MOVE Bombing: The Story of How Philadelphia Became “The City That Bombed Itself”

The case of MOVE is an unusual one, because they cannot simply be shoe-horned into the usual “they were just minding their own business and then the cops came in with overwhelming force” narrative that more or less applies at Ruby Ridge or at Waco. This is not to imply that the actions taken by the Philadelphia Police Department were appropriate – there were children inside the MOVE townhouse. However, it is important to note that MOVE had a history of violence.

Social Salvation vs. Individual Salvation

From one era to another of human history, human energies seem to be dedicated either to social salvation – think “progress” – or individual salvation – think “enlightenment” or “sanctification”. Sometimes this takes religious guises, other times more secular ones. We live in a time that, despite its frequent pandering to individual *lusts* and frequent spastic efforts to find “enlightenment” (yoga, New Age, etc), does not really have a structure that encourages individual salvation.

Do Intellectuals Make Life Any Better?

There’s a path my life could have taken – could still take – toward the life of an intellectual. I’ve just about always been interested in one or more of the favorite intellectual subjects of philosophy, history, politics, theology, economics, psychology, and sociology (whatever that is). I’ve always liked to have big opinions on things. And I’ve always preferred toying with ideas to toying with numbers or machines. But I’m beginning to think this is an aptitude worth resisting. It’s not obvious to me that intellectuals as such bring a whole lot of benefit to the world.

The Leiter-Caplan Socialism Debate

All First World countries are already social democracies.  Their governments continue to allow markets to provide most goods and services, but they heavily regulate these markets, heavily subsidize favored sectors like education and health, and heavily redistribute income.  The U.S. is moderately less social democratic than France or Sweden, but the idea that we have “market capitalism” while they have “social democracy” is hyperbole.

Helping the “Homeless”

Years ago I met a homeless guy named Paul. He was nice enough, but it was clear he wasn’t “all there”. He had left his home in Kentucky and traveled in his car (I’m assuming it was his) to western Colorado. There he spent the nights in his car, which he kept parked in the back-country, and walked into town almost every day.