One Man and His Dog and His Giant LED Array

by Kieran Healy on March 27, 2009

The Totalitarian Temptation and all that

by John Holbo on March 27, 2009

Brad DeLong links to Matthew Yglesias linking to Damon Linker linking to my old Dead Right post. How gratifying! I was thinking of writing it all out again, in response to Charles Murray’s rather odd AEI dinner talk. But they’ve saved me the trouble. (I would like to say, however, that I prefer the term ‘Dark Satanic Millian Liberalism’ for what Linker calls ‘Donner Party Conservatism’.)

Let me make a few somewhat fresh points about stuff in the general vicinity of the Murray speech (which was well received by conservatives. Goldberg loved it, and Douthat thought it was pretty good.)

As you’ve probably noticed, conservatives tend to argue against liberalism/progressivism by asserting (plausibly) that Robespierre, or Stalin, or Hitler did bad things; then asserting (considerably less plausibly) that liberalism/progressivism somehow equals, or naturally tends to slide into, bad authoritarianism of a distinctively modern sort. Ever since Burke wrote his book about the French Revolution, some such slippery slope argument is the Ur-argument of conservatism as political philosophy.

Suppose we sketch out that thing that it is feared liberalism/progressivism will slipperily slide into. See if you don’t agree that the one thing every conservative swears up and down that he hates in all its many works and deeds, is anything resembling the following: [click to continue…]

The Geithner plan, as viewed from Oz

by John Quiggin on March 27, 2009

My column in yesterday’s Australian Financial Review was about the Geithner Plan. It’s paywalled, but I often republish on my blog the day after (can a right like this be acquired by prescription) and I thought readers might be interested in this one.

[click to continue…]