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  • Cosmopolitanism: Citizens Without States?

    December 3, 2016

    While our political and cultural elites debate about what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country, it may be worthwhile to pause for a moment and ask what truly is at stake here. My sense is that the debate about illegal immigration –…

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  • The Election Concerning Technology

    December 2, 2016

    No one is obliged to take part in the spiritual crises of society; on the contrary, everyone is obliged to avoid the folly and live his life in order.” ― Eric Voegelin, Science, Politics, and Gnosticism   Technological Rule “I saw some of the turning beauties of…

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  • Leadership and Machiavelli

    November 30, 2016

    Scholars, practitioners, and more casual observers of leadership often talk about Niccolo Machiavelli in the context of leadership practices.  Substantially fewer seem to be well read on the (in)famous Florentine.  It is possible to consider Machiavelli, his writings, and ideas reputed to him, in a better, more…

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  • A Libertarian Error

    November 28, 2016

    According to Wikipedia, libertarianism is described as follows: The term libertarianism originally referred to a philosophical belief in free will but later became associated with anti-state socialism and Enlightenment-influenced political movements critical of institutional authority believed to serve forms of social domination and injustice. While it has…

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  • The Limits of Identity Politics

    November 26, 2016

    After the election, a student came into my office and asked me, “What is my major good for?” The quote perfectly captured the post-election state of my profession as a political scientist of having wrongly predicted the presidential race. There were be several articles and books that…

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  • Our Big Picture Problem

    November 25, 2016

    Cultures show their substance by what they make easier and what they make more difficult. A true, illustrative story: Me: “Hey, Siri, find me a Catholic Mass to go to.” My phone: “I don’t know how to respond to that.” Me: “Okay then, take me to…

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  • Relativists Get Their Favorite Movie Wrong

    November 23, 2016

    Final grades were due a few days ago, and for those of us who teach, grading season has just come to a close. With visions of student papers dancing in my head, I can’t keep from thinking, Rashomon is a perfect movie for our culture. Liberal…

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  • The Decline of the Western

    November 21, 2016

    Tired of rants about how awful capitalism is? Here’s a fun trick: ask the people you’re discussing it with not to use the term “capitalism.” Politely suggest: since we seem to mean different things by it, let’s just say what we mean without using that one word.…

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Technology Election Science

No one is obliged to take part in the spiritual crises of society; on the contrary, everyone is obliged to avoid the folly and live his life in order.”
― Eric Voegelin, Science, Politics, and Gnosticism
 
Technological Rule
“I saw some of the turning beauties of the sky/ And we came out to see, once more, the stars.”[1] So concludes Dante’s voyage through…

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Machiavelli 3

Scholars, practitioners, and more casual observers of leadership often talk about Niccolo Machiavelli in the context of leadership practices.  Substantially fewer seem to be well read on the (in)famous Florentine.  It is possible to consider Machiavelli, his writings, and ideas reputed to him, in a better, more informed, less condemnatory and more positive light.  This essay will try to show…

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Dont' Tread on Me Libertarian

According to Wikipedia, libertarianism is described as follows:
The term libertarianism originally referred to a philosophical belief in free will but later became associated with anti-state socialism and Enlightenment-influenced[8][9] political movements critical of institutional authority believed to serve forms of social domination and injustice. While it has generally retained its earlier political usage as a synonym for either social or individualist…

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Donald Trump identity politics

After the election, a student came into my office and asked me, “What is my major good for?”[1] The quote perfectly captured the post-election state of my profession as a political scientist of having wrongly predicted the presidential race. There were be several articles and books that will be published about the problems in the forecasting models but for now…

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Hail Caesar


Cultures show their substance by what they make easier and what they make more difficult. A true, illustrative story:
Me: “Hey, Siri, find me a Catholic Mass to go to.”
My phone: “I don’t know how to respond to that.”
Me: “Okay then, take me to a strip club.”
My phone: “Which strip club? Tap the one you want.”
Not for nothing are they called…

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Western Film

Tired of rants about how awful capitalism is? Here’s a fun trick: ask the people you’re discussing it with not to use the term “capitalism.” Politely suggest: since we seem to mean different things by it, let’s just say what we mean without using that one word. It might induce them to think, instead of grabbing pre-fab terms of abuse…

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United States America

With another presidential election when there was no mandate to do anything, one would be excused to be cynical and jaded about the state of our politics. If the last presidential election was about micro-targeting groups without any substantial message, this election was worse with the demonization of candidates and character assassination. Neither the 2012 or 2016 elections addressed the…

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Captain Fantastic

Sure, as a teenager, I experimented a little—rock, but also blues, jazz, standards, alt country. Never pop—that cesspool of cheap, predictable noise shunned by all who take themselves seriously for taking music seriously.
It began as curiosity, an alienated feeling, the desire to understand. It became a temptation. The occasional trace of a melody would wriggle into my imagination. So what…

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