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The Cynicism Of American Culture

in Culture/Philosophy by

Last week, I wrote an article discussing why the fabled “Great American Novel” will likely never come to pass. In said article, I posited that the main reason this is the case is because American culture is a heavily guilt-laden culture. Most unusually, I posited that, contrary to the old claim of Americans being super-fanatically patriotic, this guilt/cultural cringe has always been a part of American culture and, indeed, one of the biggest motifs of the American arts. And I stand by that claim: while there is certainly a lot of low-brow Walmart-level “patriotardery” being produced in the United States, the fact remains that not only does no American artist of note produce anything that can be remotely considered “patriotardism”, but this shame/guilt complex is taught to American children in schools. If those two things alone weren’t bad enough, I feel that these are the reasons why America was the first nation to fall to globalism and become its armed enforcer, despite modern America not having any substantial imperial…

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Why The Left Hates Guns

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

The Left has declared an all-out war on firearms because of the American independence and individualism they represent. Hillary Clinton, the most anti-gun presidential candidate in recent memory, proposed a bevy of gun-control measures aimed at disarming as many Americans as possible. First she championed a ban on ‘assault weapons’, then a ban on ‘high capacity’ magazines, and finally promoted the asininity of holding gun manufacturers responsible for gun homicides.

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There Will Never Be A Great American Novel

in Philosophy/Politics by

For a nation to truly be a nation and not just an economic zone of atomized individualists hustling for gold, it needs a shared culture; culture, of course, being any pattern of shared behavior in a population that cannot be attributed to genetics; the stronger and more homogeneous the population, the more robust and alive the culture will be. One of the most distinctive forms of culture there is is that of mythology: a story or an entire hero saga of tales that creates and/or showcases the collective philosophy of a nation. Mythology should show both what a particular nation values and what it rejects – it should also reflect the collective Jungian fears and desires of all peoples (if you happen to believe in Joseph Campbell’s theories).

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Is Buying American Really Being American?

in Economics/Philosophy/Tech by

On Monday night, “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe joined Tucker Carlson on Fox News to discuss Ford’s and Chrysler’s respective plans to reinvest in U.S. manufacturing. Rowe, who is a proponent of technical and skilled jobs, told Carlson, “Get a skill that’s in demand, that’s really in demand, that can’t be outsourced. Plumbers, steamfitters, pipefitters, carpenters, mechanics, those men and women right now … can pretty much write their own ticket”. Rowe is right about skilled jobs. According to the Manhattan Institute, there are around a half-million U.S. skilled jobs that aren’t being filled. Millennials are spending their time in the college safe spaces instead of doing the ‘dirty jobs’ which can pay well. However, when Rowe talked about making things in the U.S. he got it wrong. “There’s just something … larger at work here,” Rowe said. “It has to do with our identity, it has to do with what it feels like when we’re actually making things as a country.” This ‘be American, buy American’ attitude has…

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Betsy DeVos: Opening The Hearts And Minds Of America

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

President-Elect Donald Trump’s new Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is the best pick in the history of the Department of Education since its inception, in this veteran teacher’s opinion. With her school choice prescription, she is just the medicine that a failing educational system needs to restore it to health. Her long time support of the Charter school movement is one key reform element, but the one that will be transformational will be vouchers or tax credits for any private school a parent decides to send their child to. The public school monopoly, headed by the National Education Association, is the greatest impediment to competition and reform and will fight tooth and nail to protect their turf and the view that children ultimately belong to the state rather than the parent. America is one of the few western nations that does not give aid to private k-12 religious schools, only to religious colleges. Betsy DeVos can change that oversight with the 20 billion dollar block grant that Trump has proposed to…

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Musings On The American Dream

in Philosophy/Politics by

I don’t know when it started, but I recently realized a concept that disturbed me: I have grown to utterly hate the phrase “The American Dream.” I’m hardly the only one who feels this way. I have had many a smug European tourist or exchange student lecture me on how the concept “enables [your] worst excesses,” “shows [your] utter arrogance,” and other phrases they quoted verbatim from the writings of some American Marxist. So, to clarify, I’d like to explain the concept, the way I’ve always understood it. The American Dream simply referred to the idea that, as the USA was a nation without aristocracy or caste, a man had the possibility of social mobility and achievement, as long as he had the ability to do so and the willingness to labor for it. That is all the concept is-note there is nothing about “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” nor is there anything about being entitled to anything. Indeed, the concept of social mobility has become rather ubiquitous in liberal…

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The Libertarianism Of Christopher Hitchens

in Philosophy by

Before his death, Christopher Hitchens recoiled from claims by both conservatives and his former comrades on the Left that he had moved rightward because of his support for The War On Terror. Hitchens countered that he still found the Vietcong “heroic,” still found Che Guevera an admirable figure, and still described himself as “a Marxist: “I still think like a Marxist in many ways. I think the materialist conception of history is valid. I consider myself a very conservative Marxist”. He still regarded Lenin and Trotsky “as great men,” examining the foreign policy record of Fidel Castro, he praised the regime for fighting a battle with South Africa. The Bush administration, whose foreign policy he supported, earned his scorn on their domestic policies, which, with its cronyism with monopoly capitalists, he likened to a “banana republic.”

