The end of the “noble savage”

Archaeologists have discovered the site of a deadly massacre in which 27 people were killed by primitive weapons.  The researchers date the site at some 10,000 years ago and say the people were hunter-gatherers.  This upsets the theory that warfare and organized violence appeared only when early humans settled down into permanent settlements.

This also upsets the perhaps related theory of the “noble savage” of Jacques Rousseau, according to which primitive people in “the state of nature” live lives of peace and virtue, with violence and other evils coming only as a result of “civilization.”  Apparently, human beings have been fallen and sinful as far back as we can see. [Read more…]

The death of relativism?

Can the West keep up its postmodernist ideology of relativism–that there is no moral truth and that all cultures are equally valid–in the face of ISIS terrorism?  Andrew Klavan thinks not. [Read more…]

Hitler’s worldview

In the course of a column about whether a nuclear Iran can be trusted not to attack Israel, George Will reviews Yale historian Timothy Snyder’s  Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.  I woud just add that his account of Hitler’s worldview and why he hated the Jews is in accord with my book on the subject. [Read more…]

Bernie Sanders explains democratic socialism

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gave his much-anticipated speech in which he explained his ideology of “democratic socialism.”  He said that he doesn’t want the state to own the means of production (the classic definition of socialism).  Rather, he wants to emulate Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Sanders said that virtually all of the New Deal programs we take for granted today–Social Security, the minimum wage, banking regulations, and job programs–were condemned as “socialist.”  Surveying today’s problems, Sanders wants to bring back Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights,” focusing on economic rights.

At the time, when critics accused FDR’s programs and later Democratic initiatives as socialist, the Democratic answer was, “no, they are not!”  Sanders agrees with the conservatives in saying, “yes, they are.”  But at least Sanders embraces the term.

After the jump, read his explanation of democratic socialism.  What do you think of what he says?  If you disagree with his ideology, how would you answer him? [Read more…]

Why the left doesn’t believe in free speech

Michael Barone has a fascinating column, excerpted after the jump, about how leftists, on campuses and elsewhere, are trying to silence anyone who disagrees with them.  But this should not be surprising.

The hard left, whether of the Marxist variety or the post-Marxist variety (which substitutes oppression of women, races, or other groups for the Marxist focus on economic oppression and class struggle) nearly always rejects free speech, as well as other civil liberties, whenever they get into power, as we have seen in communist regimes  If you reject individualism in favor of collectivism, believe that liberty is a bourgeois value designed to promote capitalism, and think that those in power always almost by definition suppress those who oppose them, then, yes, you will reject free speech.

The left certainly holds the power at most college campuses and in some other political and cultural circles, so of course they will impose speech codes and punish dissenters. [Read more…]

Is Bernie Sanders creating a true leftist movement?

Left-leaning columnist Harold Meyerson is excited at the prospect of Bernie Sanders, the socialist presidential candidate, creating in his growing cadre of followers, a genuinely leftist, revolutionary movement.  Do you think America is ready for that? [Read more…]


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