We need a more Spock-like politics

James Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of congressmen after ascertaining they were Republicans. He wounded several people and was killed himself by Capitol police, who were present to protect House Whip Steve Scalise. Continue Reading...

Why truly free trade is also truly fair

Throughout our political discourse, we continue to hear critiques of free trade from left and right, each of them ultimately aiming to prod us closer to an abstract notion of so-called “fair” or “fairer” trade. Continue Reading...

Fusionism and Western Civ

Pope Leo XIII, writing in the midst of social crisis at the end of the nineteenth century, wisely observed: “When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang.” For the American experiment in ordered liberty, this means in large part going back to the Anglo-American tradition represented by Adam Smith and Edmund Burke. Continue Reading...

The Importance of Incompetence

An illustration of the Peter Principle. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.   Today at Public Discourse, I argue that in addition to idealism and self-interest, incompetence needs to be recognized as a more important factor in politics: [U]nless we add incompetence as a category of analysis, we will tend to view every victory for our own team as a triumph of justice or freedom or equality (idealism), and every failure the result of deep and convoluted corruption (self-interest). Continue Reading...

Charles Murray: ‘We need a cultural Great Awakening’

In response to increasing economic disruption and drastic social shifts in American life, Sen. Mike Lee recently launched the Social Capital Project, a multi-year research project dedicated to investigating “the evolving nature, quality, and importance of our associational life.” As I recently noted, the project’s first report highlights the connections between “associational life” and the nation’s economic success, stopping short of specific policy solutions. Continue Reading...

Free trade propaganda from … Communist China?

In the wake of the last presidential election, the American people appear to be fracturing and shifting on the long-held consensus about the benefits of free trade. Meanwhile, state-owned television in the People’s Republic of China is churning out pro-trade propaganda such as this (HT Pethokoukis): Yet the underlying irony is a bit overstated, I’d suspect. Continue Reading...