"In the 21st century, marijuana legalization has been one of libertarianism’s few “wins.” Perhaps nothing to be ashamed of, but certainly nothing to be especially proud of."

A good summary.

Legalized pot may pass a utilitarian cost/benefit analysis in a vacuum. I'm less interest in that then its effect on the libertarian party which I would summarize as thus:

1) It shifted the libertarian focus from freedom to be the best you can be (start businesses, invent inventions, explore ideas) to freedom to be the worst you can be (pothead).

I may have my disagreements with Ayn Rand, but at least she was putting forward a positive vision of human accomplishment in a world of freedom. The pothead in my apartment building was not a Randian hero.

2) The popular libertarian view on crime has been majorly distorted by War on Drugs rhetoric.

I know you can find a few libertarians that are tough on crime, but the popular libertarian view on crime is that its entirely caused by the War on Drugs and that if the War on Drugs ended crime would virtually disappear. This has led to a very pro-criminal anti-police stance amongst you average libertarian.

Most people who have looked at the data know this probably isn't the case.

3) Going beyond that, the War on Drugs is like the one libertarian trick that will solve everything. Blacks aren't performing well? It's because the War on Drugs is keeping them down. Etc.

The War on Drugs became the great excuse to not really understand societies issues or take them seriously. Hence, libertarians didn't become a serious party.

4) I feel like the libertarian obsession with pot could be best summed up by the Libertarian Part 2016 nominating process. Faced with a once in a generation chance to be relevant it descended into a farce. All of its leading candidates, including the leading candidate that was supposed to add normalcy, had to talk to interviewers about what kind of marijuana they smoked.

Expand full comment

Auguste Meyrat has kind of the perfect "I have never worked in industry" content.

"It may be important to communicate ideas clearly, follow deadlines, and show respect to others, but is it really important to use processes that are obsolete, complete tasks that are unnecessary, or deal with needless inconveniences that inhibit one’s wellbeing and potential? Is it fair to demand that younger employees respect the corporate hierarchy when older employees routinely flout it?"

Because fresh graduates are great at identifying what processes are obsolete, what tasks are unnecessary, or which inconveniences are needless? I am certainly the last to say that corporate processes are great; especially large businesses are inefficient across many margins. However, that is par for the course, and people have dealt with it for hundreds of years, and continue to do so without being whiney entitled brats.

If you don't want to do the job, quit and get a different job. If you find that every job is unworkable, maybe the problem is you, not the jobs.

Expand full comment

Re: "a sequence starting with honor culture, moving to dignity culture, then to victimhood culture.."

A culture of equal dignity requires ethical individualism. Equal dignity is unstable because:

• People often spontaneously focus on groups rather than individuals.

• People readily perceive race and sex; i.e., individual membership of a naturally visible demographic category.

• People tend to confuse disparate intent and disparate impact. (Compare Arnold's "intention heuristic.")

• People want to ignore partial heritability of various talents, when people think about public policy.

• Elites can have it both ways:

(a) Distributive justice based on disparate impact in formal organizations (admissions, hiring, promotion).

(b) Advantage in spontaneous sorting and matching (what Charles Murray calls Belmont):

-- Residential self-sorting

-- Assortative mating by educational attainment

-- Networking for career

-- Comparative advantage in self-control (what Bryan Caplan calls puritanism)

Expand full comment

If different groups don't have equal merit, then some will be against meritocracy.

This is inevitable. What does meritocracy have to offer people without merit?

Nobody is going to come out and say "I'm a loser and I should get stuff anyway or I will use violence against you." But that's essentially what it boils down to. When blacks say "we will deliver you a 90/10 vote split in the millions if you give us affirmative action so that you can use the power of the state (violence) to get the things you want in return" that is what they are saying.

A more realistic evaluation of this dynamic would be helpful amongst those hoping to restore meritocracy.

Expand full comment

In the Auguste Meyrat piece, he claims that after separating students from their cell phones, he is able to teach them “how to read, write, and think, I can teach them how to be human: how to apply and interview for a job, how to ask someone on a date, how to make friends, how to participate in their community, how to take a joke, etc. And yes, I often have to teach them to use appropriate language, respect their superiors, and act like grownups.” Sounds like an excellent teacher. I knew an online teacher who took the time to communicate to each of her students at least once a week. One wonders how often that happens. Remembering this kind of makes me regret my general disappointment with the performance of teachers in general. One wonders how many Meyrats there are out there? One in a thousand? One in ten thousand? I don’t remember any of my childrens’ teachers devoting any such efforts on their behalf.