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The Libertarian Party Believes Ron Paul Is Not A Libertarian

in Philosophy/Politics by

It is often said that political parties are ruining the dignity of American discourse. Instead of discussing policy points, many identify with one of two partisan identities and allow their loyalties to fall in line. Here, policy support shapes around their team and they turn against whatever the other side opposes. It’s shallow. And it is growing worse. The problem with the political arena is that as the investment grows more significantly, so does the need for self-preservation. Political careers mean that principles can take a backseat to the race discussion because nobody is going to make either a name for himself or money by losing with dignity. This is a phenomenon also not restricted to the Democrats and Republicans. The Libertarian party has the same problem. The Libertarian Party has developed a tendency to attack non-enrolled libertarians, including prominent figures like Senator Rand Paul and his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

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Fort Lauderdale Shooting Reflects Another Gun Free Zone Failure

in Breaking News/Philosophy/Politics by

The Second Amendment is among the most controversial topics in society, especially in recent years. With a number of shootings occur, the media and politicking partisans seize on every tragic opportunity to push a failed policy proposal. The idea is that with increased regulation and more difficulty in acquiring firearms, gun violence will decrease. It operates under the assumption that mass murderers and terrorists acquire their weapons through legal channels. In society, concealed carry and even carrying guns at all is under heavy assault from the gun control lobby. The argument here is that Gun Free Zones work and that by having a sign up that says “No Guns Allowed”, violence is deterred. This assumes that people who commit murder, which is against the law, will otherwise obey sign laws. We’re showed continuously that the disarming of society fails. Chicago, Illinois has consistently ranked among the highest in gun violence and crime, but while also having staunch gun control laws. The San Berardino, California terrorist attack occurred with guns…

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Declaration Of Freedom: How a Sixty Year Old Book Can Help The Conservative Movement Find Its Way

in History/Philosophy/Politics by

“The crucial feature of our troubled world is its tragic division.” That is the opening statement of Elton Trueblood’s book titled Declaration of Freedom, and those words are just as true now as they were sixty some odd years ago when he first penned them. If there is anything that this past year has made abundantly clear it is that our nation is tragically divided along lines of race, economics, political affiliation, and a host of other issues. We have seen the animosity of Bernie vs. Hillary, Hillary vs. Trump, and Trump vs. pretty much everyone else play out over the past year or more in the press as the Presidential election raged. We have seen the divide between the police and communities of color personified by the Black Lives Matter movement, which quickly devolved into an all out anti-cop hate group. The Occupy movement has stood against the wealthy. The Oregon Occupiers (completely separate movement) stood against the Federal Government and the Bureau of Land Management, the conservative…

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The Uses And Abuses Of Nietzsche By The Left

in Culture/History/Philosophy/Politics by

The phrases “will to power” and “Übermensch” carry around with them the stench of Nazism and other forms of fascism; that is, most people associate the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1944-1900) with the Right rather than the Left. In the public imagination, the mustachioed madman is an anti-Semite and racial supremacist. On one hand this reputation is deserved because some of his ideas and prejudices do conform to fascist ideology; on the other hand, it is undeserved, because his thought was thoroughly misread and cherry-picked by fascists for their own end. (For this we have Nietzsche’s sister – who promoted her brother’s writings to the Nazis after he went insane – to thank.) But again, Nietzsche’s troubling affair with the Right is not his only association. Often overlooked is his influence on thinkers such as Michel Foucault (1926-1984) and the Frankfurt school of Marxism, most noticeably Theodor Adorno (1903-1969). These thinkers together performed a massive critique of capitalism and social institutions in general, allowing subsequent generations to go on deconstructing…

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Progressives As The New Puritans

in Philosophy/Politics by
Purtian, progressive

In Puritan America, only church members were allowed to vote in political elections. In progressive America, talking heads want the executive branch represented only by Democrats. To those willing to participate in the political aspect of their communities at the time, adhering to pure doctrine was the only way in. And candidates were only accepted into the congregation once the minister and elders were satisfied with their conduct. Even after being made a part of the church, members would still be subject to expulsion over any conduct deviations, forcing residents to live in fear and under only one doctrine. To Puritans, their philosophy and the state was one, the same approach embraced by modern progressives. Having a way with words often helps progressives to persuade their prey. By calling everything they support “progressive” and everything they do not support “reactionary” or antidemocratic, progressives are able to persuade a great number of gullible voters. As loyalists vote to have their liberties taken away, they are led to believe they made…

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Disagree? No, You’re Just An Ignoramus.

