American leaders and their loyal media pundits love to sit in judgment of other countries’ election, declaring them fair or rigged according to their seemingly meticulous standards. In fact, the real standard is that the regimes “we” like hold free and fair (enough) elections, while the regimes “we” dislike don’t. What about regimes “we” like that hold no elections at all, like Saudi Arabia? They are forgotten whenever the loveliness of democracy is the topic of discussion.
In recent years I have been becoming increasingly interested in and excited about the prospect of people exploring and colonizing the planet Mars. A friend asked me recently about what I find so compelling about this idea, and I thought that I’d elaborate some on it here.
What I’m going to say about Chandran Kukathas’s latest book, Immigration and Freedom, does not constitute a book review. Think of it instead as a book alert. Even having read only the preface and a couple of chapters, I am confident it is a book that fans of liberty will be interested in. You can tell by the title.
The reason leaders of bad organization do so much evil is not that they couldn’t do good if they wanted to. It’s that people who rise to the top of bad organizations are usually bad themselves.
A few weeks ago YouTube suggested that I watch a 1988 episode of William F. Buckley’s PBS TV show, “Firing Line,” featuring Ron Paul, who at the time was the Libertarian Party candidate for president. I had to chuckle right at the top when Buckley introduced Rep. Paul by striking an ironic pose: while “libertarians specialize in non-organization…,” Buckley said, “to run for president of the United States, which Dr. Paul is doing on the Libertarian ticket, does require organization, to be sure uncoerced.” (Emphasis added.) Buckley flashed his trademark impish smile while his guest remained silent looking bemused.
Most skilled American workers are now at least somewhat afraid to criticize fashionable left-wing views. They feel quite fearful to do so on the job, and fairly fearful to do so on social media. One tempting way to quell this high anxiety is to pass new laws against political discrimination.
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.
Episode 445 welcomes Anderson Silver to the podcast to chat with Skyler on the following topics: the French language in Canada; the cultural diversity of Montreal; his journey to self-reeducation; publishing 3 books on Stoicism; how Stoicism saved his life; our physical needs versus our mental and spiritual needs; how we each have a spirit, or soul; Stoicism and parenting; the prevalence of unidentified philosophy, or people learning and choosing the wiser course of action; human capacity for good and evil; striving toward clarity in dire situations; emotions make for bad advisors; Vulcanism versus Stoicism and Virtue Ethics; Stoic insight on New Year’s resolutions; and more.
Episode 437 welcomes John Vespasian to the podcast to chat with Skyler on the following topics: living all over Europe; the worldwide COVID-19 moment; the abundance of irrationality in the world today; the timeless commonplace of information manipulation; remaining rational in the face of extreme opposition; defining rationality (logical conclusions from relevant facts); developing a rational mentality; never accepting a single point of view or opinion; everyone has their blind spots and biases; the problem with positive thinking; among his many published books is 10 Principles of Rational Living, including: Think Like an Entrepreneur, not a Crusader, Accept the Inevitable Hassles of Life, and Acquire Effective Habits; the importance of keeping a lifetime perspective when making decisions; and more.
Episode 036 looks at two Stoic topics: the first from Epictetus who wrote, “But what is philosophy? Doesn’t it simply mean preparing ourselves for what may come? Don’t you understand that really amounts to saying that if I would so prepare myself to endure, then let anything happen that will? Otherwise, it would be like the boxer exiting the ring because he took some punches. Actually, you can leave the boxing ring without consequence, but what advantage would come from abandoning the pursuit of wisdom? So, what should each of us say to every trial we face? This is what I’ve trained for, for this my discipline!”; and the second from r/Stoicism, a post by Throwawaymykey9000 who started off with, “Whenever you find yourself upset, pay close attention to what false appearance/expectation you had that led to the discomfort. This is how you grow as a Stoic.”