The Media As Modern Day Philosopher-Kings

The modern media is, in many ways, not unlike Plato’s utopian dream city of Kallipolis. Eschewing democratic ideas and the concept of a meritocracy, Plato’s famous Socratic dialogue, The Republic, embraces a natural aristocracy of minds and argues that, for justice to be a reality, those of ability—the philosophers—should rule and those lacking the requisite mental acumen—the followers—should simply accept their lot in life and allow those who know better to order their affairs. Plato’s…

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The Hollowing Out of the Conservative Mind

The 2016 election was something of an existential crisis for many across the partisan spectrum, but perhaps not quite as literally for any group as conservatives. Donald Trump’s ascendancy ripped the veil off right-wing ideology and revealed that many of the principles to which conservatives had clung so staunchly in their political advocacy—limited government, free markets—were apparently adopted by many of their brethren simply because they stood in opposition to progressive ideas. Those who balked…

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When Governing Becomes An Aesthetic Act

Often these days it seems legislators put more effort into the naming of bills than into analyzing the details of new laws and their likely impact upon the citizenry. In April, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act, or “El Chapo” Act, proposing to channel the assets seized from drug trafficking towards border security and funding for the proposed border wall. There is a certain insipid…

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On Political Etiquette

Political loyalty is a poison to sober, reasoned discourse. When a primacy is placed upon loyalty as a value, substantive and complex ideologies cease to be the standard of political ethics; they are deposed in favor of slavish obedience to party elites. A political etiquette that overemphasizes loyalty courts disaster, but so does a political etiquette that rejects the value of loyalty outright. The former promotes a system of patronage, where those at the top…

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America’s Torquemada Complex

For Trump loyalists, the fallout surrounding CNN’s publication of an inaccurate report documenting supposed ties between Russia and Trump associates was vindication of the White House’s assertions that the administration is dogged by unfair media criticism. For Trump detractors, CNN’s acknowledgment of wrongdoing, was evidence that the network does hold itself to some sort of ethical standard, thus undermining charges that it is nothing but “fake news”.  To be a member of either group and…

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Party Loyalty Is Destroying Politics

America’s political culture has become such that the charge of disloyalty is a far more indelible stain upon a person’s character than a charge of criminal behavior or personal misconduct. The 2016 election was a race between a career politician whose record of abusing the law for personal gain was as long as her record of public service and a businessman with an unsettling habit of personally denigrating any who criticized or disagreed with him.…

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The Rise of Economics as an Element of National Security: Part 2: Not All Forms of Production Are Created Equal

Read Part I: The Inequity Engendered by Protectionism National security, as it has been traditionally understood, defends against war and other forms of destructive treachery posed by hard power. The rise of economic security nominally does the same, though it is the hemorrhaging of money, not blood, which is of concern. Marketplaces become metaphorical battlefields, the size of which is determined by the amount of money and number of transactions involved. The government, when it…

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