Government As Panopticon

Trump’s State of the Union suggests there are no societal ills outside the bounds of federal power. During Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Trump evoked the spirit of the Founding Fathers and their quest to create a government that, by placing strictures upon its actions, secured tangible, exerciseable freedom for its people. “America,” the president declared, “was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control.” But these lofty…

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Conscience and the Law

Your conscience is your exclusive property. It’s the voice in your head, the feeling in your gut. It is an entity entirely internal to you. The warning bells it sounds when choices likely to lead to bad ends are near are a product of the workings of your mind. Morality is a product of your intellection; it is up to you to define right and wrong for yourself and up to you to determine in…

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A Crisis of the Soul

American politics is anthropomorphized: we speak of the polity as “the body politic,” as one living and wholistic organism. Politicians appeal to “we,” inveigling themselves into constituencies and interest groups. Legislators view law as a type of nourishment for the body politic, using government power not as a check upon infringement of the rights of the citizenry—including those done by government itself—but as a force to improve the lots of their peoples’ lives. If the…

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Trump’s Border Wall Shutdown Is About Personality, Not Principle

Once the Freedom Caucus was a faction of principled intransigents;they fought tooth and nail against the initial healthcare overhaul bill proposed by newly-inaugurated President Trump because it did not deliver on the promise of full repeal GOP officials had long made to their voters. This resistance was the coup de grâce for a slipshod policy-making process: the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHCA) not only betrayed a Republican campaign rallying cry that was eight years in the…

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Ranked-Choice Voting Does Not Improve Representation

The more factions there are in a political contest, the more likely candidates with at least some positions in common are to band together to form a coalition. This is a principle of participatory democracy. Imagine there are 15 candidates competing for a seat on a town council. Seemingly, it should be easy to gain the roughly 6.8% needed to become the plurality winner; this is a tiny fraction of the voting public. However, voters…

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Trump’s Latest Attacks on GM Reveal Feudalism of a Government That Promotes Public Welfare

There is no federal official whose mandate it is to protect American workers. Business is a private endeavor. Individuals hone and apply their own talents to build a business which rises or falls on their judgment and the merit of their work. The act of production is an act of consummation: a part of a person’s soul is poured into that which is born of their mind and their muscle. The creator alone has sovereign…

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This Election Day, Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Act

Come November 6th, this political theorist is going Galt. I’m the only effective advocate for my interests. No voice but mine can adequately represent them. To make a conciliatory choice and vote for a political representative whose ideology departs from mine is an act of self-alienation. Coercion is generally perceived as a negative, especially any time government is concerned. Except, apparently, when it comes to the choosing of political representatives. Then, not only is at…

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