• Sean II

    That Palmer piece is yet another case of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Parody. For anyone who doesn’t make the jump:

    A guy writing under the flag of Cato finds three main threats to liberty: 1) Identity politics, 2) Populism, 3) Islamism.

    The joke of course being: 2) is what we got stuck with because Catotarian ideology says we have a moral obligation to make problems 1) and 3) worse.

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    • geoih

      So, not kill the messenger because you don’t like the message, but kill the message because you don’t like the messenger?

      • Sean II

        No, this is more like a case of “roll your eyes at a courier from the pharmacy that poisoned you when instead of bringing the antidote he comes across with a nice post hoc description of your symptoms”.

        • King Goat

          Sean, it’s clear you don’t like Cato or the approach of most of the OP writers here. What’s mysterious is why you so regularly come to a cite which you consistently find to have fare so disappointing that it borders on parody and contribute your disapproval. It’s like that liberal guy who thinks Limbaugh’s wrong on everything but never misses a show and calls in to tell him how wrong he is every day.

          • Sean II

            …says the guy who stalks my comments, on principle.

          • King Goat

            Answering with projection is interesting.

          • Sean II

            Well, that’s actually a pretty amusing analogy. I give props.

            It fails on one key point though: in this particular diner the barbs of the food critic are more popular than the cuisine of the chef and his defenders.

          • King Goat

            I’ll grant that. It’s an interesting phenomena that ‘left libertarian’ website comment sections often draw more people critical of that approach than supportive. I’m not sure why. Perhaps, other than a handful of libertarian academics and their funders, there is no real ‘left libertarianism’ (libertarianism’s ‘shot in the arm’ moments were after all reaction to the New Deal in the 30’s and reaction to Goldwater, and especially his stance re the Civil Rights Act, in the 60’s). Perhaps other movements, like what people lazily call the ‘alt right’ find the comments sections of libertarian websites convenient platforms to speak their minds without fear of censorship (libertarians are rightly famous for liberal sense of tolerance of even illiberal ideas). Who knows. But food critics that hate Gyros regularly showing up at Alexandros’ Gyro Heaven to denounce cucumber sauce and lamb meat is a bit odd, and being the majority of the customer is passing strange.

          • Sean II

            Sometimes menus drift, chefs get a little pretentious, substitution of ingredients doesn’t quite work, etc.

            When I started coming here, I did so out of hunger for non-doctrinaire libertarian thought. I wanted an alternative to the Rand and Rothbard crowd with their lunatic conviction that all questions can be answered by bleating out a few magic axioms, in a world as free from dilemmas and trade-offs as any communist utopia.

            I was also especially drawn to the bleeding heart dimension, because it seems very important that we, the type of people who prosper so well under conditions of liberty, should reckon with the consequences that policy visits upon others.

            And hey, it’s not my fault that project has been gradually pushed aside in favor of “who you tryin’ to convince” signaling on social issues and immigration.

          • King Goat

            That’s sensible.

            For myself, I’m a big fan of the key insights of Haidt’s work, which itself is taken largely from Hume, that reason is essentially passion’s bitch. People have passions, leanings, predispositions, from their personalities, experiences, what have you, and then they (sometimes) try to justify them with some kind of philosophy. Every political movement or grouping will have at its base a ‘passion’ that makes certain political policies or talk appeal more or less to them. Then there’s always some intellectuals in these groups that will try to systemize all this, but it’s bound to fail, as a system of reason on just that criteria, because that’s not what is at its heart. In fact, the attempt to systemize it leads to bizarre applications and ideas which just don’t have any real reflection in the movements, empirically.

            In the end, I don’t think the typical person who finds the movement we today call libertarianism attractive is going to be much of what we call a ‘bleeding heart.’ Maybe a group of intellectuals think that’s ‘really’ where some of the axioms and principles associated with the movement historically and politically take one, but think the result is going to be a minister without a church, so to speak.

