Saturday, June 25, 2016

the circle is unbroken


"The Hamptons is not a defensible position... Very hard to defend a low-lying beach. Eventually people will come for you."

2. Jason Brennan again, and epistocracy, again.

Brennan, 2012: "Most People Shouldn't Vote"

2016: "Against Democracy"
This brings us to the central injustice of democracy, and why holding a referendum was a bad idea. Imagine, as an analogy, that you are sick. You go to a doctor. But suppose your “doctor” doesn’t study the facts, doesn’t know any medicine, and makes her decisions about how to treat you on a whim, on the basis of prejudice or wishful thinking. Imagine the doctor not only prescribes you a course of treatment, but literally forces you, at gunpoint, to accept the treatment.

We’d find this behavior intolerable. You doctor owes you a duty of care. She owes it to you to deliver an expert opinion on the basis of good information, a strong background knowledge of medicine, and only after considering the facts in a rational and scientific way. To force you to follow the decisions incompetent and bad faith doctor is unjust.

But this is roughly what happens in democracy. Most voters are ignorant of both basic political facts and the background social scientific theories needed to evaluate the facts. They process what little information they have in highly biased and irrational ways. They decided largely on whim. And, worse, we’re each stuck having to put up with the group’s decision. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who has the right and means to emigrate, you’re forced to accept your democracy’s poorly chosen decisions.

There’s a big dilemma in the design of political institutions. Should we be ruled by the few or the many? What this amounts to is the choice between being ruled by the smart but selfish or dumb but nice. When only a small number of people hold power, they tend to use this power for their own ends at the expense of everyone else. If a king holds all the power, his decisions matter. He will likely use that power in a smart way, but smart for himself, rather than smart for everybody. Suppose instead we give everyone power. In doing so, we largely remove the incentive and ability for people to use power in self-serving ways at the expense of everyone else. But, at the same time, we remove the incentive for people to use power wisely. Since individual votes count for so little, individual voters have no incentive to become well-informed or to process information with any degree of care. Democracy incentivizes voters to be dumb.

Going back to the doctor analogy, here’s the dilemma: Suppose you could choose between two doctors. The first doctor prescribes you medicine based on what’s good for her, not you. The second is a complete fool who prescribes you medicine on whim and fancy, without reference to the facts. Roughly, with some exaggeration, that’s what the choice between monarchy or democracy amounts to. Neither is appealing.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I added new tags for Herzog, and Richter and Polke and Fassbinder.

This is funny.  [The formatting at New Yorker page is terrible. I've made things clearer]

On the occasion of a complete retrospective of Werner Herzog’s films at the Pompidou Center, in Paris, Le Monde published, today, an interview with the director, which contains the following unpleasant response to a question from the critic Jacques Mandelbaum:
You’re usually counted, alongside Werner Schroeter or Rainer Werner Fassbinder, among the directors who launched the new German cinema in the nineteen-sixties and seventies. Do you agree with this? 
[WH] It’s a factual and technical coincidence. In reality, I never participated in any of their collective projects, I never shared their ideas, which I found mediocre, and I wasn’t friends with them. I grew up poor and worked in a factory, and considered them petits-bourgeois who played with the idea of world revolution and whose political analyses seemed absurd to me. At the time, I was considered a fascist for this. So I’ve always been solitary and isolated in my work.
It’s true that there was a lot of casual talk of revolution at that time; but nobody who loves the cinema remembers Fassbinder for his political views or cares very much about them. Fassbinder is an artist of enduring significance, and his “Berlin Alexanderplatz”—and not only that series—is greater than anything Herzog has done. 
And Schroeter, a true visionary who has worked more or less under the radar for forty years, knows the real meaning of professional solitude and isolation. His 1991 film “Malina” has an ecstatic ferocity that is in a different league from Herzog’s self-righteous sarcasms.
"...nobody who loves the cinema remembers Fassbinder for his political views or cares very much about them."

If you can't feel the reactionary sensibilities in Fassbinder, the taste of fascist shit, you miss the point.
Richard Brody is an idiot fop.

All art is "political". Politics has nothing to do with "intent".

Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Liberal secular modernity" is described most often as Weberian. Weber's model, the Protestant model of secularism, has failed. Secularism is inevitable.

