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Hazony’s Tradition-Based Society Is a Form of Social Engineering

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At any moment in time, the world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. Manners are missing; ethics are being eliminated; culture is corrupted; social attitudes are supercilious; virtues are vanishing; literature is mostly licentious; industry and commerce are materialistically crude and callous; and humaneness is hamstrung by greed and selfishness. It’s the end of civilization. And there are always those who have projects and plans to fix it and set the world right, almost always through government directing action. Walt Whitman’s Criticisms of “Fallen” America The fears and concerns about social conditions and their solutions heard today have been expressed many a time in the past, both more distant and closer to our own time. For instance, the famous 19th-century American poet Walt Whitman (1819-92) expressed such disenchantment about the United States in his 1871 essay, Democratic Vistas: Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States.… ...

Immigration Control Follies

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Sometimes the debate over the decades-long immigration crisis becomes amusing. In a July 26 editorial entitled “Trump’s Wall Gets America Nowhere on Border Security,” which takes the Trump administration to task for its cruel, brutal, destructive, and failed immigration enforcement measures, the New York Times writes, “There must be a way to house the migrants, accelerate the hearings and protect the border with respect for the dignity and rights of these desperate people.” That’s funny! There must be plan to make America’s system of immigration controls work! There just has to be a plan. Somewhere out there, somebody has got to know how to make this system work. Obviously those smart people on the New York Times editorial board aren’t among them. Because if they had that immigration plan, they would have presented it in their editorial. But surely there are immigration experts out there somewhere with powerful computers that can come up ...

Conservative Nationalism Is Not About Liberty

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For almost 200 years there have been two political movements in opposition to the liberal political philosophy of individual liberty, free markets, and constitutionally limited government: socialism and nationalism. They both have called for reducing the individual to a cog in the machine serving a wider collectivist good. Given that socialism has been making a political comeback, it is not too surprising that there is a resurgent call for a new American nationalism. During July 14-16, 2019, there was a conference held in Washington, D.C., devoted to the theme of “National Conservatism.” Some of the leading lights of various wings of the American conservative movement delivered talks on a revived American nationalism that would replace “the excesses of libertarianism” and the current identity politics of the political “left.” Nations, Not Individuals, as Social Building Blocks Not too surprisingly, journalists across the political spectrum took notice of the event, and reported on what was said and proposed for this new American nationalism. From ...