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

The Left’s totalitarian ideology doesn’t lend much credence to diversity of thought, viewpoint, or opinion. While leftists on college campuses are gunning for diversity of skin color and ethnicity, they decry opposing views as physically harmful. Both students and faculty retreat to the cocoon of so-called ‘safe spaces’ to shield themselves from the scourge of dissent. What’s more, those with minority opinions can’t just disagree with the Left. They clearly must be liars or deniers. From the lack of free speech on college campuses to the media condemning ‘fake news’, there is no room for opposition to the leftist narrative. Those who oppose gun-control are indicted as ignorant, bigoted, and bitter gun-clingers. Anyone who questions ‘progressive solutions’ to the ‘catastrophe’ of climate change is labeled a denier of science. Those who contest the morality of a social welfare state are called racist liars. In fact, any individual who dares object to the Left’s narratives is not simply incorrect. They don’t just disagree. They are purposely rejecting reality or maliciously…

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Today In History: Cicero Is Assassinated

in History/Philosophy by

December 7, 43 BC What does it take to be a philosopher-statesman? To dedicate one’s life to public service, to approach the issues of the day with a level head, to remain reasonable in the face of radicalism, and, above all, to carry your convictions through to their logical end, even if it costs your life? Marcus Tullius Cicero lived to see the greatest political moments in western history over the course of his 63-year life and his political, legal, and academic careers spanning nearly as long. But he didn’t just see it. He was an integral part of it. He served in the highest offices of the late Roman Republic, including the Consulate (chief executive) and the Senate, when he wasn’t finding spare time to translate into Latin, summarize, and write commentaries on the classic works of the Greek philosophers and craft a few philosophical tomes of his own. His writings on the Republic and the Laws remain to this day, in this author’s humble opinion, essential reading…

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What If Presidential Electors Are No Longer Bound?

in Philosophy/Politics by

The presidential election was a battle between populist emotion and a moderate establishment. While the pundits, journalists, and political elite all declared Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had the election in the bag, this turned out not to be the case. And it wasn’t even close. Sort of. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the bombastic businessman with a talent for upset, walked away with the electoral vote. He kicked down the doors at Democratic strongholds and knocked prediction models off their axis. Clinton supporters wept, Democrats were left speechless, and the pollsters defeated. How did this happen? At President Barack Obama’s urging, Clinton conceded defeat. The game was over.

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Why You Should Support A Ban On Late-Term Abortions

in Law/Philosophy by

The ongoing debate on abortion is one of the most divisive issues in the political sphere, and it has attracted increased attention over this election cycle. It has become a more pressing issue as the public is uncertain about how abortion rights will change when President-elect Trump takes office. His presidency is expected to usher in a more conservative stance on abortion, as shown by Vice President-elect Pence’s pro-life position and Trump’s promise that “the justices that I am going to appoint will be pro-life.” The public is aware of the gravity of this matter, as 45% of Americans stated that it is important to them that future Supreme Court nominees share their views on abortion. The pro-choice vs. pro-life divide continues to deepen as each side resists compromise, fearing that their opposition will take advantage of any settlement. While many people have become absorbed in abortion as a political issue, they forget about the moral underpinnings that make it such a factious topic. This disparity can be seen in…

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A Return To Liberal Learning: The Examined Life IS Worth Living

in Philosophy by

Not all news coming from academia these days is necessarily bad news. In my own little corner of this world, some of it is actually quite good, and it’s all that much sweeter when it is considered within the larger context of contemporary events. At a time when universities and colleges around the country are creating “safe spaces,” hosting “cry ins” and “walk outs,” and distributing coloring books and the like for students and faculty who have been traumatized by the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency; when institutions of higher learning have betrayed their traditional mission by substituting training in political ideology for education of the heads and hearts of their pupils—I’m happy to report that the members of the community of my little college in Southern New Jersey are busy attending to the sorts of matters for the sake of which the liberal arts had historically been prized.

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If You Call The Alt-Right “Nazi White Supremacists,” You’re Wrong

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

Thanks to President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon and the actions of some attendees at the National Policy Institute (NPI) annual conference, media scrutiny of the alt-right is at an all time high. Within the veritable tornado of stories “exposing” the alt-right coming out seemingly on a daily basis, three phrases are re-occurring: “white nationalism,” “white supremacy,” and “race realism.” Many journalists, pundits, and misinformed social media users are treating these three very different concepts as if they are one and the same. Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, and every writer or personality considered to be “alt-right” is being labeled automatically by the media as a racist, Nazi, white nationalist, white supremacist, and race realist. This is irresponsible reporting at best, and purposeful obfuscation at worst. Race realism, white nationalism, and white supremacy are separate concepts – much to the chagrin and confusion of the mainstream media. To understand the alt-right, it is necessary to understand each of these distinct concepts.

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Why Term Limits Will Not Fix Our Political Problems

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

Corruption in government is a given in any society. As human beings, some are more susceptible to kickbacks and more easily enticed by perks. This is how people like Republican United States Senator Susan Collins run for office pledging to serve only two terms and end up hanging around for much longer. Warriors go to the capitol to fight for the people and instead find out that D.C. is a beautiful way of life. So how do we prevent this? How does society prevent entrenched politicians from sinking our government functions?

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Does Federal Marijuana Prohibition Override State Legalization Efforts?