Henry Farrell: Brad Delong is not a philosopher king.
Someone who is rightly entrusted with the authority to choose among such options is not a technocrat under any reasonable definition of the term. Instead, he or she is an enlightened autocrat – ideally a three thousand year old human-sandworm hybrid with untrammelled power, who is both wise and disinterested enough to find a solution that is to the collectivity’s long term benefit, and cruel enough to impose it, regardless of how it hurts specific people. Unfortunately, even if you buy the idea that this is politically legitimate (I don’t), the political economy of autocracy in real life is such that enlightened autocrats rarely, if ever, exist. People with untrammeled power rarely have the incentive to employ it in the collective interest. And hence, I think that Brad, although right to note that the problem stems from disagreements between different European democracies, is wrong to suggest that technocracy is the solution. It isn’t a solution, nor, plausibly, is it even technocracy.
The political world is a world of political enchantments. No one is above politics.

A well-meaning idiot in The Atlantic:  "The Meaningless Politics of Liberal Democracies. The desire for theocracy in the Muslim world can be partly understood through the failures of Western secularism."
Ben Affleck has become an unlikely spokesman for a view on Islam held by many on the American left. In 2014, the actor made a now-famous stand against Bill Maher and Sam Harris in defense of Muslims, arguing that it’s wrong to make generalizations about the religion based on ideological extremists and terrorists. “How about the more than 1 billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, and pray five times a day?” he said.

In his new book Islamic Exceptionalism, Shadi Hamid—an Atlantic contributor, a scholar at Brookings, and a self-identified liberal—calls Affleck’s declaration a “well-intentioned … red herring.” Islam really is different from other religions, he says, and many Muslims view politics, theocracy, and violence differently than do Christians, Jews, or non-religious people in Europe and the United States.

Perhaps his most provocative claim is this: History will not necessarily favor the secular, liberal democracies of the West. Hamid does not believe all countries will inevitably follow a path from revolution to rational Enlightenment and non-theocratic government, nor should they.
The last link above is to a piece by Hamid. Pushing the book on twitter he whined that people who want to argue with him should at least read the book.

My response to that tweet is the bottom on the left. After my second tweet he responded that my points were in his book, and after the fourth he responded, "OK, never mind", then he deleted all three tweets. The right is an old exchange with Dawkins.

"He liked the fragility of those moments suspended in time, those memories whose only function had been to leave behind nothing but memories. He wrote: "I've been around the world several times, and now only banality still interests me."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Eine Winterreise indeed

Caspar David Friedrich,  Two Men Contemplating the Moon, 1825-30, Oil on canvas,
 13 3/4 x 17 1/4 in. (34.9 x 43.8 cm)
Sigmar Polke, Lappländische Reise II (Lapland Journey II), 1984 Acrylic, oil, resin, pigment on canvas
 78 7/8 x 102 3/8 inches (200.3 x 260 cm)
Sigmar Polke, Druckfehler / Landschaft (Printing Error / Landscape), 1988, Resin and acrylic on fabric,
51 1/8 x 59 inches (129.9 x 149.9 cm)
I interrupted a pompous 20something art aficionado/theory-hack who was describing the work to a friend in terms of "the abject", to say that the best way to understand Polke was to think of Herzog or any well educated German man born during the war and now alone in the desert, or in the jungle, or at sea, or on the ice,  tripping on acid and screaming lyric poetry into the void. The pompous kid looked over his glasses and said, "I'm not familiar with his films."

Herzog, and Richter and Polke [see also: Kitler]

The British class system.

The billboard on the truck has been photoshopped to show British football fans in France for the European Championship.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Violence is as American as apple pie"
As I said at the end of the post, I've forgotten too much.

David Estlund

And most of it's in the paper. [there or here]

It's hard to describe how stupid the arguments are quoted below. It's hard to believe people build careers out of such shit. It's hard for me to believe; obviously I don't pay much attention.

I've been reintroduced to Corey Brettschneider. It's not fun.

Starting with Andrew Koppelman at Balkin, responding to Larry Alexander, responding to Brettschneider.

Koppelman, "Unparadoxical Liberalism"
Larry Alexander argues that liberalism is internally incoherent, because it contains a paradox: it is committed to toleration, but if it tolerates illiberal ideas and practices, it betrays itself.

