Keeping up with the FITs, 4/1
Bryan Caplan on philanthropy; Michael Lind on vicarious patriotism; Ezra Klein and Masha Gessen; Ed West on the liberal order; Matt Taibbi and Chris Hedges on the liberal order
Higher education already has piles of financial aid for the poor yet talented. So in the best-case scenario, your donation will subsidize education for the poor yet not-so-talented.
. . .ineffective altruism prevails because Social Desirability Bias continues to run amok.
The Hansonian way to put is that charity is not about helping other people. And I still think that effective altruism is socially inferior to investing for a profit.
Note: a reminder that FITs stands for Fantasy Intellectual Teams
The sudden outburst of vicarious Ukrainian patriotism on the part of many Americans—as well as people in similar North Atlantic democracies—seems like a Freudian “return of the repressed.” Taught that celebrating their own national traditions is racist and xenophobic, and deprived of opportunities to play a meaningful role in national defense, many Americans and Western Europeans have found an outlet for a lost sense of belonging by borrowing the national pride of another nation.
Ordinary people in this country are proudly loyal to America and don’t give a @#%&% about Ukraine. For the progressive elites, it’s the other way around.
Ezra Klein interviews Masha Gessen (via the Podcast Browser). Around minute 23, Gessen says that sanctions never have resulted in regime change. Around minute 39, Gessen attempts what Bob Wright would call “cognitive empathy” with Mr. Putin. About minute 60, Have a Nice Day.
Two recent posts I might put in the category of “liberal order? what liberal order?” Ed West writes,
it is empires which are multi-cultural, and plucky rebels who tend to be linked by blood — whether it was ancient Greeks fighting off a Persian army of Medes, Babylonians, Egyptians and Sumerians, or Vietnamese nationalists in combat with French, Senegalese and North African troops.
He shares Yoram Hazony’s dichotomy between nations and empires. The claim is that multi-cultural societies can only keep order under a powerful emperor.
As Hedges points out in the wide-ranging, unnerving interview below, the speech-control one-two he’s just experienced — first herded out of the mainstream for ideological offenses into a shrinking space of “allowable” dissent, then forced to watch as that space is demonized out of existence — is part of an effective pattern. “It’s how this works,” he sighs. He points to the Intelligence Community Assessment of January 6th, 2017, ostensibly intended to make a case for Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which actually spent much of its time complaining about RT, especially its coverage of real but unflattering domestic issues.
A lot of commentary these days seems to suggest: order, multi-ethnic empire, individual freedom—choose two.