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

The struggle over states’ rights versus federal control is as much philosophical as it is political. Since before the ratification of the Constitution and the early days of the American Revolution, prominent historical figures debated the proper way to separate power and just how much freedom people should have from their government. Would a strong central government be preferable to the safety and security of society, or would a limited government with a strong emphasis on control by the people work better? The biggest test of federal control is the topic of marijuana. For decades now, various states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. When treating illnesses and dealing with health problems, should individuals have the right to dictate what they try for treatment? The question is fairly straight forward and, in a free society, people would have the right to control their own bodies. This includes controlling what does and doesn’t enter our own bodies, as well as controlling what they try for treatment when dealing with various…

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In Defense Of “Vulgar Libertarianism”

in Economics/Philosophy by

One difficult aspect of living as a libertarian in a less-than-free society is that we cannot describe to our opponents with absolute certainty how a genuinely free market would look. We are left to rely on thought experiments and the examples of existing businesses models to compare to the State.If I want to discuss how state intervention raises the costs of healthcare, for example, I may compare it to the cell phone industry, which must do the opposite in order to compete in the marketplace. Should we reach the conclusion that the higher prices are the result of government, assuming we want lower healthcare costs, then we definitely don’t want socialized healthcare, which cannot provide any final or ongoing solution. Unfortunately, since we don’t live with a free market — and indeed, the state plays a role in every industry, including the ones mentioned above — we don’t have any perfect or pristine examples. As a result, some defenses of freer markets (which are, in fact, not pure laissez…

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The ‘Left’ In Left-Libertarianism

in Philosophy by

In recent years the political philosophy of libertarianism has gained in popularity and interest.  Libertarianism as a philosophy concerns itself with the justified and unjustified use of force in society.  The guiding principle behind libertarianism is the “non-aggression principle” in which “aggression” is defined as the initiation or threat of violence against persons and their legitimately owned property.  This is the scope and focus of libertarianism. One of the compelling aspects of libertarianism and the non-aggression principle is that it is clear, specific, and fundamentally simple to grasp.  Identify interpersonal actions and determine if said behavior qualifies as aggression between persons and their property. If certain behavior does constitute aggression, it is justified to use violence to limit, repel, punish, or defend against such violence through certain norms means. Under the scope of libertarianism and the norms therein, much can be said and appreciated.  However, as previously stated, libertarianism provides a constrained area of political philosophy to demarcate interpersonal activity that does and does not fall under the banner…

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PC University

in Culture/History/Philosophy by

Parents who plan on refinancing their homes in order to send their children off to college should instead consider encouraging them to specialize in a trade. Speaking as a Ph.D. in philosophy who has spent the last 17 years teaching at the college level, I’m perhaps the last person from whom advice of this sort is expected. But it is precisely because of my familiarity with academia that I beseech the college bound and their enablers—I mean their supporters—to revisit their plans. Whether one regards a post-secondary institution as a means to either a remunerative profession or a genuine education, the tragic fact of the matter is that the contemporary academic world is about as politicized a cultural institution as any. More specifically, it is a bastion of Political Correctness, a decidedly leftist ideology that tolerates no competition. For the last 11 years, Professor Duke Pesta, who is currently an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has taught literature at a range of colleges. At…

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Strange Women Lying In Ponds Distributing Swords Is The Only Basis For a Form Of Government

in History/Philosophy by

Kingdom of Kent, Saxon England, 932 – Newly anointed King Arthur tours his realm seeking knights for the round table at Camelot. He bore with him the decree of none other than God Himself, ordained by Heaven to rule the Angles and Saxons. Alas, for yon head-choppy days of yore were dark times for God’s anointed to the Throne of England. For there were those who questioned the legitimacy of his claim to the Crown. Stopping to confer with two lowly peasants in a marsh in the wilderness west of Canterbury, he demanded fealty. The peasant demanded by what right he claimed to be their king, since they didn’t vote for him. King Arthur replied that the Lady of the Lake had bestowed upon him the great Sword Excalibur. “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords? That’s no basis for a form of government!” And after explaining that they would not recognize a government that did not rule by the people for the good of the community, they went…

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Don’t Call Me Disabled Just Because I Am Single

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

I am a healthy 42-year-old caucasian male. However, if the World Health Organization’s proposed rules are passed, I will be “disabled”. Forget that less than a year ago, I completed an Ironman. Even though I am able to swim 2.4 miles, ride my bike 112 miles, and run a marathon, I am soon going to be “disabled”. The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to classify me as disabled because I have chosen, at this time, to not have a sexual partner. The WHO is proposing a new definition of disability to include those who have an inability to find a suitable sexual partner or the lack of sexual relationships which could achieve conception. The World Health Organization Definition of Infertility The WHO’s current definition of infertility is “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”. The WHO is an agency of the United Nations. It was established in 1948. The WHO is…

