Humiliation and Herd-Think

Libertarian stand-up comic Doug Stanhope has said: “Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in.” I would only quibble with the “nothing but” part. The collectivist herd-think that is nationalism also teaches you to take offense at imagined insults that … Continue reading “Humiliation and Herd-Think”

Make America Good Again

“Make America Great Again” is the slogan for Donald Trump’s phenomenally popular presidential campaign. With it, Trump has tapped a deep well of frustration among American conservatives about the direction of the country under President Barack Obama. This longing for lost greatness especially concerns American foreign policy (although upon close examination Trump’s actual statements are … Continue reading “Make America Good Again”

The Ism That Won’t Go Away

Recent anthropological studies of the Turkana people, “a nomadic society in east Africa that lacks a centralized government,” find that they can “regularly muster armies of several hundred warriors, most of whom have never met before” by relying on fear of punishment or marginalization as the price of dissent and by exploiting kinship loyalties expected to “benefit the ethnolinguistic group.” A … Continue reading “The Ism That Won’t Go Away”

Liberty Versus ‘Patriotism’

Dozens of people have been arrested under the Stolen Valor Act, which punishes, by up to a year in jail, the wearing of any unearned military medal. It is still a crime even if no effort was made to profit from the adornment or dissembling about earning it. This law is now being challenged in … Continue reading “Liberty Versus ‘Patriotism’”