The Ethics of Production

All productive acts contain, at their root, an idea. And at the root of that idea is a philosophic principle: something of value the individual mind can identify and prize. Production requires two forms of synthesis: physical and intellectual. In the whole history of man, no builder—or no successful builder, at least—ever began by erecting walls at random then set about uniting them, as a kind of casual afterthought. Some vision preceded his construction, preceded…

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Perception, Virtue Ethics and Identity

We are all products of our own comprehension. Cognition, after all, is affected by the unique set of circumstances that align to makeup an individual’s background, heightening one’s perception of certain challenges and issues. Then, the talents one possesses lead towards particular types of intelligence, impacting the way each mind synthesizes the information presented to it. One cannot step outside the lens of one’s personal experience, even when relating to others. As Adam Smith, that…

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The Anatomy of Individualist Belief

A declaration of absolutist belief often opens one up to the smart-aleck retorts of petty pedants who use narrow-minded sophistic jibes to try and warp the ground on which absolutists have built said beliefs. One such contention involves censorship. “I am in no case for censorship.” says the absolutist. “Well, are you for pornography being broadcast by network television on Saturday mornings?” replies the sophist, with a wicked twinkle in his eye. “No.” replies the…

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On the Death of Liberalism and Its Institutions

With the birth of civilization came the creation of a class of the citizenry who seem to derive a perverse kind of pleasure from prophesying its doom. Ironically, it is the leisure time law and order affords men, who would otherwise fill their days with worry over how best to secure their needs against the privations of the wild, that makes such pointless pursuits as forecasting societal apocalypses possible. But whereas our forebears left such…

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There Is A Constitutional Right to Privacy

The nomination of Brett Cavanaugh to the Supreme Court has raised a perennial issue to the forefront of political debate. Under question is the issue of the right to privacy. Cavanaugh has previously expressed support for the federal government’s metadata collection program, writing in an opinion, “in my view, the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” His reasoning is not unusual: Kavanaugh considers seizure of data from third-party metadata providers…

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Idealism Has a Place in a Pragmatic World

The idealist is often perceived as something akin to a knight of Arthurian legend: a man of exceptional virtue, who sidesteps the pitfalls of temptation by strength of will alone, whose fallible mortality is made adamant by his steadfast belief in certain eternal truths. He not only espouses virtue; he personifies it. But there is a fine line between Galahad and Don Quixote, and more often the idealist turns out to be not a chaste…

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Against Concretizing Freedom

If freedom is to have any real meaning as a concept, it can have no concrete definition. On September 15, 1981, Barry Goldwater, senior senator from Arizona, took to the Senate floor and denounced the rise of the religious right. Among his complaints with the rise of single-issue social groups, particularly those devoted to religious restoration, was their tendency to move political discourse away from serious issues appropriate to federal attention because they implicitly concerned…

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