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Two Epidemics in Three Chinas

Emperor Renzong, Xi Jinping’s ‘Party-State,’ and democratic Taiwan

As the coronavirus pandemic that began in China makes its way among us, with a modest cough and a friendly handshake,  it brings to my bookish mind another epidemic in that Silvrback blog imagecountry, the one that sets in motion the classic Chinese novel “The Outlaws of the Marsh.” That was in the reign of Emperor Renzong (AD 1022-1063), the . . .

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April 05, 2020

New York Times unsure about democracy

The New York Times editorializes on the Italian election: “Demagogues win as Europe’s populist tide sweeps Italy.”

Silvrback blog imageDemagogues?  In its modern pejorative sense, a demagogue is one who seeks power by exploiting the prejudices of the mob. But in the original 5th century BCE Greek usage a demagogue could also be simply . . .

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March 07, 2018

Votes for the Dead

In 500 words or less, explain why the following statement is either right or wrong, both right and wrong, or, perhaps, neither right nor wrong:

Silvrback blog image"I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time...

. . .

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February 17, 2018

'Is Donald Trump a threat to American democracy?'

Over at Bloggingheadstv, Glenn Loury spars with his old friend Harold Pollack on what threat if any Donald Trump poses for American democracy.

Loury is a professor of economics at Brown University. He was famed as a ‘black conservative’ in younger days but seems to have converged to independent centrist or center-right . . .

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February 14, 2018

Remarkable poll numbers on immigration: why Democrats folded on the government shutdown

Little wonder Chuck Schumer and the Democrats folded on the government shutdown. Look no further than this Harvard-Harris poll released yesterday:  the public supports Silvrback blog imagethe sort of immigration deal President Trump wants by a margin of around 2 to 1.   

Specifically: “Would you favor or oppose a congressional deal that . . .

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January 23, 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

“19 Things We Learned from the 2016 Election” – I am scared

Silvrback blog imageStatistician Andrew Gelman and political scientist Julia Azari have an interesting discussion paper on “19 Things We Learned from the 2016 Election”.  The 19 things are grouped under Nominations and Campaigning, Polling and the News Media, How Voters Make Decisions, and The US Political Environment.  Here are a few that . . .

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December 25, 2017

Archive

All Categories: trump(14) usa(9) identity politics(8) democracy(8) fiction(7) elites(7) clintons(7) pandemics(7) conservatism(7) film(7) china(7) race(7) internet(7) immigration(7) politics(7) american history(7) nation(6) globalization(6) historicism(5) europe(5) poetry(5) religion(5) britain(5) style(5) ethnicity(5) india(5) africa(4) communism(4) big tech(4) populism(4) media(4) nation state(4) globalism(4) development(4) macroeconomics(4) music(4) revolution(4) slavery(3) charles dickens(3) sanskrit(3) scientific method(3) international trade(3) photographs(3) liberalism(3) free speech(3) sports(3) racism(3) e-commerce(3) statistics(3) african americans(3) political philosophy(3) silicon valley(3) markets(3) military(3) economics(3) world economy(3) marx(3) minorities(2) innovation(2) comedy(2) feminism(2) culture(2) obama(2) essays(2) women(2) iran(2) monopoly(2) homer(2) epic(2) national liberation(2) evolutionary psychology(2) karl popper(2) state(2) law(2) monetary policy(2) stock market(2) diplomacy(2) edmund burke(2) institutions(2) james joyce(2) multiculturalism(2) moral philosophy(2) nationalism(2) disasters(2) law-and-order(2) russia(1) mahabharata(1) journalism(1) guns(1) working class(1) blockchain(1) bitcoin(1) borges(1) united nations(1) rural(1) urban(1) antitrust(1) churchill(1) game theory(1) genetics(1) foreign policy(1) afghanistan(1) j.m. keynes(1) epistemology(1) mathematics(1) art(1) william hazlitt(1) oligarchy(1) lincoln(1) social media(1) emotions(1) science(1) taiwan(1) switzerland(1) nihilism(1) anti-semitism(1) islam(1) buddhism(1) machiavelli(1) caste(1) fiscal policy(1) marriage(1) political correctness(1) civil liberties(1) tom wolfe(1) new journalism(1) probability(1) tradition(1) philosophical history(1) hegel(1) industrial policy(1) libertarianism(1) language(1) mexico(1) charles darwin(1) dance(1) adam smith(1) theater(1) family(1) zimbabwe(1) fdi(1) nafta(1) bubbles(1) manias(1) logic(1) cliodynamics(1) alt-right(1) regressive left(1) home

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