These people seem fun. They appeal to our political id, mostly in the way they make fun of everyone who opposes them, and encourage us to fester in our (often reasonable) frustrations and anger.

The Falconer

A skeptic’s take on such a variety of experience would chalk it up as privileged gonzo larkishness or chest-beating thrill-seeking—an understandable take, one likely partly true. But there was more to it. For I’ve not acknowledged the murders of his father and uncle; the psychic fallout in the family afterward; and his years-long struggle with drug addiction. That Mr. Kennedy had such an appetite for life despite these harrowings is considerable.

The Smallest of Seeds: A Review of Fragile Neighborhoods

For Kaplan, when comparing two countries and asking why one has succeeded where the other has failed, what matters most is not national policies but “societal dynamics—the strength of the social glue, the nature of relationships across groups, and the role of social institutions.” These are things that manifest (or fail to manifest) at the local level.

Map-Burning

My point is not to get lost in conventional debate here. But seeking to heal from the culture war, I want to uncover the bodies of my neighbors, which industrial stories kick in the face, deform, and then at election time bury beneath the red-blue map. Aligned with my neighbors, I want to stand in a place off that map, outside those stories.

A Humanist Manifesto of Our Times: A Review of The Soul...

In her introduction, Hudson calls The Soul of Civility “a humanistic manifesto.” And she’s right: the book is steeped in humanism, in more ways than one. First, Hudson underscores the profound potential of humanistic texts, from a variety of human civilizations, to pinpoint the thorniest problems of human existence and to help readers contemplate how best to address them.