On Dreher’s Benedict Option

I was asked to contribute a review of Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option to a collection of responses to the work. I wrote mine addressing its fourth chapter on politics. The collection of reviews is probably not going to happen, so I figured I'd post my (rather unedited) two cents here... Rod Dreher’s newest book, The Benedict … Continue reading On Dreher’s Benedict Option

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Politics at the Limits of Facts

The earnest war being waged against the new regime of “alternative facts” in the United States is admirable. Facts, here defined as empirically valid claims, are important for governing and policy making. Yet, the turmoil around this admittedly bizarre phenomenon reveals certain assumptions worthy of consideration. Among other things, ours is a moment for thoughtful … Continue reading Politics at the Limits of Facts

Chantal Mouffe on the Common Good

As I mentioned in the last post, Chantal Mouffe looks for a "third way" between Rawls-ian individualism and (what she understands to be) Sandel-ian collectivism. Mouffe spends considerable time adapting to the communitarian critique of liberalism, claiming, "liberalism's exclusive concern with individuals and their rights has not provided content and guidance for the exercise of … Continue reading Chantal Mouffe on the Common Good

Chantal Mouffe’s Critique of Michael Sandel

There's much I admire about Chantal Mouffe's work, which I'm sure I'll write about in the future... Here I want to talk about her critique of Michael Sandel. In an article entitled "American Liberalism and Its Communitarian Critics," Mouffe provides a survey of the liberal-communitarian debate. [1] After agreeing with Sandel's critique of Rawls (laid out … Continue reading Chantal Mouffe’s Critique of Michael Sandel

George Will and the Problem with Economic Inequality

George Will wrote a recent piece for the Washington Post about inequality and the Sanders campaign. In it he claims that "the fundamental producer of inequality is freedom." Arguing this allows him to make the argument that the public outcry against current inequality levels is often just a matter of envy. Then, referring to Harry Frankfurt, Will claims … Continue reading George Will and the Problem with Economic Inequality

On Bernie Sanders and #BlackLivesMatter

Several #BlackLivesMatter activists made sure their concerns were heard in Seattle by taking over a Bernie Sander's campaign event. I've heard a number of white progressives spurn this tactic, pleading instead for support for the only truly progressive (at least on economics) candidate in the 2016 presidential race. The problem is that until now Bernie … Continue reading On Bernie Sanders and #BlackLivesMatter