What Orwell Got Wrong About the Rewriting of History

George Orwell was wrong. A statist government using threat of force is not necessary to rewrite the recent past. Society is perfectly willing to censor itself of its own volition where partisan politics is concerned. In the fictional world of 1984, the ruthless efficiency of an omniscient state working to blot out all references to its past fallibility was necessary to convince the populace their own memories were wrong. In 2016 America, this kind of…

View More What Orwell Got Wrong About the Rewriting of History

Can Truth Be Defamatory? 2016 Will Decide

The 2016 election is a referendum, but not on any single issue. It encompasses something far larger; it is nothing less than a modern day relitigation of the Zenger trial. Can facts be defamatory? That was the question colonial New York when newspaperman John Peter Zenger printed an editorial critical of the royal governor. Though the allegations in it were true, they were also considered libelous by laws of the time, and therefore treasonous, for…

View More Can Truth Be Defamatory? 2016 Will Decide

The Clinton-Comey Email Scandal and Rule of Law in America

If there’s one thing the left and right can agree on in terms of what the evolving kerfuffle surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State means, it’s that America is no longer a nation governed by blind justice. In the narrative construction in which both political parties are engaging, it is not the virtue epistemology of anyone’s actions, particularly the agents of the Justice Department, which…

View More The Clinton-Comey Email Scandal and Rule of Law in America

Politicians attempting to vote shame are authoritarians

The 2016 election has engendered upheaval of the traditional methods of politicking and obliterated normal partisan identities. It is unsurprising that the dominant hegemons should push back, shamelessly advancing the trite and obviously fallacious bromide of binary party choice. In the wake of the first debate, which only underscored how pathetic the results of long-entrenched didactic thinking are, the powers-that-be doubled down. In a testament to how serious the devolvement of the establishment is, President…

View More Politicians attempting to vote shame are authoritarians

The ambiguous “we” of modern American politics

From the beginning, Monday night’s presidential debate was a cavalcade of collectivist rhetoric, with both candidates frequently invoking an ambiguous “we” as justification for their plans and policy positions. Leaving aside the troubling implications such attitudes towards expansive central control have for a society supposedly founded on the idea of power flowing upwards from the self-sovereign individual, the grounding of political discourse in such insubstantial language is troubling. “We” is an enigma, and enigmas have…

View More The ambiguous “we” of modern American politics

The death of the substantive election

Electoral politics is a bitter pill to swallow for many Americans, but for the policy wonks whose lives are in hammering out the minutiae on weighty issues like trade deficits, the raising of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the merits of a value-added tax over the progressive income tax, accepting that such things are never going to be a part of main-stream political debate is especially trying. This election- devoid of even the…

View More The death of the substantive election

Elections are not about partisan unity

Elections are not about unity. They are about competing ideas of right and wrong vying for resonance with the populace. They are about individuals exerting their conscience and branding their interests on the way government functions. They are about local actors reminding the federal government that power flows from the bottom up under the American construction of federalism. Coalitions are an end-run to this system, a way of sidestepping the deep and serious issues facing…

View More Elections are not about partisan unity
Top
All content protected by copyright. The Politics of Discretion, 2016.