The paradox does not exist. Liberalism aims to tolerate as much diversity as it can consistent with the preservation of the liberal project. It has distinctive reasons to tolerate illiberal ideas, since it aims to be adopted by the citizenry consciously and with a full understanding of the alternatives. How much diversity can in practice be tolerated is a contingent question dependent on the facts of any particular time and place. Whether domestic fascists, for example, need to be suppressed in order to avoid disaster, is a matter of prediction based on local knowledge. It is not a philosophical question.
Alexander, "Free Speech and 'Democratic Persuasion': A Response to Brettschneider"
Liberalism’s hallmark is its endorsement of certain basic freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. Yet the content of some speech, religious doctrines, and criteria of association are inconsistent with liberalism’s tenets. Speech might advocate restrictions on speech as well as the abolition of democracy, the expulsion of religious and racial groups, and so forth. So might religious doctrines. And associations might require various “illiberal” conditions for membership and might seek to advance various “illiberal” goals. I shall refer to illiberal speech, religion, and association as “illiberalism” for short.

What should be the liberal state’s response to illiberalism? If it outlaws illiberalism, its credentials as a liberal state appear to be undermined. If it permits illiberalism, it licenses Robert Frost’s derogatory quip that liberalism can’t take its own side in an argument. Either way, liberalism appears self-contradictory and incoherent. It must either betray its principles or betray itself (and thereby betray its principles). Liberalism both appears to be possible — we’ve seen it done — and impossible (it can’t be done).

That is, in brief, the paradox of liberalism. Elsewhere, I have diagnosed the problem as one that stems from the impossible-to-realize idea of evaluative neutrality that defines the liberal freedoms. I there argued that the paradox was real and insoluble.

Corey Brettschneider believes he can avoid the paradox. He thinks the key is government speech and subsidies. I believe he is mistaken. The paradox remains.
Brettschneider, from the introduction of "When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality"
Traditionally, political and legal theorists have proposed two types of responses to hate speech. Some thinkers have stressed the need for a neutral approach to rights protection. This group broadly defends the United States Supreme Court’s current free speech jurisprudence, which does not protect threats or “fighting words,” but does protect what I call “hateful viewpoints.” Hateful viewpoints are opinions that are openly hostile to the core ideals of liberal democracy. In defining hateful viewpoints, it is important to emphasize that there is a distinction between the emotion of hate and the content of hateful viewpoints. Hateful viewpoints are defined not necessarily by their emotion, but by their expressing an idea or ideology that opposes free and equal citizenship. Those who hold hateful viewpoints seek to bring about laws and policies that would deny the free and equal citizenship of racial, ethnic, or religious minorities, women, or groups defined by their sexual orientation. The neutralist approach upholds free speech and protects hateful viewpoints from coercive sanction, despite their discriminatory content, because neutralism claims that the state should not endorse any values.
Liberalism as described in all three passages above is the liberalism of ideology, as "project". "We, The Enlightened"—and though it's unsaid, "The powerful", see all the references to the asshole John Stuart Mill—need to find a just way to deal with "They, The Unenlightened".

Rationalists rationalize. They can only be answered with facts.
The New York Times,  "Cuomo to Halt State Business With Groups That Back Boycott of Israel"

Zionism as ethnic nationalism, with or without the Nakba, is illiberalism, tout court. If you want to argue that a liberal won't pick his own side in a fight, that's all the evidence you need.

"The rule of reason devolves always into the rule of the reasonable as defined by the strong."
"Democracies have freedom of speech not because governments grant it but because the government is not granted the power to take it away."
Freedom of speech means that even though powerful, self-described liberals may rationalize the defense of illiberalism—facts clouded in a haze of ratiocination—the argument will continue, so that sooner or later they may come to recognize their mistake.  And during and after, other arguments will continue.  The state is not allowed to legislate what may or not be argued, only what and how actions may or may not be taken.

I remembered Koppelman is a defender of special status for religious speech, debating Leiter.
They're both idiots. How do you separate religious from non-religious speech? American Exceptionalism, The American Dream, Cartesian Dualism, all fundamentally religious in origin. Dualism is transubstantiation. Leiter's belief in the academy is absurd. "We hold these truths to be self-evident" Truths?

Contra the pedantic academic ruling class, toleration is not Our toleration of Them, but of each other, as democracy and liberalism, as practiced and before theory, are founded in a large group of people, made up of smaller groups, coexisting. Democracy is founded in conflicts, and law is conflict resolution, not a search for truth.

Found on twitter, via the author.  "Learned Patriots: Debating Science, State, And Society In The Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Empire"
Yalçinkaya finds that for anxious nineteenth-century Ottoman politicians, intellectuals, and litterateurs, the chief question was not about the meaning, merits, or dangers of science. Rather, what mattered were the qualities of the new “men of science.” Would young, ambitious men with scientific education be loyal to the state? Were they “proper” members of the community? Science, Yalçinkaya shows, became a topic that could hardly be discussed without reference to identity and morality.

