“Let’s ambitiously and publicly philosophize — as the conservatives do — and think about what shape a sensible political economy might take.”

From Mark Bittman in the New York Times, asking “What Is the Purpose of Society?” Excerpts: “It’s clear to most everyone, regardless of politics, that the big issues — labor, race, food, immigration, education and so on — must be “fixed,” and that fixing any one of these will help with the others. But this kind of change must begin with an agreement about principles,...

Snow: Nature and Grace

For me the snow is so beautiful. It feels like a living symbol of grace coming into the here and now. Like grace, when I touch it, it melts into me and changes me. Like grace, it changes my perception of the World. It’s whiteness is a symbol of purity, covering everything in a New Light. Like grace, the snow gives me a glimpse of a world separated from the merely mundane. It conceals the fallenness...

Can Capitalism Save Itself? How Excessive Concentration of Wealth in a Laissez-faire Regime leads to the Collapse of the System

The primary basis of my criticism of GOP economic policy is not so much that it is unjust, as it cannot work. The reason is not complicated, and was learned during the Great Depression. When too “few” have “too much”, the “many” cannot purchase enough to keep the system running at capacity. This is also the reason all the economic indicators tend to improve under...

Freedom and equality are not enough: Remarks on the attack on Charlie Hebdo in France.

The intellectual class in the West needs to be educated on its own moral and spiritual philosophy. Three centuries of commercialism have undermined our ability and courage to do so. We need to learn how to talk about the Idea of the Good in public. We need to gain clarity that freedom and equality alone do not constitute a society. Or at least its intellectuals better understand the difference between the...

Paris tragedy: some remarks by Terence Hoyt.

I have never heard a satisfactory answer from Europeans to the question: Why does Europe allow such high immigration from cultures that are substantially different from their own, when they a) say they (French in particular) value their own culture and b) there has never been any indication that those coming can integrate in the manner immigrants can in the US. It has always felt like a very bizarre form...

An African girl asks: Why do you come here to help us? Help your own country.

I remember when Katrina occurred. It hit me that this was the first time when Americans would be offered assistance from other countries. I remember thinking that this would be very hard for them to accept, and it would not be discussed in the media – as if abiding by a silent code. For us, independence is one of the highest values. This means not relying on others. Given that this value is contrary...

Transcendence and the appeal of fame in American society.

This post was inspired by the following remark by a Hollywood agent: “I’ve spent my whole life making people famous, but there’s nothing about fame that I’ve ever seen that’s healthy. It’s something that’s very hard to survive, and it’s something that has no intrinsic value unto itself.” -Shep Gordon (manager of a ridiculous number of stars) “One...

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