Conservative Liberal Political Analysis Today
The controversial social analyst Charles Murray has written an important book on the unprecedented class divide in America today. The link is to an article summarizing the book's key arguments.
Before getting to what’s going on right now, I’d thought I’d say something about Murray’s general approach, which originated, as he suggests, in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
Tocqueville came to America to figure out why democracy—contrary to the fears of the recently dispossessed French aristocrats—could be so compatible with human decency and human liberty. The Frenchman discovered all sorts of features that made America exceptional—so exceptional, in fact, that it’s not so clear Tocqueville thought the American solution could be exported elsewhere.
America democracy, we would say today, works so well because of “cultural capital” that may not be, strictly speaking, of democratic origin. Freedom depends on a high respect for morality and a high level of habitual moral behavior. Liberal political and economic institutions depend on a conservative foundation.
Murray says that he Americans have been regarded “as different, even peculiar, to people around the world” in at least nine ways. It goes without saying that my comments on each way will be somewhat different from his. And I’ll only have space in this post to discuss one feature of American exceptionalism—INDUSTRIOUSNESS:
I know that everything I’m saying is questionable and that Murray's analysis is way short of perfect, and I invite your criticism.
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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