Why Conservatives Are Actually Pro-Government

"We are free by nature because we can become free, in the course of our development. And this development depends at every point upon the networks and relations that bind us to the larger social world."

What's the Latest?


The contemporary anti-government sentiment, which began with Ronald Reagan's one-liners on state malfeasance, reached a fever pitch with the ascendency of the Tea Party. But the modern Republican party has abandoned the intellectual conservative tradition, argues Roger Scruton at First Things. On the topic of rights, Scruton says: "We have rights that shield us from those who are appointed to rule us...[b]ut those rights are real personal possessions only because government is there to enforce them—and if necessary to enforce them against itself."

What's the Big Idea?

Government is an extension of the same ties that form small communities, indeed the kind favored by conservatives and federalists alike. Today government is a response to an increasingly complex world which small communities are often ill-equipped to grapple with. Our desire for freedom depends on stable social relationships, which the government can help guarantee: "We are free by nature because we can become free, in the course of our development. And this development depends at every point upon the networks and relations that bind us to the larger social world."

Read more at First Things

Why a great education means engaging with controversy

Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
  • If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
  • Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
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Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
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SpaceX catches Falcon Heavy nosecone with net-outfitted boat

It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
  • A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
  • A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
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