Adolescent Arguments

In the context of an article criticizing President Obama, George Will says that the president continually uses “the four basic teenage tropes” that characterize the way adolescents argue.   I give them after the jump, with my emphases in bold.  I don’t really want to discuss what Will says about the president.  And I don’t want to cast aspersions on Adolescent Americans.  But just consider these as logical fallacies. [Read more...]

Even secular humanism depends on Christianity

Theo Hobson, in the British Spectator, critiques the New Atheist insistence that we can have morality–indeed, a better morality–apart from religion.  In doing so, he shows that even today’s secular humanist morality, which the atheists take as axiomatic, actually derives from Christianity.

A truly atheist, Darwinistic morality would look more like Nietzsche’s nihilistic will to power.  In contrast, today’s egalitarian benevolence would be impossible without the Christian teachings of creation and grace.  [Read more...]

Totalitarian discourse

Charles Krauthammer gives the name for handling disagreements by silencing and punishing those who hold opposing ideas:

The left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. [Read more...]

Defining dissent as violence

First you define the expression of ideas that you disagree with as a form of “violence.”  Which means you are justified in using actual violence against those ideas in the name of self defense.

From Pete Spiliakos, When Dissent is Equated with Violence | First Thoughts | Blogs | First Things:

UC Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young is more imprudent, but no more ideologically insane than the administration of Stanford University. Miller Young forcibly took a sign from, and allegedly assaulted a pro-life protestor at her college. The Volokh Conspiracy cites the police report, in which Miller-Young argues that her actions were “in defense of her students and her own safety.” [Read more...]

“National Bolshevism”: Russia’s new ideology

Vladimir Putin’s speech annexing the Crimea echoes the language of a new political ideology being formulated in Russia, according to Canadian journalist Doug Sanders.  A melange of postmodernism, nationalism, and Russian Orthodox mysticism, it goes by the name of “Eurasianism” or “National Bolshevism” (cf. “National Socialism” ).

The ideology’s founder is Alexander Dugin, who calls his movement a “Fourth Way” between liberal democracy, fascism, and communism.  Though the big enemy is liberal democracy, so that he calls on an alliance between fascists, communists, Islamists, and other pre-modern forces to overthrow it.  He describes his ideology as “socialism without materialism, atheism, progressivism and modernism.”  Read about it after the jump, noting my highlights, and then read my reflections. [Read more...]

Conservative liberalism vs. progressive liberalism

Edmund Burke is considered the father of modern conservatism, while his contemporary Thomas Paine is a forerunner of modern liberalism.  Yuval Levin has written a new book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.

A review by Michael Gerson discusses his thesis that both theorists, for all of their differences, care about liberty and reform, though they seek those ideals through different means.  Burke and Paine–like many conservatives and liberals to this day–exemplify the conflict between “conservative liberalism” and “progressive liberalism.” [Read more...]


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