True Liberals Are Not Conservatives

“The main point about liberalism,” Hayek wrote, “is that it wants to go elsewhere, not to stand still.” My sense is that in the last few years, elements of the right have come to appreciate Hayek’s point. They became fed up with mere holding actions and have resolved to push a “positive” program. Unfortunately, it’s a state-saturated program that ought to make genuine liberals sick.

Alito’s Challenge to Libertarians

In his recently leaked first draft of an opinion that would reverse the abortion-rights cases Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gives Americans a choice between judges who read their personal preferences into the Constitution and judges who recognize only rights that they find “rooted in [our] history and tradition” and deem “essential to our Nation’s ‘scheme of ordered Liberty.’” Is that it? Neither choice seems an adequate safeguard for individual freedom.

In Defense of Ideology

It’s been said that everyone has a philosophy whether he knows it or not. The only question is whether that philosophy is explicit or implicit, accepted with care or in a slipshod way. The same can be said of ideology. It’s an obligation of responsible adulthood to be clear with oneself about how one makes political decisions. But one way or another, everyone has a method of doing so.

Our Age of Character Assassination

I am not one for romanticizing the past because in every alleged golden age you find grumblers looking longingly to some earlier alleged golden age. Nevertheless, our own time has earned its share of criticism. For example, we live in a time when, for many, character assassination is the preferred way to rebut the people they disagree with. Why bother to painstakingly refute positions you dislike when instead you can accuse their advocates of one vice or another?