When Don Boudreaux makes sense, he makes a lot of sense:
By what logic are humans correctly understood to be unable successfully to centrally plan and arrange the monopoly provision of steel, ink, ball bearings, automobiles, breakfast cereals, cauliflower, catering for weddings, and other goods and services but are able successfully to centrally plan and arrange the monopoly provision of the good “money”?
Each encounter with the phrase “government shutdown” sparks a detonation of euphoria. It could get quite distracting.
More here (with useful chart, and some acute comments).
Rick Moran, trying to stir up some gloom, makes the whole situation even more delicious: “And the hell of it is, the hard right wing in the House that has been pushing this futile strategy are not going to be blamed for the cave-in. It will be those who are deemed insufficiently supportive of a cause that never had a chance to succeed who will probably suffer the consequences.”
— Federal cardiac arrest and the accelerated disintegration of the GOP? Bliss was it in that twilight …
Does open acknowledgement of a firm commitment to deception count as honesty, or the opposite?
German ministries insist that it is important not to detract from the effectiveness of climate change warnings by discussing the past 15 years’ lack of global warming. Doing so, they say, would result in a loss of the support necessary for pursuing rigorous climate policies. “Climate policy needs the element of fear,” Ott openly admits. “Otherwise, no politician would take on this topic.”
Matt Sigl of Vocativ is writing an article on the Dark Enlightenment, both the ‘thing’ and the ‘manifesto’ (I’ve already told him why this description is misleadingly over-generous). His questions suggest a sincere attempt to understand what is going on.
Among the lines of inquiry he is pursuing (my compressions): Why Now? What’s the ‘Cathedral’ business? How does the Dark Enlightenment relate to transhumanism/futurism, libertarianism, fascism, white supremacism, anti-semitism, social Darwinism? Where is the Dark Enlightenment going? How does it respond to criticisms that (a) capitalism is to blame, (b) everything’s basically OK?
I have tried to respond as objectively as possible, whilst attempting to be clear about those answers which express my own idiosyncratic decisions regarding unsettled/disputed matters. Predictably, I have emphasized the Moldbuggian origins of the Dark Enlightenment / Neoreaction as a definite cultural phenomenon (distinct from pre-existing right-libertarian, traditionalist, and paleo-reactionary streams of thought).
Readers who think they can help Matt get this portrait right are encouraged to make relevant points here.
ADDED: Foseti on ‘Why Now?’
ADDED: Handle on progress.
ADDED: Mike Anissimov (via Twitter): “Nothing good will come of a neoreactionary dialogue with Matt Sigl. … I predict we’ll regret this in the end.”
Words of wisdom from Obama (via):
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
(Privately via zombie central.)
As a symptom of things hitting the buffers, this Michael Walsh article is vaguely encouraging. It speaks unreservedly about the “collaborationist Republican Party” but eventually loses itself in the pseudo-conundrum:
How a political party cannot sell Freedom and Liberty and Leave Me Alone to a formerly free people is beyond me …
Could it perhaps be because democratic party politics has exhaustively demonstrated its incompatibility with “Freedom and Liberty”, “Leave Me Alone”, and a “free people”?
Rough Triangles analysis from William Lind:
… we think of jihad as something waged by Islam against non-Muslims, but quite often it has been between one Islamic sect and another. Now Islamists are once again declaring jihad on each other. In June the New York Times reported on an influential Sunni cleric who “has issued a fatwa, or religious decree, calling on Muslims around the world to help Syrian rebels… and labeling Hezbollah and Iran” — both Shi’ite — “enemies of Islam ‘more infidel than Jews and Christians.'” David Gardner’s Financial Times piece tells of a “conclave of Sunni clerics meeting in Cairo [that] declared a jihad against what it called a ‘declaration of war on Islam’ by the ‘Iranian regime, Hezbollah and its sectarian allies’.”
How should the West react to all this? With quiet rejoicing. Our strategic objective should be to get Islamists to expend their energies on each other rather than on us. An old aphorism says the problem with Balkans is that they produce more history than they can consume locally. Our goal should be to encourage the Muslim world to consume all its history — of which it will be producing a good deal — as locally as possible. Think of it as “farm to table” war.
All we should do, or can do, to obtain this objective is to stay out. We ought not meddle, no matter how subtly; if we do, inevitably, it will blow up in our faces. Just go home, stay home, bolt the doors (especially to refugees who will act out their jihads here) …
Handle has an excellent post up on this, referencing Nydwracu, who has made a momentous project out of it. It’s huge, and old, and quite impossible to summarize persuasively. It’s also impossible to avoid, especially for the Outer Right.
Steve Sailer told a joke that I’m going to mangle. A monstrous alien invasion assails the earth, and people have to decide how to respond. The conservatives say, “What’s there to think about? We have to get together to defeat this thing.” Liberals respond: “Wait! They probably have good reasons to hate us. It must be something we’ve done. Until we work out what that is, we should prostrate ourselves before their grievances.” Finally the libertarians pipe up: “Do they believe in free markets?”
An obvious quibble arises with the libertarian punch-line: if only. Libertarians have predominantly demonstrated an enthusiasm for alien invasion that is totally detached from any market-oriented qualification. As their argument goes — the alien invasion is the free market. (We’ll need to return to this, indirectly.)
Some acts of national-demographic self-mortification stretch the imagination beyond its breaking point:
The Minneapolis–St. Paul area has one of the world’s largest Somali populations outside Mogadishu, with more than 80,000 residents believed to have originated from Somalia.