A world in which little or nothing of importance is left to the contingencies of politics is the implicit ideal of the age.
The trouble is that politics can’t be swept to one side in this way. The law these liberals venerate isn’t a free-standing institution towering majestically above the chaos of human conflict. Instead – and this is where the Florentine diplomat and historian Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) comes in – modern law is an artefact of state power. . . . Western governments blunder around the world gibbering about human rights; but there can be no rights without the rule of law and no rule of law in a fractured or failed state, which is the usual result of westernsponsored regime change. In many cases geopolitical calculations may lie behind the decision to intervene; yet it is a fantasy about the nature of rights that is the public rationale, and there is every sign that our leaders take the fantasy for real. The grisly fiasco that has been staged in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – a larger and more dangerous version of which seems to be unfolding in Syria – testifies to the hold on western leaders of the delusion that law can supplant politics. . . .
The true lesson of Machiavelli is that the alternative to politics is not law but unending war. When they topple tyrants for the sake of faddish visions of rights, western governments enmesh themselves in intractable conflicts they do not understand and cannot hope to control. Yet if Machiavelli could return from the grave, he would hardly be annoyed or frustrated by such folly. Ever aware of the incurable human habit of mistaking fancy for reality, he would simply respond with a Florentine smile.
– This is a mediocre essay on a very interesting topic: what will happen when economics discovers evolution? I can’t wait to find out. I expect support for unrestricted, mass immigration to be one of the first casualties.
– Ridiculous explanations for the fall of Detroit continue. My favorite is still Yglesias’ suggestion that it’s because Detroit doesn’t have any good universities. Does anyone write better progressive propaganda than Yglesias? These explanations have led me to one important realization – I actually have some reasonably strong principles. For example, you couldn’t pay me enough money to write shit that stupid under my own name. I never really considered myself a principled guy.
– A new project from Nydwracu and company.
– In local news, you be interested in the YouTube series (some of which is shot very close to my home) which starts here
– Mangan passes on a story from Japan. I was there a few weeks ago. It was super hot and most buildings (especially offices) were barely air conditioned due to energy shortages. No one seemed to mind at all (other than to be very apologetic to foreigners). If that happened here, no one would go to work.
– The benefits of monarchy.
– Imagine what we’d learn in school if we got rid of the dumb kids.
– Here’s a non-gay discussion of racial profiling from Rod Dreher. Regardless of what you think of all this, it’s silly to pretend that the average person will sacrifice his own security so that you can feel better about yourself and your ever-so-correct opinions.