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Why Demographics is not Destiny

Why Demographics is not Destiny

“Demographics is destiny” is a phrase uttered in some rightwing circles and quietly believed in some leftwing ones. In political terms, the phrase suggests either cultural or genetic determinism, or both—namely, that people of a particular culture, ethnicity, or race will (statistically) vote in a particular way. Although the highly politically incorrect words won’t leave Leftist lips, some of their common narratives can only be true if they also believe that that three-worded devil is, too. For example, in 2019, Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times wrote that “Once the heart of the...

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We’re All Intelligentsia Now

We’re All Intelligentsia Now

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, the Kingdom of Prussia was soundly defeated in multiple territorial battles with Napoleon’s French Empire. Under Napoleon, France’s revolutionary army had integrated new logistical methods into their military strategies. In particular, the French had employed Levée en masse, which was a policy of mass conscription that bolstered national unity. Prussia’s army under the reckless Frederick William II, meanwhile, had lost their once-renowned militaristic discipline. Nothing speaks like results, and in 1806, in three battles over what is now German land,...

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Physics and the Economic Calculation Problem

Physics and the Economic Calculation Problem

Throughout the nineteenth century, economic socialism was given its intellectual foundations by the Utopian Socialists such as Charles Fourier and Robert Owen, and by the ‘Scientific’ Socialists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Austrian economics was only founded in 1873, with the publication of Carl Menger’s Principles of Economics. So while the greatest economic theory was still finding its legs, the task of refuting socialism fell into the laps of the classical economists.  These economists argued that under centralized control of the means of production and provision of consumer goods to...

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Three Revolutionary Ideas

Three Revolutionary Ideas

Introduction So many ideas that we take for granted had once been considered revolutionary. Historically, common responses to founders of such ideas have been charges of heresy, ostracism, or death. Famously, Socrates was sentenced to die for “corrupting the youth”, which is a euphemism for his genius Socratic method. Effectively, Socrates was killed for popularizing the very idea of discourse—a concept now so deeply ingrained in Western Civilization that it hums unexamined in the background, silently serving as the primordial soup from which all other new ideas emerge. And its earliest...

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Economic Creationism

Economic Creationism

Creationism has lost the argument in the public square. Any biologist working to understand life-related phenomena has no choice but to take seriously Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. That is, all of the apparent design and purposefulness that we observe in the biosphere, from a bird’s wings to a shark’s fins to a human brain, came about by a long but steady series of gradual changes in unbroken genetic lineages. Amazingly, Charles Darwin (as well as Alfred Russell Wallace) discovered his elegant explanation of the biosphere’s apparent design without knowledge of the...

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The Nature of Economics

The Nature of Economics

The science of human action, better known as praxeology, is of a different character than the physical sciences¹. It is our best explanation of how creative objects such as people act in the world, and of what we can logically deduce from a few simple axioms. While physical theories, such as Einstein’s theory of relativity, can in principle be shown to be false by an appropriate experiment, the same cannot be said of praxeology. To be sure, praxeology can be made problematic by particular observations, but not of the kind that are typically presented by studies of either a left- or...

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Open Ideas

Open Ideas

If one takes the anarcho-libertarian concept of private property seriously, then there is no ‘freedom of speech’ in any fundamental sense. Rather, the only genuine rights are private property rights.1 Owners of private property may allow or forbid whatever speech they so choose on their property. On the other hand, the degree to which free expression of ideas is valued by individuals is a matter of culture. Failure to distinguish between property rights and the value of free expression of ideas results in nationwide confusion on the issue of free speech. This is manifest in the examples of...

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On Patriotic Correctness

While political correctness is typically associated with the American Left, modern conservatism has its own sacred totems that dare not be criticized. Like its progressive counterparts, the Right’s choices of sanctification fit together like an elegant jigsaw puzzle to form an internally consistent worldview. Police, Military, Bible, and Flag are all symbols of the Right—each embodying order, tradition, and Americanism to varying degrees. In response to our president’s provocative tweets, many NFL players are now kneeling during the national anthem. While many conservatives are criticizing...

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