Cheers to you, good sir

Activism vs. politics

– The Civil War was worse than we thought

– Here’s a long article on democracy that’s worth reading

The Deep Throat myth

Christianity is leftism

– A defense of excluding women (btw, since when did Forbes become the thought police?)

– Tyler Cowen has some thoughts on Singapore and Hong Kong


12 Responses to Randoms

  1. Ariston says:

    The study referred to in the article that “Christianity is leftism” post links to is flawed for a simple reason: The European (largely established, or government subsidized) churches have become completely bled of all content, so the only people left believing in them are mushy–minded social liberals who feel good about belonging to organizations whose creeds read like the UN world development goals. Imagine what it would be like if all US states had established Congregationalist, Episcopalian or Presbyterian churches. What would be left would be what those old mainlines have now— Middle–aged, upper middle–class white leftists. You run that study in the US and you’ll get different results. The only effect that would be the same are that religious persons in the US also display higher rates of volunteer and charity involvement. (Indeed, that’s just true of conservatives in the US.)

    There are other things going on that complicate the relationships between Christian sects and political ones, but trying to project an EU study like this one on the rest of the world (and especially the US) is a mistake. The most obvious non–American examples would be in places like Russia and Serbia and other nations where left–wing regimes are associated with being anti–religious and right–wing ones as supporting the Church. I think the relation between “religion” or “Christianity” (broadly speaking) and (stated) political preference is far more incidental than people think— most religious persons do not have some sort of coherent worldview spun out of their foundational beliefs, they just find themselves supporting the politics they do for other reasons.

  2. asdf says:

    So I’m entering my fifth month of government service now. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

    1) If your only goal is not to get fired, that takes about 2-3 hours of genuine work a week.

    2) Crimethink is the only real way to get fired. Thank god posting on the internet from work isn’t monitored yet.

    3) I’m not sure, even if I wanted to, I could come up with 40 hours of useful work to do in a week. I don’t even know if I could come up with 10. I could find 40 hours of work in a week, but they would not be useful.

    Some people fill this difference by creating useless work for themselves, others, and the entities we regulate. If your goal is small government, I think it would be useful if there was less pressure on civil service to appear busy. Make-work is usually the result of clampdowns on civil servants.

    4) Part of this may be that I was brought in to work with a specific database, and five months in they still aren’t even close to having it set up for me. In theory, the database should have enough stuff to usefully engage me for 40 hours a week, provided I’m free to work on my own toward something productive rather then whatever dumbass ideas they have. My situation is unique in the department I’m working in though.

  3. Phlebas says:

    The article on democracy is wonderful. Hail Vladislav Inozemtsev!

    However his solution:

    Were it possible, democracy would benefit from the restoration of certain conditions original to its successful and socially progressive development. The franchise should be pared back (a development that would not, by the way, seriously jeopardize the rights of the people, since these are now secured by social and judicial norms). We could, in short, benefit from more elitism. If those who seek elected office must go through a competitive selection process, proving their competence as they compete with respected adversaries, why shouldn’t voters have to prove themselves as well? This does not require revisiting any of the principles of the democratic process, only the actors participating in it. There is perhaps a model for this beyond classical meritocracy as described by Plato, Confucius and even Thomas Jefferson, where a person’s position in the hierarchy of power is determined by his intellect and virtue. Perhaps a new, more multi-tiered version of democracy can be produced wherein certain citizens earn the right to participate in certain more difficult and complex decisions.

    I suspect to be cribbed from Heinlein, more so than “Plato, Confucius and even Thomas Jefferson”. (Likewise “Uberfact” reminds me of “Ubik”, and sharing the same quasi-metaphysical properties I wonder if this isn’t a cryptomnesiac coinage…). Sci-fi authors don’t make good applause lights.

  4. Goober says:

    “That e-mail was not intended for public view”

    Then it should never have been written. Rule #1 to putting anything in writing or on audio or video recording is that you had better be prepared for whatever you write/record to be on the front page of the NEw York Times. If you’d rather it not be, then you should reconsider writing it. And yes, that applies to blog comments, too.

  5. josh says:

    Protestantism is leftism and most Catholics today are Protestants (that is to say, heretics).

  6. Alrenous says:

    Even in the Arab world, where that control has recently been contested, it is far from clear that democratic forces will prevail over populist

    Haha! Errr…what? Democratic vs. populist?
    Just in case anyone thought Moldbug was wrong when he said “democracy” now means “bureaucracy by International Community,” this guy helpfully displays his blindness to the possibility “democracy” could mean actual voting. Ooh, he brings up ‘nationalist’ as bad too. Apparently if you want your vote to apply to your own country, you’re doing it wrong.

    I really do enjoy confirmation. I think I’ll leave off pointing out his tells at that, though.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cheers to you…

    At least he had the care to do no harm, unlike the myriad in my parts, who can sometimes be found actively destroying something.

  8. Toddy Cat says:

    One can argue that leftism is a Christian heresy, but if Christianity in all forms is leftism, it’s odd that no one noticed until fairly recently. Ditto Christian opposition to the death penalty, pacifism, opposition to slavery, equality for women, etc. If all these positions are inherent in Christianity, how come no one noticed this until about 150 years ago? I mean, it’s not like someone found a new Gospel or something.

    • Foseti says:

      Isn’t the whole “Christianity is leftism” thing basically what Gibbon said about the decline and fall of Rome? That whole decline thing was a couple thousand years ago, no?

      • josh says:

        Gibbon doesn’t really attribute the fall of Rome to Christianity, and even if he did, everyone should admit that Catholicism is certainly the rebuilding of civilization after Rome. The official ethical and social system of Catholicism is still Natural Law Theory, which is pretty much the definition of right-wing Nomianism.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Well, Gibbon was an Enlightenment proto-liberal himself, and not exactly impartial on the subject of Christianity. And the Byzantine Empire survived for over a thousand years with Christianity as the official state ideology, without being notably leftist in its behavior. Most of the “leftist” Christians were heretics, as Father John Hardon pointed out a while back. This isn’t to deny that some Christians have been leftists, but there have been “leftist” forms of Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, and Islam as well. The leftist delusion is a form of mental illness not confined to Christian society.

  9. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    It is disapointing that the article on Democracy did not address, AFAIKS, the central lie of Western Democracy: That the “people” have any control over their elected officials.

    However, I guess that because the “right” people do, it is OK.

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