Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Human Action, originally published in 1949, is regarded as Ludwig von Mises’s magnum opus. The work is gripping and engaging, and its commentary is wide reaching. Mises intersplices his famous work of political economy and action theory (praxeology), where he considers economics as a sub-discipline of praxeology), with evolutionary science, philosophy, political commentary, and literature. … Continue reading Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Athens, Jerusalem, and Leftwing Politics

Leo Strauss was famous for his reading of Western culture, history, and politics as a division between Athens and Jerusalem. Borrowing from the Christian philosopher and theologian Tertullian, who famously bemused “What has Athens got to do with Jerusalem?”, Strauss recontextualized the question and thesis of Tertullian as one of oppositional antagonism which, nevertheless, is … Continue reading Athens, Jerusalem, and Leftwing Politics

Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Athens was undoubtedly an exceptional polity. The Athenians are evidently aware of this fact. In the speeches leading up to the declaration of war between Athens and Sparta the Athenian representatives highlight their long and noble history which had brought them up to this moment in history. The much-remembered funeral oration of Pericles equally praises … Continue reading Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

The Poison of Rousseau’s Social Contract Vision

One of the key aspects of Rousseau’s social contract theory is that, unlike with Hobbes and Locke, he really doesn’t explain why men embrace the social contract.  This is, again, because Rousseau takes the idealistic picture of humanity in the state of nature.  Man is born naturally good.  He is pure.  He is a moral … Continue reading The Poison of Rousseau’s Social Contract Vision

Liberalism and the Economic Man

What is liberalism?  What is the relationship between liberalism and economism?  Why did the Second International condemn social democracy and social liberalism, those philosophies that are often publicly proclaimed as “radical” and “socialist” by philosophical dilettantes, though not having any relationship to actual socialism?  Also, is liberalism about “natural rights” or is it actually a … Continue reading Liberalism and the Economic Man

The Myth and Lies of Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now!”

Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology. ~ Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, p. xviii.   Steven Pinker is the public face of contemporary neo-Whiggism. In the midst of turbulent transformations and discontents, rather than try to understand the predicament of modernity and its possibility crisis brought forth by the … Continue reading The Myth and Lies of Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now!”

Why Liberalism Fails

When the Berlin Wall fell, the eastern bloc “freed,” and the Soviet Union dissolved, euphoria and hubris swept the liberal West. The twentieth-century struggles against poverty, depression, racism, colonialism, fascism, and communism seemed to have proved the success of liberal democratic capitalism, or market-liberal societies, as the culmination of the movement of political conflict and … Continue reading Why Liberalism Fails

Liberalism: Freedom from Harm as Freedom from Responsibility

Liberal society—if we can call it a society—is stagnating. Moreover, it should be obvious to any observer over the “whimpification” of liberal society: liberals are weak; liberals are cowards; liberals capitulate to extremist forces; liberals are unwilling to employ the effective use of power; liberals blame other people for their problems; liberals do not take … Continue reading Liberalism: Freedom from Harm as Freedom from Responsibility