          • Theresa Klein

            I think libertarianism has evolved during a time period when American society was evolving in terms of race relations. Old school libertarianism was more sympathetic to white racism on issues like public accomodation laws, which is consistent with those times. ‘Left-libertarianism’ is in part an attempt to divorce philosophical libertarianism from that alt-right/paleo-libertarian camp and bring it into a race-neutral sphere of public discourse. In other words, to articulate libertarian principles in a way that appeals to all racial groups and doesn’t dog-whistle to white racists. And it has been fairly successful in some ways – particularly raising the status of open borders advocates within the movement.
            I think the discomfort is that the alt-right types see that they are being left behind by the way libertarianism is progressing, that libertarianism is less and less of a home for them. To me, that’s a good thing. It means libertarianism is becoming more in tune with prevailing social attitudes on race which makes it less marginalized, more mainstream, and more capable of appealing to mainstream Americans. It’s a lot easier to sell ideas about economic liberty if it doesn’t come attached to a creepy guy who keeps interrupting the discussion to talk about racial IQ differences.

          • Sean II

            Libertarianism is not on the cusp of going mainstream. It’s receding from a fairly unimpressive peak hit during the late 1990s.

            The next 20 years are going to be brutal.

          • Theresa Klein

            It seems like you’re upset that this non-doctrinaire version of libertarianism didn’t dovetail neatly with your beliefs about immigration policy, and a few other social issues. I’m not convince the flaw is with them, and not with your pre-existing beliefs.
            Perhaps you are like an epicurian paleo dieter at a vegan restaurant. You like the veganism for the raw food and novelty, but you keep complaining that there’s no meat on the menu.

          • Sean II

            Funny you should mention. Most vegans end up reverting to meat. Because they get sick without it, you see. Something to do with evolution.

            The very thing I’m always begging everyone not to ignore.

          • King Goat

            I wonder if most vegetarians in India revert to eating meat.

          • Sean II

            Depends on when they got there.

            The ones that broke off from other Indo-Europeans 5,000 years ago seem to do okay on the local diet.

            The ones that moved there from Ohio in the 1970s, not so much.

            Be careful messing around with such questions Goat. Your worldview starts falling apart quickly the minute you notice any human evolution happening after 50k ya.

          • King Goat

            Looks like ‘evolution’ following culture at best there.

          • Sean II

            “Looks like ‘evolution’ following culture at best there.”

            An even more dangerous idea, from your point of view. According to you guys that’s not supposed to have happened.

            Been missing meetings lately?

          • King Goat

            You guys? The guys that think culture is an especially powerful variable for a host of dependent variables?

          • Theresa Klein

            Why is it so important to you to prove there are innate differences between certain human sub-groups? If the government is supposed to treat everyone the same regardless of race or ethnicity, then it shouldn’t make any difference policy wise. It only becomes an issue if the government is in the business of handing out benefits based on ethnic group membership, and then if differences exist it almost becomes a justification for giving handicaps to people who had the bad luck of being born with the wrong genes.

          • Sean II

            Because the truth is always worth knowing.

            And in this particular case, because it has a massive impact on policy.

          • Theresa Klein

            What policy impact is that? If we say the government ought to treat everyone uniformly, regardless of which group they belong to, then how could it impact policy?

          • Sean II

            “If we say the government ought to treat everyone uniformly, regardless of which group they belong to, then how could it impact policy?”

            Equal treatment + unequal people = unequal outcomes.

            The Left has always been right about that.

          • Theresa Klein

            So there are unequal outcomes. So what?

          • Sean II

            Unequal outcomes produce conflict. Especially when they track visible group boundaries.

            The conflict frequently produces bad policy.

            Get enough bad policy, things start to really suck.

            That’s so what.

          • Theresa Klein

            None of those things are inevitable.

            Differences in outcomes can be addressed through non-governmental means.

          • Sean II

            Then why do they keep happening?

          • Theresa Klein

            What do you mean “keep happening”?

            First of all, thus far, there is no race-specific wealth redistribution in America. Black people are poorer than whites, they have unequal outcomes, and essentially we’re NOT doing anything to correct that, notwithstanding a wee bit of tinkering around the edges.
            For the most part policy merely aims to ensure that any black people who have the ability have sufficient opportunity to succeed, that they aren’t treated like inferiors according to your “cheap heuristics”. That’s about it.
            So “it” hasn’t happened once yet.
            And I continue to wonder why you care so much. Are you worried a black person is going to take your job? Do you really think your taxes are going to go up to give money to black people?

            Or are you worried that if you don’t hire a black man the government is going to fine you ? You want to be free to use your “cheap heuristics” to keep black people out of your restaurant and don’t want to be prosecuted for that? I’m just curious in what way you think you will be harmed.

