Blog Archives

Democracy’s Boaty McBoatface problem

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil Like many disasters, it began with a great promotional idea. Britain’s leading environmental science institute was about to

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Posted in Political Theory, Politics of Crazy, Uncategorized

Launching an Urban Republican Rebellion

There are heavily populated precincts in places like Boston, Camden, Baltimore and other Northern cities where fewer than ten people vote in Republican primaries. A decades-long influx of Southern Democrats alienated by their party’s support for desegregation has utterly transformed

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Posted in Political Theory, Republican Party, Uncategorized

America’s Parliamentary Future

America marked a little-noticed milestone last year, as Paul Ryan became our first Prime Minister. Not unlike the head of a European Parliament, Ryan rose to leadership by assembling a coalition with a sub-party, the House Freedom Caucus. That sub-party

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Posted in Political Theory, Uncategorized

Ending the era of the “job”

When my late grandmother was a girl in rural Arkansas, no one had a job. Everyone old enough to walk and carry a pail worked from dawn to dusk. Work was endless, cruel and utterly universal, but a “job” in

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Posted in Economics, Political Theory, Uncategorized, Welfare State

A Golden Age

Through the narrow lanes of Trastevere a young man, newly arrived from the countryside, carries heavy amphorae uphill from the docks. He will do this all day, every day, for as far into the future as he can contemplate. No

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Posted in Political Theory, Uncategorized

The North tolerates more ideological diversity

Last year’s mid-term elections marked the end of a decades-long transition as white Southerners abandoned the Democratic Party en masse. For a decade or so as this process gained momentum, it looked as though the South might, for the first

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Posted in Election 2016, Illinois, Neo-Confederate, Political Theory

How pluralism threatens lower income whites

Democrats are seeing a steady erosion of their traditional support among low and middle-earning white families. That drift contributed heavily to the outcome of the 2014 mid-terms, but it has been in motion since the Civil Rights Acts of the

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Posted in Civil Rights, Neo-Confederate, Political Theory, Race, Religious Right, Tea Party

Four true facts

The miserable state of the Republican Party can perhaps be understood through its response to four simple truths. Each item on this list is measurable, provable and broadly regarded as obvious. Failure to acknowledge these four truths means being as

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Posted in Evolution, Political Theory, Republican Party, Uncategorized

Ebola, terrorism and political mass extinction

“We are entering a bifurcated world. Part of the globe is inhabited by Hegel’s and Fukuyama’s Last Man, healthy, well fed, and pampered by technology. The other, larger, part is inhabited by Hobbes’s First Man, condemned to a life that

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Political Theory

Small groups, big influence

The Houston Realty Business Coalition hosts monthly breakfast meetings featuring some of the most influential figures in state and local politics. Founded in 1967, the HRBC, formerly called the Houston Realty Breakfast Club, is an institutional hub for Houston’s business

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Posted in Political Theory, Social Capital
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