The error of libertarianism: Rousseau on the natural dominance of the few strong

Rousseau’s thought is one of the primary influences on the Constitution, especially that found in the Social Contract. His thinking was influenced by work he did in Venice in the embassy. He reports that he had a superior who treated him unjustly for years. When he returned to Paris and attempted to have him reprimanded, he got nowhere. This led him to write the following remark in The Confessions: ...

Remark on American leaders responding to climate change.

I’m curiously watching how political leaders respond to global warming. If they cannot or do not respond in some way, I think that reveals a very strange detachment. Do they tell themselves they will be dead so why should they care? Do they really feel or believe their own ‘self interest’ is more valid a motive than attempting to contribute to a solution, when they actually might have...

Some remarks on why the American activist embraces a nihilistic ideology.

Perhaps the most important reason for the widespread disengagement of most citizens with the deeper moral and spiritual currents of life is that the American has come to be defined solely in terms of external function. This then comes to be reflected in the tendency of so many activists to embrace an ideology which is essentially amoral, and thus nihilistic. Over time, as actions are sanctioned in the...

Some remarks on the confused thinking of libertarians and adherents of Ayn Rand.

Remarks by Terence Hoyt. Laissez-faire proponents, e.g. Ayn Rand followers and libertarians and the Tea Party overall, ignore the distinction entailed in the concept of “basic economic needs”. As with all ideologues, they transform various practical notions into deep moral values. In this case, they fetishize the concept of economic freedom and liberty, transforming freedom from a basic arrangement...

Too Big to Regulate: From the NYTimes Sunday Review

The failure of the federal government to re-regulate the banks since 2007 continues to be the biggest policy failure, I argue. This in turn seems to be due to the fact that a few individuals make too much money from weak government. From the article linked below: “Last week — six years after the onset of the financial crisis, four years after Dodd Frank and two years after the biggest banks...

My remarks on the (temporary) cause of the failure of the American system of government:

Until the writing of the American Constitution, the great end of Western political philosophy was an illusory goal. That end is the bringing together or coincidence of the interest of the “few strong” with “the many”, popularly known as “the rich and powerful” and “the poor” or “the middle class.” This has been so successful that Americans take...

On the growth of the concept of “originalism”. From the NYTimes Book Review.

Excellent discussion of the influence of Scalia on the growth of the idea of originalism, a concept Ed Meese promoted in the 1980s. Main idea: the notion may be in the service of a need for certitude than rigorous jurisprudence. Link below. From the review. By JEFF SHESOL JULY 2, 2014 “More than any individual decision or dissent, the theory of “originalism” is likely to be his lasting...

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