          • Sean II

            The net transfer of wealth from white to black over the past 50 years has been enormous.

            If we stopped that tomorrow the results would be disastrous.

            And by the way, black people don’t buy that “equality of opportunity” bullshit for a minute. They know how that works out for them, and they don’t like it one bit.

          • Theresa Klein

            So, let me get this straight, you think you would be way richer than you are now if it weren’t for all the wealth transfers to black people and you’re mad about that. You think that black people ought to be even poorer, but at the same time you think that engenders inevitable conflict, which you propose to solve by telling black people that they are inherently inferior so they should just accept their unequal lot in life. You care so much because you’re mad that you can’t afford the BMW you would otherwise own if black people weren’t so uppity.

          • Sean II

            Now you’re just embarrassing yourself.

            Have you considered: maybe that’s because you ran out of reasonable arguments awhile back?

          • Lacunaria

            No, that is not straight. Surely, you are not even trying at this point. You are just being incredibly insulting using typically twisted leftist identity arguments.

          • King Goat

            Everyone that has kids knows there are innate differences between people. My daughter does better at piano lessons than my son. But every parent also knows that if both want to play piano you get them both lessons, and they both get better at piano from them.

          • Salem

            Of course evolution follows culture, and your example of veganism is exactly on point. Unlike other omnivores, humans can’t eat raw meat. Why? Because of evolution subsequent to the (cultural) invention of fire.

            See also differential rates of lactose intolerance vs pastoralism.

          • Sean II

            Here’s what a legit example of culture driven evolution looks like:

            Culture: “Hey fellas, we’re getting slaughtered out here. Literally. Let’s move our herds toward those super tall mountains over there.”

            Evolution: “If you insist. Just know that many of your people will die.”

            Culture: “Yes, I see your point. In fact we ran out women the other day and had to start sleeping with these weird-looking locals.”

            Evolution: “Interesting. Maybe we can do something with that.”

            Culture: “Take your time. At this point we’re kinda stuck here.”

            (a few decamillenia pass, cut to)

            Evolution: “Congrats, you’re Tibetans.”

            But when Goat et al. speak of “culture=>evolution”, they seem to think it means “just head on up to 10,000 feet, wear whatever funny hats they got there, and you’ll get used to it in a flash.”

            Sometimes, I wish they’d try that.

          • Theresa Klein

            Strangely, the more racist the alt-right gets, the more sympathetic I become to Black Lives Matter. This whole backlash against political correctness is proving that political correctness exists for a real reason.

          • Sean II

            Crazy alternative: you could just let the facts decide…

          • Theresa Klein

            Facts about what? It seems to me that the emergence of the “alt-right” has revealed the fact that there REALLY WAS a lot of white racism in society, which sort of justifies the feelings of victimization that racial minorities have been expressing.

            And more than that, because it’s now clear that there really is a lot of white racism, I realize that PC was never aimed at people like me. It was aimed at THEM.

            It’s true there are some leftists who try to use it to suppress any sort of dissent, but there really are people who would openly discriminate against minorities if they could, there really are white people who would try to put blacks in their place if they could do so openly, if it was socially acceptable. And because of that I can see a certain subtext in political dialogue that I didn’t see before. It was always there, hidden in code phrases sometimes. The problem is that many minorities, understandably, have trouble telling between the racial dog whistles and code phrases and the legitimate policy disagreements, especially because white people who *aren’t* aware of the language of subtextual racism might be using them unintentionally.

            So it’s a good thing that the alt-right is out in the open, because now those of us who don’t want to be associated with them, who want to distinguish our arguments from theirs, can identify the racists we have been harboring in our midst and begin to separate ourselves from them.

          • Craig J. Bolton

            Nice that some people get it. Of course, people like Sean II are so blatant that its hard not to get it.

            Step 2: Start realizing that those “conservatives,” who really have nothing to do with an interest in liberty, are still largely setting the agenda among “libertarians.” For instance, take a look at the last 30 or so FB posts by FEE and Liberty.me.

          • King Goat

            Whining about being oppressed by what’s seen as political correctness has indeed become its own p.c. type level thing. Oh, now people don’t want me telling my Jewish and Muslim co-workers Merry Christmas, when will the harrassment of us Christians by the p.c. police ever end!

