The myth of society: On the soul

Author’s note: This post is part of a series which explores the political mythos which encompasses modern conceptions of society. The first part can be read here, the second here the third here and the fourth here. What is the soul? This is a question debated extensively by the most erudite minds across time, yet no consensus exists. Perhaps this is because the soul, as a personal, intimate entity, cannot be measured empirically, but by…

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The myth of society: Absolutism and the individual

Author’s note: This post is part of a series which explores the political mythos which encompasses modern conceptions of society. The first part can be read here, the second here and the third here. There are no new ideas. So cultural critics argue. And, in a very specific regard, they’re not wrong. Truth is an absolute which exists outside of time. However, this is not to be construed as an argument for  the presentation of…

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On being a cynic in 2016

I’ve already griped about the deleterious effect rushes to consensus have on the meritocracy which is supposed to underlie American politics. But at the risk of being branded (not entirely inaccurately) a misanthropic pedant, I feel the increasing pressure for voters to fall in line with their party makes the point worth belaboring. Partisanship should not be a pejorative, so long as it is a reflection of ideological agreement between the individual and a party…

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The myth of society: Every act is selfish

Author’s note: This post is the third in a series which explores the political mythos which encompasses modern conceptions of society. The first part can be read here. The second can be read here. The foundation of the Western liberal tradition is property rights. To paraphrase Machiavelli, a man will sooner forgive the death of a parent than the seizure of his patronage. One can’t choose one’s parents. One can purchase goods that are a…

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The myth of society: justice and the repudiation of self-interest

Author’s note: This post is the second in a series which explores the political mythos which encompasses modern conceptions of society. The first part, which examines the foundation of society in the body politic, can be read here. Eight hundred years ago, when political capitulations were wrung from England’s King John in 1215 by a group of over-taxed and much abused barons, the idea that justice was best achieved at a local level by communal…

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Populism does not explain 2016’s electoral turmoil

Public discourse has been nationalized. The omniscience given to the federal behemoth by putting every issue within its purview has resulted in dialogue governed by factionalism which pits glossed, venal opinions against each other and considers them only from a superficial view imposed on society from above. One consequence of this behavior is an emphasis on consensus. Every issue must fit neatly into every other and dissent is a reactionary anti-establishment attitude, significant more as…

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The myth of society: the social contract and the body politic

Author’s note: This post is the first in a series which explores the political mythos which encompasses modern conceptions of society. In a state of nature, potential is boundless. There are no gate-keeping titans to dismiss ideas as contrary to the public good. But there are no curators either, no channels for development. Instead, men must be ever vigilant of their property for there is no redress of grievance except force. The constant expenditure of…

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