John Rawls had good reason to be a reticent socialist and political liberal

Notes On Liberty


John Rawls: Reticent Socialist by William A. Edmundson has provoked a renewed attempt, written up in Jacobin and Catalyst, to link the totemic American liberal political philosopher with an explicitly socialist program to fix the problems of 21st century capitalism, and especially the domination of the political process by the super-rich. I found the book a powerful and enlightening read. But I think it ultimately shows that Rawls was right not to weigh his philosophy down with an explicit political program, and that socialists have yet to respond effectively to James Buchanan’s exploration of the challenges non-market decision-making – challenges that bite more when states take on more explicit economic tasks. The large-scale public ownership of industry at the core of Edmundson’s democratic socialism is plausibly compatible with a stable, liberal political community in some circumstances but it is unclear how such a regime is supposed to reduce…

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When Does Activism Turn Into Terrorism?


Green Jihad

In light of Aussie Farms’s online map of abattoirs and farms, dairy farmers are prepared for animal rights intruders and will take measures to defend themselves.

Below is an interview with Australia’s National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simpson who appeared on ABC News for an interview about the online map and the implications for the country’s farmers.

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Early 20th century global warming

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

A careful look at the early 20th century global warming, which is almost as large as the warming since 1950.  Until we can explain the early 20th century warming, I have little confidence IPCC and NCA4 attribution statements regarding the cause of the recent warming.

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Pinker responds to the critics of “Enlightenment Now”

Why Evolution Is True

On the occasion of the publication of the paperback edition of his book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, Steve Pinker has published a response to his critics (as well as other reflections) in Quillette. While that’s not the usual kind of place where Steve publishes, it’s all to the good because what other place would publish 10,000 words of reflection, reaction, and rebuttal? And Quillette is worth your attention.

As you probably know, Pinker’s book has been widely attacked, often for no reason I can discern than that people either didn’t read the book or have some psychological aversion to the facts that the world has progressed economically, morally, and in other aspects of well being. And no, Pinker didn’t ignore exigent threats like Trump and environmental degradation, and no, he didn’t limn a continuous rise in well being every year. I’ve defended…

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