Reflections on the “Free Market” & Its Ideological Fruits

For all of the lip service paid to “citizen engagement”, the last thing that is wanted by the upper class and elites in any society— including supposedly democratic ones— is for citizens to be informed about what’s really going on in their world. The fetishization of choice, which is the central ethos of free market belief, serves as a sedative that makes the creation or continuation of community impossible...

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Farewell, Esquire?

Esquire— in my teenage years, in my early-20s, and for decades preceding my existence and my father's existence and even my grandfather's existence— was a bible for young men who wanted to impress, charm, improve (however marginally), and, most importantly, engage with society bearing an identity other than the expected TV show-stooge or meatheaded fratboy. In short, it was a magazine for young men who wanted to emerge, not slouch. And how could a magazine like that ever die?

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Feeding The Beast

Despite the many instances of groupthink-censorship that have occurred on university campuses in the past few years, we are constantly told not to take social justice-oriented student movements seriously, or if we do, to understand that "it's not really about free speech", but about some other motive not even mentioned by student protesters themselves (like "the corporate structuring of universities" or the "rethinking of what it means to be an intellectual"). At best such consolations are wishful thinking, and at worst they are diversions. The disruption of speakers invited to campuses, and the acts of coercion that occur during protests, are about free speech…

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The Origins & Differences Of Rights & Morals

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about rights and what their relation is to morality. What exactly are "rights" in the first place? Where do they come from? Are rights "fixed" universal things or are rights subjective? What is the difference between rights and moral truth? As I continue to think about this subject, it appears more and more unlikely to me that rights are "self-evident" and are given to us by a "creator". Might there be a solid case for rights being created and protected by the societies we live in? 

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Jefferson & His Enemies

To read Jefferson is not to read the archaic and irrelevant ramblings of a pile of bones. To read Jefferson, instead, is to read the warm correspondence of a curious old friend. I admit that to have such deep affinity for a man who died 165 years before I was born is, to put it mildly, strange. Normally when one thinks of heroes, role models, and intellectual father-figures or mentors, the mind travels only to the living and normally to the near. Nevertheless I do have a deep affinity for Jefferson and consider myself a disciple of the Enlightenment he held so close to his heart. Yet to speak of Thomas Jefferson in such glowing terms is to find that even he is not immune from the wrath of the Holy Order of Perpetual Offense...

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