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Should a Free Person Accept The Election Results

in Philosophy/Politics by

The latest link in a long chain of electoral drama, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump sparred mercilessly in Wednesday’s debate and following press conferences over whether the losing side would “accept the outcome” of the national election. What exactly does that mean? Usually, accepting the outcome of the election means you concede the election graciously when it’s clear that you lost. When moderator Chris Wallace asked Mr. Trump during the final presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle, Trump said he would think about it when the time came. I will venture a likely unpopular view that Trump and Wallace may not have meant the same thing by that question. What Chris Wallace probably meant was somewhere between “Will you graciously admit defeat and congratulate then President-Elect Hillary Clinton” and “Will you acknowledge the lawful authority of the new Administration and submit to the government.” In all probability, given the recent controversy surrounding allegations of election fraud, Trump probably meant something more like “Will I acknowledge she won…

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Govern Yourself Or The Government Will Do It For You

in Philosophy/Politics by

You have the right to wave your hand in the air, but you don’t have the right to hit me in the nose. America was established upon the foundation of a self-governing people. This means that each individual is entitled to the rights of life, liberty, and property. With each right, there is also a responsibility. As a citizen of a self-governing nation, we have a responsibility to govern ourselves in such a way that we do not restrict other’s rights. Parents have a responsibility to raise up their children to be good citizens. In order to do this, they have to teach their children that it is not proper to run around the grocery store yelling at the top of their lungs. While technically, the child has every “right” to run around screaming and yelling, the child’s behavior diminishes other’s ability to enjoy what they are doing at that very moment. There are many methods that parents use to guide their children in the proper way to act…

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How To Become a Left-libertarian

in Philosophy by

Hello, comrade. Are you a millenial? Are you a former or current democrat that is fed up with the two primary parties?  Did you recently attend an International Students for Liberty Conference? Are you looking for something new and edgy? Did you study sociology, gender studies, Marxist theory, or post-modernism, and little to no economics in college? Do buzzwords like “exploitation”, “domination”, and “solidarity” invoke emotion for you? Do words have no meaning to you? Are you looking for a special group who identifies with your interests to join? Well, look no further! Here at the Alliance of the Libertarian Left (ALL) we are always on the lookout for new recruits. Below is a quick guide on how to become a left libertarian. If you feel that you can accomplish these things then maybe being a left libertarian is for you! 1. Be unemployed or have a very bad part-time job. Preferably the former. As a matter of fact, it probably helps to have very poor hygiene and dress…

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The Enduring Importance Of Privilege

in Culture/Philosophy by

I am privileged. Despite growing up in a poor family in one of the most impoverished counties in rural North Florida, in a century-old farmhouse with no air conditioning and a woodburning stove that we all had to huddle around in the winter. Despite the fact that after high school I worked construction for $11 an hour with no insurance, sleeping in my car and running the heat ten minutes at a time when the cold of the Iowa winter got too unbearable. Despite the fact I couldn’t afford to finish college, and was too busy making ends meet to exploit some of my talents or pursue many of my interests. No, none of those things change the fact that I belong to a permanently privileged class of people – the most privileged class, according to some. See, I happen to be a white-skinned man who has no gender-uncertainty and maintains a consistent sexual preference for women, which, according to liberal America, places me somewhere between Scrooge McDuck and Sarah Palin on the villain scale. I’m…

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Marriage & The State – A Case For Privatization

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

Outside of abortion, the definition of marriage and the role of the state is probably the most contentiously debated topic in social politics today. Over the last decade, same-sex couples have ramped up their battle for the state to recognize their unions and receive the same benefits (including legal recognition) that is given to traditional marriages. The proponents of the expansion of marriage were (and still are) vehemently opposed by organizations, mainly religious, that believe same-sex marriage is not marriage at all, but a redefinition of marriage altogether. Over the last 15 years or so, and certainly for the coming years, the debate has taken over legislatures and courts. Of course, this battle culminated last summer in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision by the Supreme Court of the United States forcing states to recognize same-sex marriage. However, the battle is not over. Many religious persons are concerned with the tension that will ultimately exist between the protection of same-sex couples to be legally married and the First Amendment’s protection of the religious objector.…

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Where Are The Riots Led By Violent White Lives Matter Thugs?

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

We live in dark times in America and the outrage abroad is justified. The government is spying on its citizens, exiling whistleblowers, and the justice system is out of control. Statistics show us that, to a degree, there is a race problem, with African Americans more likely to be arrested for certain offenses. While this is true, the fact has been exploited to perpetuate violence abroad. Black supremacy group Black Lives Matter and like-minded groups and activists have exploited multiple tragedies to create social unrest. Whether it be Ferguson or Charlotte, the response to an innocent African American human being shot has been more violence, including violence against innocent American citizens. Small businesses are destroyed, corporations looted, people injured, and private property damaged in the process of “protesting”. But what happens when a white man is shot and killed? This is the question being answered in the case of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond. Zachary Hammond was a young teenage boy who was out on his first date when he was shot dead…

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The Legendary Revolutionaries Of The National Football League

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

The world is certainly a dark place. War is neverending, poverty still haunts much of the world, and injustice is strong even in the free world. The United States of America is supposed to be a beacon of hope and freedom for the world to see, or so the story goes. But the truth about what the country has become is hardly a fairy tale. Citizens are overtaxed so the government can drop bombs abroad and kill innocent civilians in drone strikes. The government spies on its own citizens and intercepts digital data. Police corruption is real and the justice system is far from perfect. So how do we deal with it? Fortunately for America, the National Football League is the premier breeding ground of modern revolutionaries in America. As whistleblower Edward Snowden sits in exile because he risked his life to expose the abuses of the surveillance state, guys who make a great deal of money to toss a pigskin are apparently waging the real revolution. San Francisco 49ers quarterback…

