Ideology, Pragmatism and Bernie

It is commonplace in our political discourse to treat the words “ideological” and “pragmatic” as practically antonyms. According to the conventional wisdom, pragmatists understand that social and political change is usually gradual and incremental; they keenly appreciate the practical obstacles ...

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Americans and the Deaths of Others

Every author has an article or a story languishing somewhere in his computer that has not been accepted anywhere for publication.    One of the great advantages of having your own blog is that you can always make sure that such ...

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David Brooks: Compassion, Myopia and Paternalism

The New York Times’ David Brooks is a compassionate conservative.  I’m not being sarcastic: in contrast to many of his brethren on the right, who are neither compassionate nor conservative but mean-spirited and reactionary, Brooks really does care about people, ...

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A Brief Disquisition on Ideology and Interest

Unemployment insurance is expiring, and the Republicans in Congress seem quite happy to let that disaster happen.   One reason frequently cited for the Republican stance is their belief that unemployment insurance reduces incentives to work; in the conservative worldview, the ...

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Mandela the Communist

There is little doubt that Nelson Mandela was for a time a member of the South African Communist Party, a fact cited by some on the right as evidence that the man was no saint.  I don’t believe in saints, ...

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