Nightcap

  1. Do Korean “K-dramas” signal the weakening of America’s global cultural dominance? Ronald Dworkin, Law & Liberty
  2. The Taliban’s special units leading the fight against Islamic State Fazelminallah Qazizai, Newlines
  3. Being pro-choice Andrew J Cohen, Radical Classical Liberals
  4. The promise, and peril, of public-facing scholarship Paul Musgrave, Duck of Minerva

Nightcap

  1. Good piece on British imperial culture Ronjaunee Chatterjee, LARB
  2. How the Taliban won in Afghanistan Alec Worsnop, WOTR
  3. History’s glory, restored Spencer Klavan, Law & Liberty

Nightcap

  1. Hayekian evolutionism and omitting the nation-state Scott Boykin, JLS
  2. Progress by consent: Adam Smith was right all along William Easterly, RAE
  3. Greater Britain or Greater Synthesis? Imperial debates (pdf) Daniel Deudney, RIS
  4. Bloodletting Whitney Curry Wimbish, North American Review

Nightcap

  1. How the Afghanistan War really started Robert Wright, Nonzero
  2. The Fed’s exit strategy (in 2009) Robert Aro, Power & Market
  3. Austrian Economics for the lower classes Weiss & Nelson, L&L
  4. On liberalism’s peaceful global order Eric Schliesser, D&I

Nightcap

  1. How to leave philosophy Greg Stoutenburg, Philosopher’s Cocoon
  2. Will bourgeoisie ever rule the Chinese state? Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality 3.0
  3. Adam Smith’s three theories of the British Empire Barry Weingast, SSRN
  4. Desert and self-defense Irfan Khawaja, Policy of Truth

Nightcap

  1. Good essay on addiction Judith Grisel, Aeon
  2. The last of the fucked-up Mohicans Max Norman, LARB
  3. Adam Smith’s colonial politics Donald Winch, Cahiers d’économie politique
  4. Unsolved mysteries Daniel Barnum, Bat City Review

Nightcap

  1. Afghanistan is where ideologies go to die Sumantra Maitra, Critic
  2. Twilight of the Satyrs Charlotte Allen, Quillette
  3. The Chinese mirror Pierre Lemieux, EconLog
  4. The Tang dynasty died in Afghanistan, too Chan Kung, Diplomat

When liberal hegemons leave: Israel’s case for staying in the West Bank forever

The sight of the U.S.-trained and equipped Afghan army literally melting away over a matter of hours in the face of the Taliban assault would be bad enough; the scenes of Afghans falling hundreds of feet to their deaths as they tried to escape in the wheel wells of U.S. transport planes will endure for decades as a reminder of America’s shame.

[…] In the Israeli-Palestinian context, a number of unsurprising lines of argument have emerged. The most prevalent from the right is that this is the latest demonstration of the folly of withdrawing from territory, as it only leads to a security nightmare that will be exploited by fundamentalist terrorist groups. Afghanistan is seen as an incarnation of Israel’s experience in Gaza, where Israel withdrew and left the territory in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, only to have Hamas take over within two years and remain stubbornly resistant to being dislodged nearly fifteen years later. The Taliban’s success on the literal heels of departing American soldiers is viewed as a preview of coming attractions for Hamas’s allegedly inevitable takeover of the West Bank should Israel ever leave the territory.

There is much more from Michael Koplow at Ottomans & Zionists. Is the Israeli Right correct? The same type of disasters happened when the French and the British (and the Dutch) were forced out of their imperial possessions after World War II. The Americans, and their European predecessors, built “states: out of their colonies. These states helped locals who wanted to be helped, but these states were always weak and wholly dependent on the imperial capital for everything. Once imperial powers leave, the weaknesses of these “states” become apparent quickly. Thus, communists, Islamists, and other despotisms quickly arise in the wake of imperial exit. To make matters worse, these despotisms employ the weak “states” the imperial powers leave behind.

This is a pattern that has happened now for two centuries. This is a problem of modernity, of industrial humanity.

Here’s the thing. Here’s the libertarian alternative. It’s time to recognize that Western governance is pretty good, comparatively speaking, and helps people get out of poverty (intellectual as well as financial) if they want to. The “states” Western powers create are weak. I think the libertarian alternative should be to stop trying to make these “states” stronger, or give them more capacity as sovereigns, and instead incorporate these states into their own body politics via federation. This would address the areas where Western-created “states” are weak, such as in security/defense of sovereignty, or corruption, while also leaving open the effects that Western governance has had on these societies that have been experimented upon. All those Afghans wanting to flee has made an impression on me. I think federation is a good compromise between state sovereignty and individual freedom.

Nightcap

  1. International arbitration, 17th century style Eric Schliesser, Digressions & Impressions
  2. We are no longer a serious people Antonio Martínez, Pull Request
  3. Networked planetary governance Anne-Marie Slaughter (interview), Noema
  4. 5 O’Clockface Sharon Olds, Threepenny Review