BC’s weekend reads

  1. Dank Federalism
  2. What About Capitalism? Jürgen Habermas’s Project of a European Democracy
  3. The IDF gets leaner as its enemies evolve (the US should do the same, by the way)
  4. A moderate defense of extremism in defense of liberty
  5. Why I lean libertarian
  6. Backlash grows to Schengen backlash

Go Broncos

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3 thoughts on “BC’s weekend reads

  1. I’m glad you highlighted the Ilya Somin/Will Wilkinson debate, but i just found the whole thing so damn confused. I’m not a libertarian (or an Objectivist) but I ended up leaning more toward Somin than toward Wilkinson. But the real problem is that the terms “moderation” and “extremism” are left undefined throughout. Extremism in the pursuit of clarity is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of muddle is no virtue.

    In that respect, at least, I think Ayn Rand’s analysis of “extremism” makes more sense than anything that either Somin or Wilkinson are saying. As she puts it, ” ‘extremism’ is a term which, standing by itself, has no meaning. The concept of ‘extreme’ denotes a relation, a measurement, a degree….It is obvious that the first question one has to ask, before using that term, is: a degree–of what?…Measurements, as such, have no value-significance–and acquire it only from the nature of that which is being measured” (Rand, Capitalism, pp. 196-97). The nature of what’s being measured is the one thing that neither Somin nor Wilkinson discuss (though Somin certainly comes closer). Which is why the debate they’ve having is relatively pointless.

    Wilkinson treats his youthful encounter with Ayn Rand as nothing more than that. If he took a closer look at what she said, I think he’d find that there’s more there than he remembers.

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