Approaching science in culture, Learned Patriots contributes to the growing literature on how science travels, representations and public perception of science, science and religion, and science and morality. Additionally, it will appeal to students of the intellectual history of the Middle East and Turkish politics.
The Ottoman intellectuals were right. Whether the author agrees I don't know. I haven't read the book. Liberalism as idea is the last of the great Modernist ideologies that sought to impose the authoritarianism of science on politics. The only form of society that will rein in the various forms of the "the research imperative", is republican.

Liberalism as cosmopolitan practice is not liberalism as ideology. I'd forgotten how stupid the academic arguments are. I searched my archives for Brettschneider's name only after I started writing.

I forget everything now.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

All of us.
"Nigel Warburton Retweeted"

Philosophers discover the primacy of experience.
I'm doomed to watch.
The Left case for Brexit.
...Last is the assumption, which seems to underlie much pro-Remain thinking on the left, that the EU is fundamentally different from the multinational trade agreements—most recently the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—that are reshaping the global economic order. While many leftists have clear and well-thought-out arguments against such trade “partnerships,” they give their unconsidered support to the EU, though it suffers from all the same failings and more.
As a consequence of these mistakes, the British left risks throwing away the one institution which it has, historically, been able to use effectively—the democratic state—in favor of a constitutional order tailor-made for the interests of global capitalism and managerial politics. As the jurisprudence of the EU has developed, it has consistently undermined standard left policies such as state aid to industries and nationalization. Constitutional structures that are largely outside the reach of citizens have, in the modern world, tended almost invariably to block the kind of radical policies that the left has traditionally believed in. The central fact about the EU, which the British governing class has never really got its head around, is that it creates a written constitution and ancillary juridical structures that are extremely hard to alter. Neither British politicians nor the British electorate are used to this, since Britain has never had such a thing, and they are treating the referendum as if it were a general election campaign, with short-term victories that could be reversed in a few years, rather than something with the long-term implications of the votes in 1788 on the American constitution.
Here’s the thing. Those voting for Brexit out of resentment against immigration are disproportionately the elderly poor whites who don’t pay much in but who benefit from those public services. A predictable consequence of them getting what they want is that the fiscal base for those services will be eroded and that either they will have to be cut or taxes will have to be increased. This is because those EU immigrants are, in fact, paying more in taxes than they are taking in services. (Actually, the UK is free-riding in a big way, as it never paid for the cost of educating and training those workers.)

When I take those political affiliation surveys, I always say I’m willing to pay higher taxes. But now the devil on my shoulder is saying “why should you pay higher taxes to replace the taxes that were paid by EU migrants? Those idiots have brought it on themselves, let them now suffer the consequences”. An ugly thought, but I’m guessing that if I’m having it then I’m not alone. The UK’s EU referendum has eroded social trust more than immigration per se ever did. It poses the question of what citizens owe to one another in pretty stark terms. If people could mitigate the need for higher taxes by accepting immigrants and they choose not to do so, why should their wealthier fellow citizens bear the cost of their choices?
Statistics show that if you are born elsewhere and later acquire American citizenship, you will, on average, earn more than us native-borns, study further, marry at higher rates and divorce at lower rates, fall out of the work force less frequently and more easily dodge poverty.

What’s curious is where this immigrant advantage is most pronounced. In left-leaning, coastal, cosmopolitan America, native-borns seem well groomed by their families, schools and communities to keep up with foreign-borns. It’s in the right-leaning “Walmart America” where foreigners have the greatest advantage.

From Mississippi to West Virginia to Oklahoma, native-borns are struggling to flourish on a par with foreign-born Americans. In the 10 poorest states (just one on the East or West Coast: South Carolina), the median household of native-borns earns 84 cents for every $1 earned by a household of naturalized citizens, compared with 97 cents for native-borns in the richest (and mostly coastal) states, according to Census Bureau data. In the poorest states, foreign-borns are 24 percent less likely than native-borns to report themselves as divorced or separated, but just 3 percent less likely in the richest states. In the poorest states, foreign-borns are 36 percent less likely than native-borns to live in poverty; the disparity collapses to about half that in wealthier states like New Jersey and Connecticut.

