Libertarians, ‘moralism’ and the ‘Corrosive Politics of Virtue’


“Moralism” isn’t a list of social issues. Moralism is about drawing lines and assigning blame. It’s about separating the “deserving” from the “undeserving.” And, above all, it’s about identifying the immoral Other who can be blamed for all the ills of society. [Read more...]

Blade Runner, Terminator, Minority Report and the deliberate sabotage of the Postal Service


Americans like the Postal Service. They rely on it and rely on being able to rely on it. And the Postal Service is run by the government, even though it funds itself without any tax dollars. So if your whole political shtick is based on being anti-government, then the Postal Service is a threat you’ve got to get rid of. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Sandra M. Schneiders on why God is not a patriarch; Hillary Clinton on why empowering women is more than just a “nice thing to do;” Benjamin Franklin on the duty to pay taxes; David Badash on the libertarian mindset; and Russell Brand on the death of a little old lady. [Read more...]

Taylor Branch on how George Wallace invented our current political discourse

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Taylor Branch: “Wallace pledged to protect segregation. Only 50 years ago. He failed. But in his failure, he invented most of the language that is chillingly contemporary today in resenting the government and the political activity that forced about these changes for equal citizenship” [Read more...]

‘Libertarianism is [not] a philosophy of individual freedom’


At Crooked Timber, Chris Bertram, Corey Robin and Alex Gourevitch have collaborated on a post for the ages: “Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace.” Here is their thesis, succinctly stated in the first paragraph: Libertarianism is a philosophy of individual freedom. Or so its adherents claim. But with their single-minded defense of the rights [Read More...]

To save money, don’t exclude the poor, exclude the sick

The Republican privilege-principle of Tyler Cowen, Bryan Fischer and Rick Perry isn’t just morally monstrous, it’s also bad economics. “We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor,” says Cowen. “There is simply no way to control the cost of health care if hospitals are obligated to [Read More...]

‘Poor people will die just because they are poor’

That’s a feature, not a bug. It’s a boast, not an accusation. It is, the speaker says, a “principle” that must be “accepted,” not an injustice that must be corrected. It sounds like an accusation — “You people think we should just accept that poor people will die just because they are poor.” That sounds [Read More...]

Is Rick Perry a 'sucker,' or was he just lying?

Here’s a good catch by Kevin Drum, by one of his readers in Iowa, and then by the Des Moines Register: “Rick Perry Gets Suckered by an Urban Legend.” From Kevin’s reader: I was at the Iowa State Fair today and caught Rick Perry’s speech. He started talking about this stupid new regulation that would [Read More...]