Imagine you’re a professor somewhere. You here rumors of the creation of a new Office of Student Property Security. “Whatever,” you think. Yet before long, you’re summoned to a brand-new mandatory training session run by certified officers of Student Property Security. At this session (in-person back in the old days; now Zoom of course), they give you a tortoise-paced 90-minute Powerpoint presentation on the student property crisis and the appropriate faculty response. And the whole spiel can be readily summarized in a single commandment: “Don’t pickpocket your students.” To me, such a training session would be insulting, pointless, and unhinged.
Inspired by a few recent posts, several friends have asked me if I’ve finally “woken up” to the great political threat of wokism. In particular, they’re hoping that I’m ready to at least back the American right as the clear lesser of two evils. I fear my response is: It’s complicated. From a global point […]
Friends of freedom routinely defend the right to do wrong. “If you’re only free to do good things, what freedom do you really have?” Yet on reflection, this sorely underrates the value of freedom. Yes, the freedom to do bad things is important. Much more important, though, is the freedom to do good things that sound bad.
The fact that many people refuse to do what works is a flimsy reason to humor them. And it is a terrible reason to endorse clear-cut errors like, “They just can’t do it.”
As far as I know, intolerant, thin-skinned, anti-intellectual educators have been around for… well, forever. What has changed is the Orwellian nature of their reaction to dissent.
A few months ago, Mike Huemer published a pithy defense of business in general, and big corporations in particular. Since I’ve made similar arguments in the past, my admiration for Mike’s essay is no surprise. Yet as I read, counter-examples and complexities sprang to mind. When is business unresponsive? When is government responsive? And why?
“Western civilization is being forced step by step into a state of civil war by the rising assaults of a revolutionary movement known as [redacted].”
Most research on the economics of discrimination focuses on race and gender, but Becker’s framework works equally well for political bigotry.
The economic analysis of politics goes by many names: political economy, rational choice theory, formal political theory, social choice, economics of governance, endogenous policy theory, and public choice. Each of these labels picks out a subtly different intellectual tradition. Each tradition expands our understanding of the world. My favorite, though, remains public choice.
What’s afoot? Orwellian doublethink of the highest order. Sure, the hated 1950 Loyalty Oath seems far less onerous than the new Diversity and Inclusion Vow. But the people who refused to sign the 1950 Oath were heroes standing up for freedom of conscience. The people who question today’s orthodoxy, in contrast, are hate-mongers who need to be excluded from high-skilled employment.