          • Theresa Klein

            I’m thinking more of the “how dare you call me a racist! I only want to keep out brown people because they are congenital socialists!” types.

          • Lacunaria

            Unless you are really only interested in strawmen, that should probably be:

            Keep out brown people from country X because they are statistically socialist.

            Or more generally:

            Keep out less preferred immigrants based upon statistical correlations, even if that preference most highly correlates with race, nation, or religion.

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    • Theresa Klein

      Where do you get the idea that CATO advocates making 1 and 3 worse?

      • Sean II

        Identity politics is an utterly predictable consequence of demographic change, which in turn is an utterly predictable consequence of porous borders.

        Islamism (of the kind that gets close enough to hurt you) is the version of that problem you get when instead of bordering Mexico you border MENA.

        • Theresa Klein

          There was a lot of demographic change in America up through and into the 20th century without identity politics. Identity politics only became a thing in the latter half of the 20th century and was largely an outgrowth of a tactic the left invented to pit racial minorities against capitalism by associating capitalism with racism and white supremacy – i.e. that global capitalism was a form of “Eurocentrism”, “western cultural imperialism”, etc. The argument that identity politics is inevitable, humans essentialy tribal, etc, is really just the so-called “alt-right” falling for the left’s propaganda on the topic – embracing the idea that western individualist capitalist democracy is “white” and “european” and cannot (or shouldn’t) be adopted by non-white non-european culture.
          To put it another way, if the alt-right is correct that non-whites are just inherently more socialist, so America shouldn’t let them in, then maybe socialism really is a good workable system for non-whites – it’s okay for the CHinese to be communist because communism comes naturally to asians. Again, I think this whole idea was invented as a tactic – it has no basis in any sort of science. There is no socialism gene. There is no innate cultural tendency toward socialism. And non-whites are completely capable of integrating into and adopting the values of a western liberal democracyt.

          • Sean II

            1. “There was a lot of demographic change in America up through and into the 20th ”

            Yes, what a crazy kaleidoscope. You had Northwest Europeans being joined by North Europeans. Later by Central Europeans. Then including some Southern Europeans and oh so daringly, Eastern Europeans.

            All the variation you can dream, as long as it come from one particular 3,500 mile span in a world that is 25,000 around.

          • Theresa Klein

            What about the Chinese who were brought in to work on the railroads? Been here for over 100 years. And the Native Americans, many of whom intermarried with early settlers, and Hispanics who populated California and the Southwest before Americans conquored the territory (or do they count as Southern Europeans in this version of History)? Where did Tex-Mex come from? Nevermind that other large non-European group comprising a large percentage of the colonial population.

          • Theresa Klein

            Side note: It occurs to me that without all the non-white influences, America would be a really boring place to live.
            No more middle-eastern restaurants or hookah bars.
            Can’t listen to Jazz because that’s black people music.
            No more cheap Chinese take-out joints. Without all those early Chinese immigrants we wouldn’t have them.
            No more Karate or Aikido classes.
            What the heck would happen to New Orleans without black and Creole influences?
            Or Florida without the Cubans?
            Los Angelas would be called ‘City of Angels’. San Francisco would not have a ‘Mission’ district.

          • Sean II

            “It occurs to me that without all the non-white influences, America would be a really boring place to live.”

            No doubt. But again this is one of those pesky matters of degree.

            Zero immigration is clearl bad, because boring.

            Unlimited immigration is clearl insane, because eventualy you get a Trojan Piñata loaded with Mexican attitudes to free speech (no!) and corruption (si!)

            Hmmm. What could the solution be?

          • Theresa Klein

            That’s a new one. I’ve never heard that Mexicans are anti-free-speech before. I’m not too sure they like corruption either.

            The argument is usually made that political institutions that Latin Americans inherited from Spain (incidentally a Western European country) are responsible for the particular pathologies Latin American countries have with political authoritarianism and corruption. But take the people away from those institutions and there’s no reason to suppose that people will bring those pathologies with them, or they will wither over time without the Spanish political institutions that created them.

            Also I haven’t seen any evidence that Hispanics in California and Texas and other border states have actually brought with them any of those problems. California’s government is not becoming more similar to Mexico’s government due to the presence of Hispanic immigrants.

