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“My folks sell me and yo folks buy me”

Kanye West, “Barracoon” and some history of African slavery

Silvrback blog imageDo you recollect the uproar caused by the musician Kanye West a couple of months ago when he said the ancestors of today’s African-Americans “chose” to remain in slavery?  Arguments bounced around the word “choice.”  What choices did slaves have? What choices do African-Americans have today? One point . . .

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July 13, 2018

Two angles on why we need the nation state

Silvrback blog imageThe two angles are from the English conservative writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, and from the economist Dani Rodrik, who, outside his technical economic writings, appears to be a conventional American liberal – horrified by Trump and so forth. Yet both, in sometimes overlapping, sometimes complementary ways, make a persuasive case . . .

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December 30, 2017

Ain't you a cute little s__t!

"Mountain Towk", the speech of the Appalachian backcountry ... "Oh ah lived in Washington DC 'bout four and a half years, 'n I'd soon as be in hell with mah back broke as live thar"...  David Hackett Fisher says of the speech of the 'Scots-Irish', or, perhaps more accurately, the descendants of the Northern British border folk who . . .

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December 26, 2017

Emancipation Day 1905 - and 'The Strange Career of Jim Crow'

Silvrback blog imageFrom the Washington Post of April 4, 1905:

“Richmond, Va., April 3 -- Thousands of Negroes observed Emancipation Day in Virginia today. The occasion resulted in an outpouring of the race never before equaled, armed with miniature United States flags and attended by brass bands.

"In addition, there was a unique feature to-night, . . .

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December 21, 2017

Walter Russell Mead on the American Political Crisis

In early 2016 historian Walter Russell Mead wrote a prescient analysis of the American political crisis that was to burst fully into the open only some months later, with Donald Trump’s victory in the November presidential election.  I vaguely recalled Mead’s brilliant description of the enormous elite interests lined up . . .

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December 16, 2017

The New World

Three English ships sail into the mouth of a river somewhere on the Eastern shore of North America. It is May 1607 ... the opening sequence of Terrence Malick's "The New World", on the shimmering swells of Wagner's "Das Rheingold".    

. . .

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November 24, 2017

Archive

All Categories: trump(9) fiction(7) immigration(7) clintons(7) film(7) democracy(7) conservatism(6) identity politics(6) nation(6) globalization(6) usa(6) american history(6) religion(5) india(5) poetry(5) historicism(5) internet(5) china(5) elites(5) globalism(4) europe(4) revolution(4) style(4) development(4) race(4) politics(4) music(4) britain(4) nation state(3) media(3) ethnicity(3) e-commerce(3) markets(3) military(3) marx(3) charles dickens(3) photographs(3) africa(3) international trade(3) scientific method(3) sanskrit(3) big tech(3) populism(3) political philosophy(3) national liberation(2) communism(2) edmund burke(2) institutions(2) karl popper(2) homer(2) epic(2) comedy(2) african americans(2) silicon valley(2) culture(2) stock market(2) women(2) slavery(2) iran(2) diplomacy(2) liberalism(2) evolutionary psychology(2) sports(2) innovation(2) free speech(2) feminism(2) monopoly(2) essays(2) racism(2) tom wolfe(1) genetics(1) new journalism(1) theater(1) macroeconomics(1) philosophical history(1) art(1) bubbles(1) manias(1) world economy(1) monetary policy(1) logic(1) cliodynamics(1) alt-right(1) regressive left(1) guns(1) antitrust(1) churchill(1) switzerland(1) foreign policy(1) james joyce(1) language(1) probability(1) j.m. keynes(1) epistemology(1) william hazlitt(1) oligarchy(1) hegel(1) family(1) industrial policy(1) anti-semitism(1) islam(1) moral philosophy(1) russia(1) dance(1) statistics(1) tradition(1) political correctness(1) marriage(1) buddhism(1) nihilism(1) lincoln(1) emotions(1) libertarianism(1) afghanistan(1) economics(1) machiavelli(1) urban(1) rural(1) bitcoin(1) blockchain(1) borges(1) working class(1) caste(1) united nations(1) multiculturalism(1) mahabharata(1) nafta(1) fdi(1) zimbabwe(1) law(1) state(1) adam smith(1) charles darwin(1) nationalism(1) mexico(1) obama(1) home

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