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Alt-Left: “Racism,” “Supremacy,” And “Extremism”

in Philosophy/Politics by

Not long ago, National Review writer Jonah Goldberg discussed the “alt-right” with Hugh Hewitt on the latter’s talk radio show.  They agreed that, at bottom, the movement upon which Hillary Clinton bestowed national recognition last month was “racist” and “supremacist.”  As such, it deserved to be purged from the GOP and the conservative movement. The notion that there is an alt-right is highly suspect, for there can be an alt-right only if there is a right.  But, contrary to what Democrats and Republicans alike would have us think, there is no genuine right in contemporary American politics.  So, there is no alternative on the right to it. As I argued in a recent essay, there is, rather, an alt-left that has been passed off by the political Establishment and its media apologists as the right.  And Hewitt and Goldberg are among those who belong to it. Alt-leftists decry the so-called alt-right as being nothing more or less than a white supremacist, racist movement.  Goldberg, for example, referred to Jared…

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Bad Political Campaigns Are Ruining The Liberty Movement

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul liked to discuss the importance of education and note that the movement was bigger than any one presidential campaign. Twice he tried to secure the Republican presidential nomination and was rejected by a party full of neoconservatives. Despite failing to capture the nomination, Paul did succeed in launching a movement. Libertarians and those who lean towards the philosophy found themselves united and networking. Liberty candidates ran for offices from the municipal level straight up to federal, with varying degrees of success. The liberty movement became alive and grew stronger. But in some ways, it is failing. While campaigns don’t make the movement, they can hurt it and even break it. In 2012, the Ron Paul presidential campaign ran a caucus-focused strategy that proved very successful. Through navigating caucuses and taking control of state conventions, the Paul campaign began amassing enough delegates that the Mitt Romney campaign and Republican National Committee started to fight back. This led to a lot of push back throughout a number…

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George Takei Should Become a Libertarian

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by

George Takei is an actor best known for playing Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek and has more recently become a famous Internet personality. He is a personable human being with a great sense of humor. He is one who also makes his political views known, which to a degree, are interesting. He is a Democrat and a vocal supporter of the party. Takei, who is openly gay, also has the unique and unfortunate experience of living in an internment camp. Traditionally in American politics, the LGBT crowd are known for being fairly liberal and registered Democrat. A lot of this has to do with the two party system and the false notion that answers exist nowhere else. Republicans traditionally are social conservative and thus opposed to LGBT rights, leaving the LGBT community only one other place to go. But the Democratic Party is not the only alternative. Takei has been outspoken against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has made a number of controversial policy proposals, including a ban…

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An Army, Not An Audience

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If your faith isn’t directing you to plant vineyards and guard them with the sword, it might not be faith at all. If you’ve ever nurtured an apple crop through to harvest, enduring heat waves, hailstorms, coddling moth infestations, and property taxes, only to see a family in a brand new SUV stealing apples during a pick-your-own visit, you might have some sense for why I write about God a lot. I know some people proceed straight to the justice question when they are wronged. They lawyer up. They make complaints. They take solace in a withering Yelp review. Me? I want to dig up the bitter root, the spiritual sickness, and burn it in the public square with a blow torch. I’m aching to know what went wrong with the American soul, to know why families could camp overnight in Central Park in the 19th century, but wouldn’t do that now without the help of a SWAT team. When I see a trunk full of stolen apples, gathered…

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How LGBT And Religious Right Can Coexist

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In recent years, the rise of the LGBT fight has ignited a bitter feud with the religious right. Unaccepting of the LGBT lifestyle, the religious right has sought to use the force of government to combat it. Attempts range from wanting to pass constitutional amendments to define marriage as one-man one-woman, to limiting various rights of those within the LGBT community. The religious right has also voiced a concern regarding the LGBT crowd forcing the lifestyle upon them. To many observers, it appears that the two crowds cannot coexist. But this is incorrect. Many LGBT individuals and supporters, like those who are more religious, want to live their own lives without being forced to compromise. Some may call this intolerance, but it’s actually not. We should be able to live our lives how we wish, so long as it is consensual and does not impede upon the life and freedom of others. This means that gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender human beings, should be able to live the lifestyle…

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Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition

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The Pledge of Allegiance and Standing for the National Anthem are necessary and wholesome public rituals. We celebrate the house that shelters us, even as we strive to repair and restore it. I live in a very beautiful place with a fair amount of history attached to it, so when I had the opportunity to turn down both CBS and the NFL for a commercial shoot yesterday, it felt good. We received a breezy email from the CBS pre-production office outlining their 49ers / NFL promotion as follows: In 1849 there was a gold rush and people flocked to the west to strike it rich….100 years later, there was another gold rush when air travel enabled football teams to travel and play across the country…. Thanks so much! They wanted to use our farm, and our living history programs, to add a little Americana gold rush glow (and vintage gravitas) to their contemporary relationship with the NFL. We would provide the gold pans, the sluice box, and the bewhiskered…

