May 16Liked by Arnold Kling

It is certainly a minority viewpoint in today’s western society to refrain from using profanity. From where I stand it seems that the widespread, habitual use of vulgar speech not only signals complete disrespect for others but also a kind of indolence towards language in general. Apparently, many people are too lazy to employ more imaginative language so the fallback is gutter-talk. And it is proliferated by the example of many who are famous celebrities, sports figures, etc.

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The view of Trump as coming from an honor culture is very much in line with Albion's Seed. His base is concentrated among the Borderers, perhaps the most famous and extreme honor culture in America, and his political idol (to the extent he has any idols other than himself!) is the brawling, tetchy Borderer Andrew Jackson.

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Re: “’the absolute lack of any serious policy offer from post-liberals or those populists who purport to be post-liberal’”. (From the Dale piece quoting Philip Blond)

Dale and Blond appear to be using “post-liberal” in the wikipedia sense of “postliberalism”:

“Postliberalism refers to a body of political thought which rejects liberal views on market economics and globalisation and individualist views on society and instead posits a communitarian world view which promotes social solidarity, fraternal relations and economic reciprocity.[1] It is a centrist ideology that has adherents on both the centre-left and centre-right of British politics. Prominent thinkers who are aligned with postliberalism include John Gray,[2] John Milbank,[3] Giles Fraser[4] and Adrian Pabst.”

“Liberal” is one of those political labels that is not really tethered to anything real as the Adrian Pabst link helpfully explains:

“ British politics is moving away from the old left–right opposition towards a new divide between the defenders and detractors of progressive liberalism. As this article suggests, progressive liberalism differs significantly from both classical and new liberalism. It fuses free-market economics with social egalitarianism and identity politics.”

The Milbank link goes to a piece on a book that he and Pabst wrote about “virtue society” and in which he argues that:

“We have to demand that businessmen and people running corporations run them like citizens. In other words that businesses exercise a social function which is not just about making profit.” So it would seem that Biden and Warren are post-liberals along side Lind et al. Strange bedfellows.

Giles Fraser, a priest, wikipedia helpfully informs us states that “all my political energy has been a reaction to Margaret Thatcher. I hated and continue to hate Thatcherism with a passion that remains undimmed."

The fragmentation of “liberalism” of course goes back centuries. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_liberalism ) but in general it stands as a kind of “me good, you bad” tribalist signal. Wikipedia offers a definition: “Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law.” So it might be argued that everyone is a post-liberal since there definitely is no political party, pundit, or politician around today who offers an agenda that would replace the current dominant political system of clientelism, corruption, and out of control debt and money-printing with a rational system of governance. All the people calling themselves “liberal” could even more accurately call themselves “Peronists.” And those advocating the status quo in the name of “liberalism” have their head in the sand.

So what would a “serious policy officer” in opposition to our looming doom look like?

One could do much worse than to acknowledge that incremental reform of the status quo in the United States is a fool’s errand. A constitutional convention to replace the entire current constitution with one that provides actual limits on the power of government, precludes the widespread entrenchment of clientelism, offers representation to a majority of the citizens, offers exit, and precludes debt peonage from being imposed upon future generations would be a start.

A good place to start would be to dispense with the Federalist Papers, that endless stream of non sequitur, and begin one of the first serious attempts at an English written constitution, the Agreement of the Free People of England (http://bcw-project.org/church-and-state/second-civil-war/agreement-of-the-people ). This could perhaps be supplemented with provisions of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/declaration-of-the-rights-of-man-and-of-the-citizen ). And to which would also be added a specific process providing for secession of political sub-units, strong protection for local governance and the principle of subsidiarity, strict limitations on government debt and money printing, proportional representation in a unicameral national legislature composed of at least 10 times as many members as there are currently and with no longer than 2 year terms, no exemptions of any kind from taxation all of which rates are amounts to be imposed equally, abolition of the standing military and transfer of the responsibility for national defense to state militias, and the abolition of all government monopolies and entanglements with non-governmental organizations.

Only a radical populist revolution such as this will prevent the pending Argentina-ization of the United States.

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A cashless society is incompatible with children having their own money and learning to save and spend. Or maybe the plan is to give every four year old a Visa card and Venmo account?

Sometimes I really dislike technocrats and their advocacy for the "cashless society" is one of those times.

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Re: "He argued that if you require severely psychotic individuals to obtain treatment, often they will be much better off."

Freddie DeBoer doesn't reckon with Thomas Szasz. “The business of psychiatry is to provide society with excuses disguised as diagnoses, and with coercions justified as treatments.”

—Szasz, The untamed tongue (1990: 178)

DeBoer puts much weight on a diagnosis of "anosognosia." If the "patient" does not acknowledge that she is "mentally ill," then she is labelled with a second-order diagnosis of anosognosia. What could go wrong?

Tread cautiously with coercion in the name of paternalism.

Paternalism sounds better than nuisance-removal, doesn't it?

My intuition is that it would be healthier if we could figure out how to diminish technology shock (e.g., impact of new mind drugs) and -- Here I agree with DeBoer -- how to enable youths to stand on their own two feet, in place of dysfunctional schools.

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On pronatalism, a line from the intro to the interview with Tarra says “it is critical to make having larger families cool and an aspiration, rather than the practices of marginal religious sects.” Why not start by making the large families that actually exist today (mostly religious) sound cool, rather than further marginalize them as this rhetoric does? However, I am glad to see the focus on culture and not just government.

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"It occurs to me that Donald Trump fits with an honor culture, not with a dignity culture. "

This sort of fits, but there is also a "I don't give two fucks" attitude to Trump compared to other politicians.

Or more specifically, his opponents (especially republicans) don't hold their tongue because they have a sense of dignity, but mostly because they seem to be cowardly. People pick up that they are cosplaying respectable politicians and even a phony like Trump seems real by comparison.

"One of her points is that women need to realize how rapidly fertility declines starting in their late 20s."

I don't think this is something they are unaware of. More likely the main issue is they aren't ready to get married until their 30s. If you've dated non-religious women in their 20s they are just not ready to do what it takes to settle down. If you don't start seriously dating until your close to 30, and if serious dating takes a long time to get to know someone and sometimes its not the right person, then its inevitable you aren't going to start having kids to well into your 30s.

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I honestly cannot think of anything more profane than data free claims that the country is “systemically racist” and that we all need to be on high alert for domestic terror from “white supremacists.”

These profanities are repeated daily at the highest levels of government.

Yet, someone drops the f bomb and the boomers get all offended about a lack of decorum. Please get some perspective on what is truly doing harm.

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Did Helen Dale just violate my dignity?

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honor culture - I thought you were going to rail against liberal cancel culture or something like that. On that note, DeSantis recently visited my state and some friends said they were going to go protest him. What does that mean? To me it seems a bit like throwing insults.

Dignity culture - Our beliefs and expectations change over time. Profanity has become more acceptable. So has wearing more casual clothes in situations where people once typically dressed up. On the other hand, it is less socially acceptable to explicitly express contempt for or exclude people once looked down on such as minorities, disabled, "hippies," etc. Personally, I'm happy to make this trade.

"shit" (ironic you quoted that word) - It would seem that unions, protectionism, etc. contributed to poor quality products in the 70s and earlier but that would be one of many causes and I'm not sure I'd put it high on the list. I certainly wouldn't assume it was the main reason.

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No need for cash kiosks, just issue currency with a magnetic stripe - an anonymous debit card.

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