          • Sean II

            1. “I’ve never heard that Mexicans are anti-free-speech”

            Go be a journalist there. See how it goes.

            2. “The argument is usually made that political institutions that Latin Americans inherited from Spain…”

            Right. The corruption in Mexico was implanted by Spain, which totally explains why the corruption in Mexico (CPI rank 100) is much worse than that in Spain (CPI rank 31), fully 95 years after independence.

            That makes a lot of sense, Theresa.

            3. “But take the people away from those institutions and there’s no reason to suppose that people will bring those pathologies with them.”

            Now you’re just messing with me. No one could possibly still believe that.

            4. “California’s government is not becoming more similar to Mexico’s government due to the presence of Hispanic immigrants”

            Yes, it most certainly is. California is a one-party state choking to death on jobbery and public debt, due for a bailout any time now, with a growing chasm of social inequality where a rich group of East Asian and European ancestry towers over a submerged population of peonized Mestizos.

            It doesn’t get much more Latin America than that.

          • King Goat

            “Right. The corruption in Mexico was implanted by Spain, which totally explains why the corruption in Mexico (CPI rank 100) is much worse than that in Spain (CPI rank 31), 95 years after independece”

            Is the idea of a career bank robber (mis)raising a kid who later commits a murder unfathomable to you?

          • Sean II

            In such a case, I’d ask about the mother’s family.

            Which happens to be the correct answer here as well.

          • Theresa Klein

            You do realize that Spain’s government has changed since colonial times right? And maybe it has progressed more than the governments of it’s former colonies.

            Yes, it most certainly is. California is a one-party state choking to death on jobbery and public debt, due for a bailout any time now, with a growing chasm of social inequality where a rich group of East Asian and European ancestry towers over a submerged population of peonized Mestizos.

            The rich group of east asians and whites are the one’s responsible for California’s government, not the Hispanics. California’s government is mainly the fault of white progressives. If it was anything like Mexico, they would be electing macho men like Trump, not a pussy liberal like jerry Brown.

          • Sean II

            Theresa, you’re putting out more and more hissing, less and less actual signal.

            You keep throwing in shit about confederate flags, pickup trucks, uppity blacks, macho Trump, the alt-right, etc. It all seems to suggest you’re having this conversation with someone other than me.

            The worse possibility is: you simply cannot conceive of a non-malicious reason why someone might be interested in demographics, heredity, etc.

            But if that’s true, I’m the least of your problems. You should be out fighting the entire field of psychometrics and academic testing, not to mention the rolling juggernaut of genetic science.

            Now on to the specifics, such as they are:

            1) The government of Mexico today neither resembles the government of Spain today, nor that of Spain 100 years ago. You’re theory is falsified, so change it.

            2) California is indeed a one-party state because it doesn’t have enough Republicans. And a key part of the reason for that is a large Hispanic population that leans heavily left.

            3) The last couple Mexican presidents have been decidedly un-macho. But in policy terms they have plenty in common with Moonbeam.

          • Theresa Klein

            1) is not true. Mexican legal codes go back to spanish civil law. (As opposed to English common law in the US) It’s one reason why there is more corruption there. These are the sorts of political institutions I am referring to.

            3) Is evidence that Mexico is getting more liberal. Post-NAFTA a rising middle class in Mexico moved the country away from the long-term PRI rule, which is how PAN (Vincente Fox Calderon) got elected. Mexico has always been merchanitilist , going back again to it’s Spanish heritage, so Corporate Statism is nothing new, and it’s not like that isn’t exactly what Trump is proposing anyway, so no real difference from American whites.

            Who does Donald Trump better resemble ? (A) Hugo Chavez, or (B) Jerry Brown ? Seems like it’s white people in the US who are into electing caudillos lately.

            2) The poor showing of Republicans in California isn’t due to the Hispanic vote.
            Support for Republicans is low among all demographics in California and has dropped even more among whites than among Hispanics. There is a 26 percent gap in favor of the Democrats among Hispanics, but that is similar to many other states including Florida.

          • Sean II

            1) “Legal codes”? That’s funny. Because in a corrupt society legal codes are precisely the thing that everyone ignores.

            2) Again you struggle with quantity and differences of degree. Attend to that. Such differences hold the key to many important questions.