...There’s no easy answer. But let’s first acknowledge the obvious: Most naturalized citizens — nearly half of America’s roughly 40 million immigrants — arrived by choice, found employer sponsors, navigated visas and green cards. (We’re not talking here of immigrants who never reach citizenship and generally have harder lives than American citizens, native- or foreign-born.) It’s no accident that our freshest citizens have pluck and wits that favor them later.

But I also think there’s something more complicated going on: In those places where mobility’s engine is groaning and the social fabric is fraying, many immigrants may have an added edge because of their ability to straddle the seemingly contradictory values of their birthplaces and their adopted land, to balance individualism with community-mindedness and self-reliance with usage of the system.
The day man at the desk in my cheap hotel in London was an Iraqi Kurd, 15 year resident in the UK. He said he used to get £17 an hour, and now he gets 8. "It's the immigrants from Eastern Europe. I don't blame them. It's what happens with capital."
I read something earlier this year, in the Economist or somewhere with a similar editorial line, arguing that immigrants are Europe's the new generation of neoliberals. The author didn't use the word. Still true enough.

Friday, June 10, 2016

In reverse order, not including the goodbye.
Seth Edenbaum @ComradeVeidt · Jun 8
.@monkeycageblog If US Poli Sci exists in an academic culture where Zionism is nearly ubiquitous how will it describe Palestinian interests?
 
Seth Edenbaum @ComradeVeidt · Jun 8
.@monkeycageblog If you teach that human judgment is founded in interests before ideas, what about the interests of university professors?
 
Seth Edenbaum @ComradeVeidt · Jun 8
.@monkeycageblog If u teach the objective truth of human self-interest how do you then teach the obligation in a democracy to rise above it?

Seth Edenbaum @ComradeVeidt · Jun 8
.@monkeycageblog Scientific model, moral passivity, the non-participant observer There's no feedback loop in geology
The first tweet embedded a tweet by Shaun King.

"Wow. In spite of record voter registration in California, voting PLUMMETED after the @AP said the race was over."
He included a pic.
Correlation is not causation, and the race was over.

I'd retweeted something by Sides adding that it was the first time I'd done it without a snide comment. He responded with one and it pissed me off.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Harry Brighouse. Oxbridge philosopher, earnest utopian, friend to analytical Marxists everywhere.
"I suppose Beyoncé is off the table for VP? She’s smart, popular, articulate, hard to dislike."

Monday, June 06, 2016


I haven't used the graphic in awhile


Second post in a week on legal scholars beginning to understand the obvious. And then a push-back (historically speaking) from the pedants.

Jeremy Waldron [he of hate speech] reviews David Cole in the NYRB
“The Constitution doesn’t mean what it used to mean”—when that’s our impression, our first impulse is to blame (or praise) activist judges. But the most feverishly activist judge cannot make any changes at all until a case comes before him or her. Judges don’t just wake up and say, “Let’s change how the Constitution is understood on same-sex marriage or campaign finance or religious liberty.” They can only respond to lawsuits that have been brought, so that if one were to account seriously for the changes that have taken place in these matters, one would have to recall the resolve and tenacity of citizen litigants, the organizations they created, the energy they invested, and the strategies they pursued right across the political process.

I don’t expect to read a better account of this than David Cole’s new book, Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law. It transforms one’s understanding of the contributions of other forums—state legislatures, for example, and public opinion (at home and abroad)—in campaigns that eventually culminate in Supreme Court decisions. For not only is it citizen activists who bring cases before courts, it is their hard work that sets up a background in politics and public opinion against which constitutional change begins to seem sensible. Of course it doesn’t always work. Courts are sometimes obtusely recalcitrant or out of touch with public opinion. We can’t be confident that a majority of justices wants what the people want. And anyway, public opinion is never just one thing. Indeed its hydra-headed malleability is crucial to the campaigns that Cole describes.
“The Constitution doesn’t mean what it used to mean”, because words don't mean what they used to mean. So many search terms I could use. This'll do

From the same source (academic Twitter), later in the same day.
Achen and Bartels, Princeton's Donald E. Stokes Professor in Public and International Affairs, Emeritus, and the May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University, spent 15 years testing such theories, analyzing voting patterns and filling in an outline first sketched on a dinner napkin. The result is a book published in April by Princeton University Press, "Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government," that challenges popular conceptions of how American democracy works and lays the groundwork for a new approach.

