In the comments, Alrenous has some thoughts on government:
Put together, modern ‘democracies’ are extremely sophisticated power-obfuscating structures. For example, there’s incredibly advanced methods of pretending that heresy and lese majeste don’t exist anymore, pretending not to have a one-party state, pretending to follow the constitution, pretending to be a democracy at all, etc…
Working out who had real jurisdiction over what in a Monarchy isn’t straightforward because various power-holders are deluded about what power they hold, and it isn’t what they formally hold. Similarly, they may have some residual formal power that depends on the illusion they do actually hold it, and will tell every lie to retain that residual.
Working out who has real jurisdiction in our system is at least two orders of magnitude more difficult.
Though it can be fairly easy to work out who doesn’t have power. To first order approximation, the president has no power. To second order, the senate has no power.* Does the house? I’ve never heard of any actual result coming from the house, but that just means I’ve never tried to evaluate if it actually came from the house.
*(I understand committees have some, but it seems DC fashion determines committee outcome rather than member politics – so who are the fashion leaders?)
Similarly, front-line bureaucrats have very little power. As you’ve shown, top-level bureaucrats have no power. So it must be someone in the middle. But who? Over what?
Beyond approximation, what changes can the president actually effect? If the president and the senate fought over something, who would win?
Must journalists toe an unofficial official line to keep their jobs, or are their delusions of ‘making a difference’ actually partially grounded in fact?
If the universities opposed the papers, who would win? Is this arrangement even possible, or are papers entirely subordinate?
Does public choice dictate university positions, or do professors dictate public choices?
Daniel Larison: "We Need to Rescue Civilization from the People Who Always Want to Rescue Civilization Through Warfare"
Conservatism as a losing strategy – I would have written this differently. I would tend to emphasize the ruthlessness of progressiveness. Basically anyone who practices ideologies that oppose progressivism are killed in wars to defend democracy if they get successful enough. Progressives keep conservatives around to that it looks like they have an enemy.
Dennis Mangan: "Condemnation of prejudice as intolerance and trying to ensure its disappearance makes about as much sense as treating hunger with amphetamines. Nationalism would seem to be a mechanism analogous to the function of civilization through which prejudice is minimized, allowing large numbers to form a group and to cooperate."
John Derbyshire finds some interesting stats:
Immigrant households with children with the highest use rates are those from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent). Those with the lowest use rates are from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent). These figures remind us that although the overall use rates for immigrant households with children are quite high, this is not the case for all immigrant-sending countries and regions.”
Tino: "Richard Florida is a urban theorist, famous for his book "The Rise of the Creative Class". The book argues that since liberal cities with a large concentration of high-tech industries such as San Francisco and Boston have plenty of street musicians and gay bars, street musicians and gay bars must be causing the high-tech sector."