Category Archives: Political Philosophy

It’s Hard To Believe It, But The French STILL Educate Their School Kids

Education, Europe, Intelligence, Kids, Political Philosophy

Still on the topic of education (previous post is “St. John’s: The Most Rigorous College In America & What Every Young Mind Needs”):

What’s of interest in the Economist article, “The End of the French Intellectual: From Zola to Houllebecq,” are these tidbits:

Attendance rose this year at the annual Paris book fair. Regional literary festivals are thriving. Philosophy is still a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
And last year the French elected a president who has a degree in philosophy and can cite Molière by heart. France may have lost its great intellectuals, but it has certainly not lost its intellectualism.

So French kids must still study philosophy. I wonder if it’s a rigorous course? And President Macaroni knows some good stuff, aside globalism and multilateralism. Molière is brilliant. So funny.

While there is pressure to dumb down, the French have not yet replaced history with social studies agitprop.

I’ll leave you with this hint at how good French schooling may be: “France is one of the countries where a pupil’s social background is one of the strongest predictors of his or her subsequent achievement.”

The French have not yet done the educational leveling we in America do to ensure that 43% of marks handed out in university are As.

Other than the educational information, the writer of “The End of the French Intellectual: From Zola to Houllebecq” disdains France’s few “reactionary essayists” and thinkers (namely right-leaning thinkers).

So much so that, having mentioned his disappointment at the rise the likes of “Éric Zemmour, a reactionary essayist, and Alain Finkielkraut, a formerly left-wing philosopher turned critic of multiculturalism”—the writer concludes that “France may have lost its great intellectuals.”

Better good schools for the kids, than the likes of that lefty degenerate, Mr. Sartre.

UPDATE II (5/14): Some Tests Of Left-Liberalism

Communism, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Old Right, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy, South-Africa

Leftists often parade as rightists, especially among libertarians. But they let things slip.

The hallmarks of a consummate leftist are:

1. He’ll rabbits on about the evils of McCarthyism, when Joe McCarthy was an American hero.

2. He’s wont to compare “bad” countries—the lefty usually chooses Israel—to apartheid South Africa, showing a knee-jerk leftist sensibility and absolutely no clue about apartheid.

Please add your litmus tests for leftism, which, naturally, includes most conservatives.

UPDATE I (4/20):

3. Hating on James Burnham (and his ilk) under the guise that he was once a Trotskyist. Not all former Trotskyists (like Michael Medvend) are worthless and worse. Burnham was on the wrong side before converting to Old Rightism, but in “Suicide of the West” and “Managerial Revolution” he came to embody the best of Old the Right. Monumental works. Of course Jeet heert, editor at the New Republic, would hate Burnham. All lefties do.

UPDATE II (5/14):

Monarchy:

That’s another thing that distinguishes left from right libertarian: the right kind (all 10 of us) likes monarchy, doesn’t cheer the prospects of a left-wing, tacky, radical feminist, Megan Markle, dismantling it. Read “Mobocracy Vs. Monarchy.”

Trashing Populism: Dim-Bulb Academic Vs. Deplorables

IMMIGRATION, Multiculturalism, Nationhood, Political Economy, Political Philosophy, Populism

The NEW COLUMN, “Trashing Populism: Dim-Bulb Academic Vs. Deplorables,” exposes populism-bashing elites like Kevin D. Williamson, formerly of National Review, who said this about about Deplorables: “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die”:

An excerpt:

To say that academic elites don’t like ordinary folks is to state the obvious.

To them, Lanford, Illinois—the fictional, archetypal, working-class town, made famous by Roseanne and Dan Conner—is not to be listened to, but tamed.

A well-functioning democracy depends on it.

Taming Fishtown—Charles Murray’s version of Landford—is the thread that seems to run through  a new book, “The People vs. Democracy,” by one Yascha Mounk.

You guessed it. Mr. Mounk is not an American from the prairies; he’s a German academic, ensconced at Harvard, and sitting in judgment of American and European populism.

If only he were capable of advancing a decent argument.