"The upshot is that ideas don't flow up from people to parties and candidates," Achen said. "Ideas flow downward to the people. Voters have loyalties and identities that are central to understanding what happens in elections. Parties and interest groups mobilize these identities and tell people how to think about their problems, as opposed to individual people selecting politicians based on the policy positions they prefer."

That conclusion challenges what Achen and Bartels call the "folk theory of democracy," which is the idea that voters have policy preferences and select candidates based on those preferences or — in cases of a referendum — voters make policy directly based on their policy preferences.

"That really, really doesn't work," Achen said. "People don't have the time and interest to follow issues, and they make serious mistakes and harm themselves in the process."
Determinism for thee, free will for me.
The Mannerist and the Baroque exist side by side.

Obviously I haven't read the book. Blurbs refer to it as a call for a return to an appreciation of interest groups, and that would dovetail with Cole's points. But again what of the "watchmen"? Achen and Bartels are arguing for a realist understanding of the "folk", making a critique of liberal individualism as it applies to the self-understanding of the majority, but not as it applies to the elite, the authors and their peers.

I keep forgetting these books are written for people who take theories of rational action seriously as a model of behavior. People are predictable, not rational, and advanced degrees don't increase the odds.
All of us are most people most of the time

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Billie Holiday's comment about Louis Armstrong: "...he Toms from the heart".

Ali Tommed, he shucked and jived, and then played his own foil, making ironic commentary on the expectations of his white audience. He was the clown, and then he wasn't.  He made a transition without changing his role, changing the meaning of the role, but his life was one more variation on the American tragedy, a genius inseparable from the cause of its destruction.

Two bits from the same interview, uploaded by different people for different reasons

On the interviews with Michael Parkinson, at Slate
The full 1971 interview, the source of the clips above, and without the added commentary is at Dailymotion.
Parkinson remembers Ali.

Ishmael Reed in the Times
On Ali and Frazier, at AFP

Friday, June 03, 2016

Obama's U-turn on Social Security
At first, liberal groups played defense on chained CPI, accustomed to mobilizing in opposition rather than staking out a bolder claim. But the expansion movement can really be traced back to one blogger: Duncan Black, popularly known as “Atrios,” who waged an initially lonely crusade in a series of 2012 columns in USA Today, explaining why the retirement crisis was coming and how expanding Social Security represented the cleanest solution.
There are equally obvious solutions to other problems that Duncan Black won't see or accept for the same reason others didn't accept this one. Atrios and Social Security were a good fit, a problem that offered no personal conflict. And the timing was right.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

"Measuring to the mean puts downward pressure on the mean"

And now, reinventing the fucking wheel
In his provocative new book, The Tyranny of the Ideal, Gerald Gaus lays out a vision for how we should theorize about justice in a diverse society. Gaus shows how free and equal people, faced with intractable struggles and irreconcilable conflicts, might share a common moral life shaped by a just framework. He argues that if we are to take diversity seriously and if moral inquiry is sincere about shaping the world, then the pursuit of idealized and perfect theories of justice—essentially, the entire production of theories of justice that has dominated political philosophy for the past forty years—needs to change.

Drawing on recent work in social science and philosophy, Gaus points to an important paradox: only those in a heterogeneous society—with its various religious, moral, and political perspectives—have a reasonable hope of understanding what an ideally just society would be like. However, due to its very nature, this world could never be collectively devoted to any single ideal. Gaus defends the moral constitution of this pluralistic, open society, where the very clash and disagreement of ideals spurs all to better understand what their personal ideals of justice happen to be.

Presenting an original framework for how we should think about morality, The Tyranny of the Ideal rigorously analyzes a theory of ideal justice more suitable for contemporary times.
Predicting the future since 1979, maybe earlier.
All of is all the result of a focus on individualism and the need to regulate it from above, and not within. All of it begins with modern liberalism. It literally denies the role of virtue, even as an ideal. The goal is to create a system of rules that allow mediocre people to thrive according to their mediocre interests. I’ll quote Lefebvre again . “The great majority of nobles either did not know how, or did not wish, to get rich.” You could say the same thing about school teachers, but political philosophers aren’t allowed to generalize based on moral priors. You can’t begin with a desire, only with a fact, or rather with the fact of one desire as the lowest common denominator of all desires: self-interest. Saying that the state or society should educate and inculcate is a scientific and moral error, even if by refusing to teach, inculcate, indoctrinate, you are in fact doing just that. The one requirement of a philosopher or political scientist is an ethos of profound moral passivity.
five days later, more of the same
updating. back and forth.