Category Archives: Political theory

From repressive tolerance to repressive diversity

Herbert Marcuse coined the expression ‘repressive tolerance’. It took off — as well it might. It’s an important idea, providing one keeps in mind that there are very few situations in which repressive tolerance isn’t better than repressive intolerance! Indeed, showing … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory | 4 Comments

The off-ramp from reality

This post began as an ad for an artist with traditional and AI graphic design skills. If you want to apply, please be my guest. But the post also presents a nice simplification of a way of thinking. Right now … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Political theory | 6 Comments

Understanding the present by listening to the past: Walter Lippmann’s “The Public Philosophy”

One way to get beneath the surface of what’s going on is to read people who were writing about issues, as they emerged rather than in more modern times when they’d become the norm and become infused in our commonsense.  … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Political theory, Politics - international, Sortition and citizens’ juries, War and military | 1 Comment

How did the Chilean left crash their referendum?

I’ve been looking for an explainer of what’s been going on in Chile and, thanks to Brad Delong for pointing it out. Of particular interest was the way a government won 55 percent of the vote and then held a … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Political theory, Politics - international | 6 Comments

Fighting political polarisation

From this week’s Substack of mine. Thomas B. Edsall has an important writeup of research into reducing political polarisation. But to me it seems to be heading in an unhelpfully scientistic direction. Virtually all the researchers quoted examine the causal … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international, Sortition and citizens’ juries | Leave a comment

What kind of Character is Sam Bankman-Fried

A friend sent me this article documenting Sam Bankman-Fried’s now well known text exchange with Vox journalist Kelsey Piper. I couldn’t help but think of Alasdair MacIntyre’s characters. As MacIntyre put it in After Virtue: What is specific to each culture … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Philosophy, Political theory | 2 Comments

Polarisation and the Case for Citizens’ Juries

Cross posted from Quillette from 16 Feb 2019, but now behind a paywall. When a conversation is not a conversation: party political discourse in the early 21st century I It looks like liberal democracy is falling apart. The chaos of … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Ethics, Political theory, Politics - international, Sortition and citizens’ juries, Web and Government 2.0 | 6 Comments