Interestingly the first four articles linked to reminded me of a priest who was kind to me as a child. Having been socially awkward and antisocial my entire life especially in my youth, he took me aside once and gave me a placard that said “No one can make you feel inferior but yourself.” He said that the trick is you have to earn your self respect. And that encouraged me to do well in school while remaining antisocial. Interestingly, in high school, the school vice principle in charge of discipline also took an interest in trying to help me come to grips with these personal problems. Didn’t have to but, he did. And it helped convince me to enlist and use the education money to complete a couple of graduate degrees. So perhaps the disappointment with teachers comes from higher expecations due to my “privileged” upbringing.

Whites who refuse to feel inferior seem to be a trigger for the fury of our anti-populist betters. It also probably goes a long way to explaining the rapturous reception Joe Biden’s hateful demagoguery gets from the clerisy. Normie white kids today should probably read John Besche’s piece in Tablet about South Africa to get an idea of what they might be up against in the future (probably 5-10 percent chance in general social circumstances, probably 30-40 percent chance of a similar electricity/public services situation). https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/community/articles/jewish-south-africa-rainbow-nation

The constant barrage of anti-whiteness in schools, at work, and in churches is bound to require them to engage in a lot of mental hygiene to prevent them from succumbing to feelings of inferiority. One might consider four possible things that might help them contend with the world. First, consider the banality of the atni-whiteness campaign itself and how that tells us more about the patent mediocrity of the DEI anti-whiteness crowd and their cheerleaders than anything anti-whiteness reveals about them. Reading Steve Sailer might help in this regard.

Second, remember that they are on the right side of international law. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour or national origin. Moreover, Article II of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid specifically defines the imposition of unequal dignity as included in the phrase “the crime of apartheid”:

“(a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person: [… …] by the infringement of their freedom or dignity…”

Moreover, the definition of the crime includes:

“(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association…”

mean that the policies of the Biden administration are literally criminal. As will be the Supreme Court when it, desperate to regain the tolerance of our anti-populist betters, issues its decision to deny whites access to higher education on the basis of their racial identity.

Thirdly, I would highly recommend reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History lectures. I doubt that it is taught anywhere, but many of the lectures that have been translated into English can be found online ( https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hi/index.htm ) . Not to disparage any of the original historical theories presented in today’s links really conveys the profound understanding of why nations flourish or flounder. And the lectures are written in any accessible style that rewards reading with entertainment even if you totally reject his ideas. I spent a few hours today going back through a number of lectures and was struck by how relevant they seem to today.

But perhaps second most importantly, avoid getting caught up in it. Don’t fall for the trap. Don’t over react. Don’t be provoked. Life is short, don’t get caught up in US politics. Go somewhere where people are not wound so tight and where you can have the opportunity to live the good life. Portugal, Spain, Botswana, Uruguay all seem like socially warm, family oriented places, where your opportunity would only be limited by your ability and perseverance. And most importantly don’t let the politics spoil your interpersonal relationships. The years I have been married to a woman not of my race have been the best and happiest of my life and I would never allow politics to interfere with that. We have never had a cross word between us and hopefully never will and it would be unforgivably stupid to not treasure that personal reality above all else or to sacrifice it because of some half-witted political provocation.

Lastly, to make up for all that nauseating blather, and most importantly, if kids are going to follow any advice at all, they should read the Ross Douthat link and think really hard about what tradeoffs they may be making in deciding to get involved with marijuana use.

Expand full comment

"Seeking an unequal redistribution of dignity—of presumptive social standing—is now standard across social justice progressivism."

This seems to me to be the essence of modern "social justice". Some animals are more equal than others.

Expand full comment

Thanks once again, Arnold - Lorenzo is asleep now but I'm sure he'll be along in due course!

Expand full comment

"Google search data shows that people are looking up "what to talk about at work" more than they have in the past two decades, with young workers saying they've found it hard to navigate small talk with their colleagues. Reddit is similarly awash with recent threads dedicated to the topic, providing talking points and tips for conversation starters." https://afterschool.substack.com/p/swiftie-dads-and-the-new-the-rules

Expand full comment

Frankly, there aren't a lot of opportunities to make small talk.

Expand full comment

Lots of debatable opinions in this piece. In particular, "a sort of anti-racist police state" stood out. I get that there are excesses but a police state? Isn't this the kind of inflammatory language that speaks to and separates one's tribe?

Expand full comment