The Collectivism of Immigration Rhetoric

The tenor of racial politics has been on a steady increase throughout the Obama and now the Trump administration. But in the cross-purposed tribalistic shouting between left and right which has come to comprise the punditry of today, there’s little room for core principles, which is a shame, really, because it overlooks a crucial element of racism and its perniciousness: it is inherently collectivist. Laura Ingraham made quite the splash last week when on her…

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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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Collectivization and the Media and Government’s War for “the People”

In the overwrought battle for the soul of the country which the press and the Trump administration have convinced their respected partisan foot soldiers is being waged, defense of “the people” is the common shibboleth around which each side rallies. For Trump and his acolytes, “America First” is an all-encompassing justification; it bestows upon those who march under its banner a kind of sanctity, which at one and the same time empowers a broad array…

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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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Individualism, Value and Economic Protectionism

Value is not all things to all people. Tools such as money create a framework of empirical worth that acts as a mediating agent so trade can be effortlessly conducted between motivated parties, but the idea that a dollar is worth the same amount regardless of whether it is used in Seattle, Washington or Boston, Massachusetts is only one aspect of the way in which value operates in society. Value can be intrinsic to a…

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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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The Inherent Pluralism of Currency’s Value

Money is a tool for measuring value. It creates an empirical framework, making it possible for individuals who have different hierarchies of values to be able to trade to their mutual benefit. Money creates a baseline which entities with different ends in mind can gauge the fairness of their transaction. For example, suppose you are hungry and go into a deli to purchase a sandwich. The owner of the store charges you $5. To him,…

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