            3) Dead wrong. Romney actually beat Obama among California whites in 2012. By 8 points! Trump beat Hillary among whites there by 15 points.

            But for its unusual (and recently transformed) demography, California would be a red-leaning swing state with a couple uber-liberal cities.

          • Sean II

            “What about the Chinese who were brought in to work on the railroads? Been here for over 100 years. And the Native Americans [etc.-]”

            You have a real problem with innumeracy. Lot of conversations with you go like:

            Me: “A seems to become a chronic problem at quantity X.”

            You: “What about that one time B caused the same problem?”

          • Theresa Klein

            You’re making an argument that all the demographic change in America prior to the mid-20th century came from white Europeans. I’m pointing out that is false.

          • Sean II

            No, you’re having trouble grasping the difference between most and all.

            And you especially struggle with the quantity known as “too small to matter”.

          • Theresa Klein

            So you’re saying that Chinese Americans and Hispanics had a trivial impact on the culture of California ?

          • Sean II

            See how you had to narrow things down to one state, in order to avoid talking nonsense?

            The unit of analysis here is the entire US, as it existed circa 1925, after the big experiment with open (mostly to just Europeans) borders.

            And on that level, Chinese immigration was negligible. Hispanic too…until the past 30-40 years.

          • Sean II

            2. “There is no socialism gene. There is no innate cultural tendency toward socialism.”

            You’ll be eating those words whole inside of ten years.

          • King Goat

            Hitler was certain socialism ran in the blood of Jews. And he could really point to the disproportionate number of Jews involved in socialist/communist movements. Jews today are reliably ‘progressive’ voting blocks, and Israeli government has many socialist tendencies…

            I guess Sean should conclude, like Hitler, that this is just in the genetic make up of Jews.

            For my part, the wacky idea that Jewish history of being oppressed + Jewish religion stressing empathy with such oppression + the exhalation of the teacher, or Rabbi, in Jewish communities for historical reasons (Jews couldn’t revere military heroes because many countries discriminated against them there) = Jews will be disproportionately involved in intellectual movements aiming to help the oppressed. Crazy, I know.

          • Theresa Klein

            If there is a socialism gene, white people have it in at least as great proportions as everyone else. Karl Marx was a white guy. So was Lenin.
            The whole communist philosophy is a white invention.

          • Sean II

            “if there is a socialism gene, white people have it…”

            Well of course they do.

            Whoever said they didn’t?

          • Sean II

            3. “I don’t see a rise in tribalism among Asians, or Latin Americans, or Africans, or really any group except culturally conservative whites in Europe and America.”

            Dumbest comment I’ve ever seen from you.

            The rest of the world never stopped being tribal. It’s hard to manage “a rise in tribalism” when you’re already a rounding error from 100.

            The only people on earth that ever got much away from that number are Europeans and their diaspora.

          • Theresa Klein

            If the rest of the world is so tribal why are they so eager to adopt our clothing styles, listen to our music, watch our movies, and ultimately absorb our cultural values?

            There is really on one culture having a virulent anti-Western reaction, and that’s Islam. And even that’s not exactly tribal in nature – Islamism is pan-Islamic without regard to race. It’s a religious, not a tribal movement.

          • Sean II

            Overcoming tribalism isn’t about blue jeans and iPhones. Those are just material trappings.

            Indeed nobody loves the gadgets of Western civilization more than the people who hate its philosophical guts.

            Overcoming tribalism is about seeing interpersonal conflicts in terms more complicated than My Team vs Theirs.

            Most of the people on earth have never done that.

          • Theresa Klein

            All of those places , except perhaps Arab Muslim countries, *are* adopting it’s philosophical guts. Institutions like ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are legally enshrined nearly everywhere, along with at least the idea of the Rule of Law (even if it isn’t always followed). Arranged marriages are going away. The caste system is officially banned in India. Even Chinese communism can be seen as a broad adoption of Western values – it swept away fuedal class hierarchy much as it did in Europe. Japan’s constitution was written by us according to a western model.

            I’ll repeat that’s there’s really only ONE culture having an allergic reaction to Westernization.

          • Sean II

            Sorry, but that’s just a repetition of your previous mistake: conflating technology with liberalism.

            China is not liberal. Africa is not liberal. The Muslim world is not liberal.

