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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Taxation: An Attack on an Individual’s Productive Capacity

Property rights are the fountainhead of liberty in a democratic society: the very concept of rights presupposes a concept of ownership. It is by nature of their sovereign beings that individuals possess rights; no other entity, especially those of political or social construction, enjoys such an advantage. Their rights are conditional upon law codes and the contexts of the civilizational landscape, and thus, not truly inalienable rights. But ownership also presupposes a system of value.…

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Trump’s Tariffs Are Economically and Politically Disastrous

In an apparent bid to make mercantilism great again, the Trump administration has amped-up its pursuit of protectionist trade measures in recent months, even as others within the president’s own party descry the adverse effects these policies will likely have on the domestic economy. For his part, the president—always a fan of a good superlative—has touted tariffs on the grounds that they facilitate not simply free trade but a more refined type of trade, one…

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Congress Is Inept Because It Was Never Meant to Be the Primary Political Problem Solver

There is a strain of modern political thought that equates specialized knowledge and topical expertise with elitism, itself rooted in anti-populism. Such thinking contributes to high levels of political inefficacy as the operational premise of representational government is that legislators, who dedicate their time to informing themselves on issues that affect their constituents, will use their knowledge of both the issues and their constituencies to make political choices calculated to promote the interests of residents…

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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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