Category: Politics

  • a general atmosphere in which a particular conclusion seems undeniable

    Building on yesterday’s post about writing yourself into (or out of) beliefs and opinions, I want to return to a piece from late last year which I keep rereading, and which I think has important lessons for us all in this year of many elections of consequence. The title is plain and forthright—“You Can’t Fact…

  • you trick yourself into thinking that it’s true

    John Higgs, in his most recent newsletter, begins by mentioning a piece he wrote for The Big Issue proposing that the super-rich be put in prison, and comparing it to the political notion now known as limitarianism (which is pretty much the same idea, just without the prison bit). Typically modest, Higgs discounts any possibility…

  • tools to cudgel or flatter

    tools to cudgel or flatter

    Bit of a callback here to last week’s post: Addressing the vacuity of the words fascism and democracy, [Orwell] wrote “the word fascism has no meaning except insofar as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” Calling something a democracy is not very different except that “we are praising it.” Fascism is reduced to meaning not good…

  • structure [and/of] structurelessness

    I am thinking a lot right now about my work: what it is, certainly, but also what it’s for—where it fits not only in the now, but in times to come. Given that my work is focussed on futurity, this meta-level thinking frequently falls out of and/or collapses back into the more day to day…

  • political problems cannot be solved on the aesthetic level

    After getting irked by reviews of Oppenheimer, Adam Kotsko wrote a short thing that feels to me like it’s the missing piece to that Sam Kriss essay I excerpted last week, which has been—as the kids say—living rent-free in my head ever since. Kotsko has an interesting and very valuable insight into “culture war” stuff,…