“The number of countries that can plausibly be described as democracies is shrinking,” laments Mounk (“Populism and the Elites,” The Economist, March 17, 2018):

“Strongmen are in power in several countries that once looked as if they were democratizing … The United States—the engine room of democratization for most of the post-war period—has a president who taunted his opponent with chants of ‘lock her up’ and refused to say if he would accept the result of the election if it went against him.”

Elites ensconced in the academy are likely selected into these mummified institutions for a certain kind of ignorance about political theory or philosophy.

Plainly put, a chant, “lock her up,” is speech, nothing more. This Trump-rally chant might be impolite and impolitic, but on the facts, it’s not evidence of a “strongman.”

Notice how, deconstructed, nearly every utterance emitted by the technocratic and academic elites turns out to be empty assertion?

Even the subtitle of the book under discussion is sloppy political theory: “Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It” implies that democracy is the be-all and end-all of liberty. Quite the opposite.

America’s Constitution-makers did everything in their power (except, sadly, heed the Anti-Federalists) to thwart a dispensation wherein everything is up for grabs by government, in the name of the people. …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN IS “Trashing Populism: Dim-Bulb Academic Vs. Deplorables.” It’s available also on WND.com, Constitution.com, the Unz Review, and others.

NEW: John Quincy Adams is Turning in His Grave

Ancient History, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, John McCain, Political Philosophy, War

THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS “John Quincy Adams is Turning in His Grave.” Read it unabridged on WorldNetDaily.com, The Unz Review, and the Mises Institute’s Power and Market Blog, where it’s titled Trump’s Call to Putin.” This week’s column appears on Townhall.com, too, where it’s slightly abridged.

And excerpt:

“This is just a truly astonishing moment coming from the White House podium,” tweeted MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt. Like the rest of the media pack-animals she hunts with, Ms. Hunt had been fuming over President Trump’s telephone call to Vladimir Putin, congratulating him on winning another term as president.

Reliably opposed to a truce were party heavies on both sides. Sen. John McCain joined the chorus: “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” he intoned.

Another Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, told a reporter testily that he “wouldn’t have a conversation with a criminal. I think Putin’s a criminal. What he did in” Iraq, what he did in Libya … Wait a sec? Remind me; was it Putin or our guys who wrecked those countries? So many evil-doers on the world-stage, it’s hard for me to keep track.

“When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results,” sermonized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I’m always reminded of the elections they have in almost every communist country.”

Actually, what the International Election Observation Mission found in Russia’s presidential election of March 18 was far more nuanced. Why, in some ways the Russian elections were very American: In the difficulty dissident candidates have in getting on the ballot, for example.

Ask Ron Paul or all those anonymous, aspiring, independent, third-party candidates about the US’s “restrictive ballot access laws and the other barriers erected” by the duopoly to protect their “de facto monopoly in America,” to paraphrase Forbes.com.

As for jailing journalists, frequently for life: Not Russia, but an American ally, Turkey, is the world’s biggest offender. But hold on. Isn’t Trump turning on the Kurds to pacify the Turks? Maybe it’s something the Saudi’s said. Go figure.

What doesn’t change is the interchangeability—with respect to any peaceful overtures made by President Trump toward Russia—of the Stupid Party (Republicans) and the Evil Party (Democrats). And yet, the same self-interested individuals protest, periodically, that Trump’s recklessness risks plunging the country into war.

The president wants to cooperate with the Russians. International confrontation being their stock-in-trade, the UniParty won’t countenance it. Politicians in both parties have not stopped egging Mr. Trump on, rejecting the détente he seeks with Russia, and urging American aggression against a potential partner. Yet, incongruously, in October of 2017, a Republican Senator, Bob Corker, saw fit to complain that the president was “reckless enough to stumble [sic] the country into a nuclear war.” …

… READ THE REST:  “John Quincy Adams is Turning in His Grave” (Townhall.com) is also on WorldNetDaily.com, The Unz Review, and the Mises Institute’s Power and Market Blog, unabridged.