            But hey, that’s only half the world population right there.

          • Theresa Klein

            Having equal justice under law written into a constitution based on British parliamentary democracy doesn’t count as liberal? What does? They watch our TV, they emulate our lifestyles, their governments are based on our governments, they import our philosophy and adopt it as their own, but they’re not liberal. What counts as liberal ? Do they need to start driving pickup trucks and waving confederate flags?

          • Sean II

            “They watch our TV, they emulate our lifestyles..:”

            This is true.

            “Their governments are based on our governments, they import our philosophy and adopt it as their own…”

            This is utterly ridiculous bullshit.

          • Theresa Klein

            I’m not talking about powdered wigs. I’m talking about the fact that their constitutions and the structure of their governments and institutions are literally based on western principles of governance.

          • King Goat

            Wow. You’re all about treating people differently based on what Team they’re on (with team being defined by ‘statistically significant higher/lower mean X’).

          • Sean II

            I’m sorry you find it confusing, but the only sure way to avoid a society defined entirely by tribalism is to be careful who you let in.

            The big dose brings disease, the small dose brings inoculation.

          • King Goat

            We have to sacrifice freedom to save it.

          • Sean II

            We have to sacrifice some small aspects of freedom to save the all important rest of it.

            Well, yes.

            Amputation saves lives.

          • King Goat

            We’ve got a broken nail here, quick, the gigli saw!

          • Sean II

            4. If you’re gonna define anyone who recognizes groups differences as alt-right, then brace yourself for a massive growth in alt-rightism.

            Better idea: kill the frog memers right now, by taking that issue away from them.

          • Salem

            But there *was* a lot of identity politics during the large-scale 19th and early-20th century immigrations to the US. The Know-Nothings, Blaine Amendments, ethnic party machines, etc. James Michael Curley, to give one obvious example, was surely doing identity politics, even if it wasn’t called that at the time.

          • Theresa Klein

            true, but somehow we never gave into the idea that tribalism was inevitable. We embraced the idea that all individuals are created equal. We enshrined “Equal Justice Under Law” in our institutions. We never decided that people were incapable of integrating based on their racial group.

          • Salem

            You did what now? Those were the days of Jim Crow, Chinese Exclusion Acts, and worse.

            I’m the first to say that today’s tribalism is a problem, but let’s not sugar-coat the past to make the pleasant seem worse by comparison.

          • Theresa Klein

            Well, I guess I would say that the “identity politics” of the past isn’t the same as today’s identity politics. There was racism and tribalism, but it wasn’t as organized into race-specific interest groups, and it didn’t have significant classes of intellectuals who were willing to justify it as a good thing.

          • King Goat

            The leading ‘identity politics’ thing in the U.S. is and has been about blacks, and that has less to do with porous borders or immigration (I guess you could count being brought here in chains immigration) than it does the shabby treatment of blacks.

          • Theresa Klein

            Yes, and the alt-right is proving that black people have been telling the truth all these years. Maybe all that talk of “microaggressions” is because there really are a large group of white people who really do say things to black people that are intended to be subtle insults.

          • King Goat

            Agreed, except there’s nothing subtle about Sean’s philosophy.

          • Sean II

            My philosophy?

            You still couldn’t pass a Turing test on that.

            Thanks to your habit of spazzing out whenever you hear certain trigger words, you actually know very little about what I believe.

          • King Goat

            You’re just so misunderstood, by so many! If only there were something you could do about that…

          • Sean II

            Naw, man, most people seem to understand me rather well. The few that don’t can be a bit loud though.

            In any case, take the test.

            See if you can describe my position on immigration. Feel free to use the obvious shortcut.

          • King Goat

            Sorry, not up for your coy games. Feel free to use your words to, I dunno, tell people what your positions are.

          • Sean II

            Just guess for christ’s sake.

          • RJL

            This is why you need your own blog.

  • j_m_h

    Didn’t real the Palmer piece but did see his three points. I’m just wondering if anyone else sees 3 largely as a subset of 1 — which then also begs the question about radical political Catholics/Christians.

  • The Palmer piece is nothing more than a string of assertions with no supporting evidence He seems to think that name-dropping intellectuals who he claims to be the source of intellectual heft for the policies he appears to despise will suffice as an argument. Nope.