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The Myth of Religious Violence: A Review of William Cavanaugh’s Book

William Cavanaugh’s "The Myth of Religious Violence" sets out to deflate the titular myth, that religion is a uniquely violent social force, both throughout history and across cultures. In doing so, he manages to critique the modern secular liberal concept of religion as a definable sociological category, and gestures towards a more holistic mode of analyzing the origins of violence in society. Read the full thing

Negative Balance of Trade? So What?

Although the topic may appear daunting, the essence of the matter is utterly simple. As a fair approximation, each international transaction, whether it be buying, selling, borrowing, or lending across a national border involves a willing party on each side—importers want to purchase goods from sellers abroad, lenders want to lend to borrowers abroad, and so forth. Each party to the transactions expects to benefit by entering into it. In a sane and just world, that would be the end of the matter. Read the full thing

Political Power-Lust Thrives in a Democracy

Under democracy, politicians are less candid about their motives; they need us to like them, and power-hunger is not likeable. But given its ubiquity throughout most of political history, can we really believe that the motive of power-hunger is no longer paramount? One of my favorite political insiders privately calls politicians of both parties "psychopaths"--and he's on to something. Rising high on the pyramid of power is hard unless the love of power fuels your ascent. Read the full thing