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How American Voters Enable The Two Party Oligarchy

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American politics have an interesting dynamic. While many ordinary citizens lament the partisan gridlock and lackluster political candidates, the gridlock continues as the typical candidates still get elected. Eventually, we reach a point where we are now. Voters are overwhelmed with outrage and contempt for the system, resulting in someone like bombastic businessman Donald Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination with the most votes in primary history. But as controversial as he is, Donald Trump is still a Republican. Campaigning under a major party brand, Trump’s victories enable one major party while his failures enable the other. It’s still the same old partisan politicking. Republicans defecting from their party over a lack of integrity are late to wake up. While it is better late than never, they have enabled the rise of Trump in a number of ways. First, they built up the Republican Party that is now empowering Trump’s campaign and second, they empowered a Republican establishment that gave Trump raw emotions to feed off of. Partisan Republicans and…

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Personally Holy & Wholly Ineffective

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This November, for some Christians, personal holiness will dictate a protest vote against Donald Trump. Is this really conscience, or something darker? Over my years as a believer, I’ve seen personal holiness measured in strange ways. One Sunday morning, after my wife was introduced to a member of the praise team as a “baby Christian,” one of the singers leaned in towards her, with a weird mix of intense curiosity and mystical reserve, and asked: “Have you witnessed yet?” I remember the odd silence between us as we walked out to our car that morning; we had failed this woman’s personal holiness test. All true believers had to have a recent witnessing story ready for her. Since then, I’ve seen personal holiness obsessions blow up in weird ways: the Baptist radio minister who roundly scolded any Christian who served cocktails in their home, only to have his radio show abruptly terminated some months later, after an affair with the church secretary was revealed. I can remember processing strange Bill…

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The Democratic Party Has Officially Gone Full Neocon

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In the mainstream narrative of American politics, the Republican Party is the pro-war party. After President George W. Bush took over, everything in America changed. He took advantage of the 9/11 terrorist attack to justify a global assault on whatever the threat of the moment was. One minute it was something in Afghanistan, then it was Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and eventually it expanded to include drone operations. All the while, Democrats were protesting the other party that was feeding the military industrial complex. When Senator John McCain was nominated to be the successor, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was chosen by Democrats to combat it. But peace did not come when then-Senator Barack Obama took over the presidency. Under President Obama, drone strike frequency has increased, interventions have continued, and all the anti-war rhetoric of the left was proven false. President Obama may belong to a different party, but he was still the same client of the military-industrial complex. One would think that Democrats would feel betrayed. However,…

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How Mandatory Vaccinations Conflict With Libertarian Principles

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The vaccination topic can become as heated as the GMO topic. On the one hand, we want to eradicate disease and lead a healthier society. But on the other hand, to what degree does the government have the right to require what we do with our bodies? The science of the topic isn’t enough when considering this because there are additional implications. In a nation of laws, legal precedents are important. The first and foremost concern relates to self-ownership. Who owns our bodies? Freedom is the right to live our lives as we see fit, so long as we do not impair that of another. In order to achieve this, we must have a right to our bodies and how we see fit. Things like piercings, tattoos, and other body modifications are legal because we have a right to do with our bodies what we wish. In terms of what we do with our bodies, whether it be sexual or otherwise, it is not something that the government should be…

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Donald Trump’s Tax Returns Aren’t The Real Issue

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A consistent storyline this election cycle that dates back to the primaries is Donald Trump’s tax returns. To date, he has refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit and advice from his lawyers to not release them until the audit is complete. Regardless of the factual basis of this claim, it’s bizarre that even conservatives and libertarians are hitting the Republican presidential nominee from this angle. Should we care what the invoice for federal tax theft has on it? The problem here is a lack of a greater discussion about the Internal Revenue Service. In a free country, should the government have a right to the hard-earned fruits of your labor? In response to this, liberals often cry about the roads and talk about infrastructure. This completely neglects the fact that there are countless other taxes that are used to keep these things up. Income tax essentially goes to the welfare state and dropping bombs on foreign countries. Helping your country is one thing, but obliterating…

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Following In The Footsteps Of The Founding Fathers

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Frankly, unless one is an anti-government anarchist at one end of the great ideological divide, or a totalitarian fascist on the other, it is always a matter of degree as to how much we have in common. Moreover, most persons’ rhetoric is more purist and extremist than where they stand in reality. There is a theory that says that rhetoric and semantics trends toward extremism, so that the great irony of pulling away from philosophical absolutes (embracing a relativist culture that puts opinion over truth) is that we veer away from diversity and pluralism and closer to divisive demagoguery on the left and the right in our civic politics. Part of the difficulty in comparing the Founding Fathers’ positions with our own is the fact that we differ so much from them on a wide variety of religious, political, and cultural matters. Of course, “the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God,” as Jefferson very carefully wrote in the Declaration of Independence, is by definition an unchanging absolute. Today,…

