It’s bad enough when politicians kill businesses with COVID-19 shutdowns. It’s worse if they kill a business because the owner won’t give money to their friends.
A brigade of pearl-clutching, virtue-signaling, cancel-culture keyboard warriors wants you to know that Cuties (Mignonnes — it’s actually a French film) is a bad, bad movie that no one should watch and that Netflix should immediately remove from its lineup.
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.
“Most voters in six 2020 swing states,” an early September CNBC/Change Research poll finds, “do not consider either President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mentally fit to be president.”
When you undergo a medical procedure or volunteer for a research study, you’re presented with forms to sign, outlining what’s going to happen (and what bad things could happen), and expressly consenting to have those things happen. If you’re accused of rape, “he or she didn’t physically resist” isn’t an acceptable defense. In fact, express consent is the emerging standard, sometimes to seemingly ridiculous degrees (i.e. re-requesting consent at each stage of an encounter). Consent, I think we can agree, is a big deal in America today.
As America’s latest long hot summer drags into autumn, politicians and pundits are getting louder and more shrill in their denunciations of political violence. Considering the sources, those denunciations smack of hypocrisy.
In June, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order providing for sanctions against persons who “have directly engaged in any effort by the [International Criminal Court] to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States.”
“Facebook Employees Are Outraged At Mark Zuckerberg’s Explanations Of How It Handled The Kenosha Violence,” reads the headline at Buzzfeed. One such employee asks “[a]t what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?”
Grievance-based politics is nothing new, nor does America’s political “left” enjoy a monopoly on it. For proof of that latter claim, one need look no further than the case of Nick Sandmann.
It’s a meme now to call any radical mind-changing moment or idea a “red pill,” hearkening back to the red pill which awakens Neo to the nature of his machine slavery in The Matrix. Everybody has their own version of the red pill, and their own idea of what is being revealed when it is taken. I think studying history – and particularly studying the history of thought – is one such red pill.