Moral Relativism and Moral Fanaticism

What exactly is moral fanaticism?  Like moral relativism, moral fanaticism is a meta-ethical theory – a theory about moral facts and moral reasoning.  Moral relativism says, roughly, that there are no moral facts, and moral “reasoning” is just thinly-veiled emoting.  Moral fanaticism, in contrast, affirms that there are moral facts, but pretends that thinly-veiled emoting is ironclad moral reasoning.

How Three Women Sought to Sway Americans Away From Socialism

In 1943, as collectivist policies were ascendant, an extraordinary thing happened. Three women published three books that year that would jolt Americans from their socialist stupor and remind them of the fundamental American values of individual liberty, limited government, free-market capitalism, and entrepreneurship. This Women’s History Month is an ideal time to reflect on how Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand helped to catalyze the 20th century libertarian movement.

Revolution is the Hell of It: Algerian Edition

In 1968, Abbie Hoffman famously wrote a book called Revolution for the Hell of It. In 1973, this negatively inspired David Friedman to write a chapter called “Revolution is the Hell of It.” Last month, I watched The Battle of Algiers, probably the most famous pro-terrorist (or at least anti-anti-terrorist) movie in history.  If you don’t […]

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What Donald Trump Has Shown Us All

It was a fluke, really – a case of the enemy having their guard down that enabled Donald J. Trump to navigate his way to presidential victory in 2016 to begin with.  Personally, I chalk it up to overconfidence on the part of the establishment: A smug certainty that such an entrenched, politically-connected public figure as former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could easily wipe an outspoken billionaire-entrepreneur-turned-TV-personality off the map without much rigging of the system. But of course, they were wrong.

Political “Unity” is Neither Necessary Nor Desirable

“[T]o restore the soul and to secure the future of America,” President Joe Biden said in his inaugural speech, “requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity. … This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.” The bad news:  Where politics is concerned, “unity” is a pipe dream.

The Political Class: At War with Each Other and on the Rest of Us

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible,” President John F. Kennedy said in a 1962 speech, “will make violent revolution inevitable.” Nearly 60 years later, two warring groups within the American political class seem resolutely determined to make “peaceful revolution” — by which JFK seems to have meant orderly democratic decision-making — impossible.