Race Realism and Symbolic Conflation

My last post, in response to a race realist, was mostly written for my own amusement. It wasn’t a particularly serious post. Something about that kind of intellectual dishonesty is compelling. But I wonder how much of it is self-deception, being taken in by one’s own ideological rhetoric. I had no desire to analyze race […]

Symbolic Conflation & Empathic Imagination

I feel the impulse to take stock of my thinking, he says with a heavy sigh. I’m going to attempt the amazing feat of connecting together various strains of thought that have been mulling in my braincase these past few years. This is my way of warning you that the following is going to be […]

Symbolic Dissociation of Nature/Nurture Debate

“One of the most striking features of the nature-nurture debate is the frequency with which it leads to two apparently contradictory results: the claim that the debate has finally been resolved (i.e., we now know that the answer is neither nature nor nurture, but both), and the debate’s refusal to die. As with the Lernian […]

What the Right Fears, the Left Desires

Let us throw out a simple observation with limited detail and analysis. This is a phenomenon that seems to define the reactionary mind. And so it is more often found on the American right-wing. But it can be observed in anyone who is pulled into reaction, including those reacting to reactionaries or otherwise immersed in […]

Leftism Points Beyond the Right and Beyond Itself

Table of Contents Introduction and Summary Political Spectrum, Liberal Framework Origins: Tribalism and Pseudo-Tribalism From Axial Age to Modernity: Universalism, Egalitarianism, etc Traditional Values Are Not Culture Wars Freedom to Belong, Responsibility to Others Reactionary Right, Leftover Liberalism, and Leftist Supermajority Conclusion: Egalitarianism and Abundance Introduction and Summary Despite having conservative parents, we spent most […]

Enclosure of the Mind

“[T]he chief matter . . . being now not the fruits of the earth, and the beasts that subsist on it, but the earth itself; as that which takes in, and carries with it all the rest.“ John Locke, Two Treatises “Inclosure came and trampled on the graveOf labour’s rights and left the poor a […]

Abstract Symbols of the Reactionary Mind

The reactionary mind is obsessed with reified abstractions translated into symbolic visions and causes. This is seen with Edmund Burke’s moral imagining of the overthrow of the French monarchy (nearly a rape fantasy of the queen), to which Thomas Paine noted his lack of concern for the actual people harmed by that monarchy (more concern […]

Polarization Between the Majority and Minority

Where is the demos in democracy? What do Americans think as a people and a public? That is the eternal question in a country that was made famous by being founded as the first modern democracy. Among serious thinkers, the conventional theory of representative government has been that public opinion generally determines public policy, on […]