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The Misuse Of “We” “Us” And “Our”

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One of the biggest mistakes in the application of the English language is when the terms “we” “us” and “our” are used in reference to the government.  The fact that many individuals conflate themselves with a completely separate entity that they are not a part of and have no real control over is problematic.  It is this conflation that leads to perpetual conflict between groups of individuals and to ignorance of the actual nature of government. The government is not us.  The government is a group of individuals who claim the right to control and manipulate the lives of other individuals.  We do not set the tax rate, create laws, enact regulations, or determine foreign policy.  A group of individuals do, and those individuals possess powers that all other individuals do not. These people are not our leaders.  It is simply a mathematical impossibility for them to effectively and in actuality lead or represent the multitude of individuals under their rule.  They do not act with our interests in…

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Dennis Prager: Pope Francis And The Decline Of The West

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In this short commentary written by Dennis Prager, I agree with his overall assessment that the left influences Christianity and Judaism today much more so than vice versa. It is the left that dictates our cultural, moral, and ethical norms. Dennis Prager does not discuss the deeper reason for this development, though I have no doubt from his other writings that he would agree that Gnosticism ultimately explains what has happened. In essence, the Western Man has divorced theology from ontology and epistemology. In terms of ontology, this methodological and substantial divorce means that our understanding of “being-ness” must end in materialism. Man is no longer spiritual in his essence. He is physiological and psychological. The religious experience is no longer revelatory of what it means to be a man. Rather, it is merely therapeutic; a poor man’s therapist for one hour per week. In terms of epistemology, this methodological and substantial divorce means that faith no longer has any connection to knowledge. Thus, we hear often the modern…

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The Importance Of Startup Political Publications: Entrepreneurship And Information

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Years ago when I was in my first year of undergraduate study at my university, I had an inkling of what I desired to do as a career outside of pure academia: political journalism. But in order to do it and make something of a living at it, I didn’t quite know where to start – politically, I was a bit of a square peg, with my socially liberal views oftentimes seen as directly contradictory to my fiscally conservative ones. And yet, a handful of smaller publications that shared my vociferously individualistic approach to political writing, and fortunately, they decided to take a chance on me. These outlets were essentially start-ups; virtual magazines without printing presses and major publishing houses behind them; backed my passionate and ingenious entrepreneurs rather than bug businessmen in overprices suits and bottom lines. Seeking the truth and shooting straight – not selling fixed narratives to a certain demographic – were the desires that drove these guys to build their own little media empires. I felt…

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Economics & History: Why This Connection Matters

in Economics/Philosophy/Politics by

In a recent article of mine, I debunked the red herring of  the “roads” argument that many modern socialists throw around. It turns out that lately this article has gotten some pretty lively responses from its critical readers. One such commenter was someone I might have expected to be on my side (politically speaking) as he was presumably a libertarian himself, but the road forked for us at economics. It seemed as if this gentleman was an adherent of the Austrian school (a.k.a. the fantasy football of economics), and he had a thing or two to say about my reasoning behind my aforementioned debunking. But before we get to that, it might be prudent to first scan briefly the shoal of my original argument: the modern socialist mantra is to call their capitalist fellows “hypocrites” for accepting such “socialist” elements of society as roads and a postal service. My rebuttal to that claim is simple enough in that these very elements of public convenience (as well as many others) predate socialism’s inception; therefore…

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How Many Democratic LGBT Activists Are Not Pro-LGBT At All

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There is a great deal of discussion in American politics regarding the LGBT crowd and their rights in society. For some time, it was the marriage debate. Do homosexual couples have a right to get married in the eyes of the law, or should they settle for lesser unions and not the same legal protections? The discussion has not been resolved, but it has taken a backseat to another debate regarding bathroom usage for transgender people. Should those who identify as an alternate gender be allowed to use a different bathroom? While the debates are complex and emotional, they seem to generally fall along the same partisan lines. Republicans typically oppose the LGBT crowd, wanting homosexual marriage banned under the Constitution, and believing that bathroom usage should be restricted to your biological structure. Democrats are more favorable to the LGBT crowd, favoring homosexual marriage and allowing those to use the bathroom that matches their identification. It is for this reason that Democrats feel entitled to the LGBT vote. But…

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You Probably Don’t Understand Gary Johnson’s Position On Abortion

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Throughout his campaign for President of the United States, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson has been attacked by the right for being pro-choice. Many see Johnson as no better than Hillary Clinton on the issue of abortion. After all, Johnson says in nearly every interview that being libertarian means supporting a woman’s right to choose. However, a more in-depth analysis of his public statements about abortion both during this campaign and in the past make it fairly clear that those who dismiss Johnson with a pro-choice rubber stamp simply don’t understand his stance. First off, Johnson has made it clear that he supports state bans on late-term abortions. According to his campaign website, he also supports parental notification and counseling requirements. Johnson claims to be personally pro-life and morally opposed to abortion, although he believes the state should not ban the procedure until after the fetus is viable outside of the womb. While he has not stated as much this election cycle, presumably as a part of his strategy…

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