Conservative Liberal Political Analysis Today
Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.\r\n\r\nLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.\r\n\r\nFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.
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.
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
The controversy over whether Jesus had any siblings is reignited after an amazing new discovery of an ancient text.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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