Category Archives: Political Science

Character Is Destiny — For Nations, Too

China is our geopolitical adversary, but the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius had some advice that might help us in these difficult times. He said: “Only after a person has demeaned himself will others demean him. Only after a great family … Continue reading

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Don’t “Other” Other People

Most people aren’t familiar with the idea of “othering,” but they are familiar with what it is. They’ve seen it. They’ve done it to other people, and they’ve had it done to them. To “other” a group of people is … Continue reading

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Minding Our Own Business

I’m pretty sure that the Dalai Lama quote is fake, but it’s still true. “Not my effing problem” can be a path not only to inner peace, but also to social peace. Think for a moment about what it means … Continue reading

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Hope and History

A review of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story, by Wilfred M. McClay Originally published on May 25, 2019 here. What is the purpose of history? Is it merely a record of facts—of dates and kings, … Continue reading

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A Pop Quiz About Government

We’ve got a pop quiz today, kids. But don’t worry: There’s only one question, and it’s multiple-guess. The authors of the U.S. Constitution were greatly influenced by a book called The Spirit of the Laws. It said there were three … Continue reading

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The Declaration’s Missing Word

Many recent social conflicts might have been avoided if the American Declaration of Independence had added one simple word. The Declaration’s second paragraph states the political ideals on which it was based: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that … Continue reading

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You Have Been Deceived

You have been deceived. There’s no shame in that. You might even take it as an indirect compliment. Fake psychics love to have scientists “test” their powers because scientists are easy to fool. Scientists work with observable facts, so they … Continue reading

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Utopia’s Biggest Problem

Blogger Marcus Ampe has written a thoughtful essay about utopianism. But he’s realistic about the impossibility of creating a perfect society. He wants, instead, to think about ways we can make society better. That’s a practical goal for which we … Continue reading

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Things to Know and See

In the famous words of Emil Faber, “knowledge is good.” That’s because it helps us to live successfully and happily. It’s no guarantee. And it’s not always what we want to hear. But in general, it’s better to know the truth … Continue reading

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America Will Be (More) Authoritarian

History is full of surprises, but this prediction is a pretty safe bet: In the next 10 years, America will become even more authoritarian. It probably won’t be called “America,” though that change might take a little longer. The continent … Continue reading

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