Tag Archives: tocqueville

Tied to Your Shared Fate

[In which we conclude that Stubb's version of the monkey-rope is evil.] What is Equality? The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. What is Equity? The quality of being fair or impartial; fairness. Is there equity in the (shared, negotiated?) social understanding of equality? I read this in a recent New […]

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The Impossible Principle

Melville wrote books that could be said to be about: Christian hypocrisy in the Marquesas, authoritarian coercion, military rule, torture, the Leviathan state, labor and brotherhood, wanton slaughter for the benefit of human “profit and progress,” the fraudulence of democratic institutions, the manipulative mysteries of the priestly caste, the politics of the confidence scam, the […]

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Okay, I Guess, Whatever

Okay, I Guess, Whatever

The paradox of the mercantile culture we label “capitalism,” or probably more descriptively and truthfully for most of us, consumerism, is in its “false” interconnectedness.  At the level of production, at the level of industrialized processes, people are parts of the machinery of the economic system that serves that process.  In that sense, we are […]

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The Money Virtue As American Rational Religion

The most virtuous and honest character in Dickens’ Hard Times, Stephen Blackpool, often confronts the confusion, ambiguity, paradox, and unfairness of “interests” with an aggrieved and exasperated cry that “it’s all such a muddle.”  Even his virtuous acts of self-protection are disallowed by law, but the law is one that restricts the impoverished while it […]

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Glorifying War Shall Not Grow Old

Concerning War Movies (prompted by a conversation about Peter Jackson’s movie They Shall Not Grow Old). In J. D. Salinger’s […]

Cutting Down the Clouds

This winter they are cutting down our woods more seriously than ever,—Fair Haven Hill, Walden, Linnaea Borealis Wood, etc. etc. […]

Representative Texts from Hawthorne to Dickinson

In your daily busyness you are pressed for time to think and often choose instead anesthetization – watching any number […]

Between Hope and Defeat, History and Heaven

“God himself culminates in the present moment.” (Thoreau) What is “now” for? What if you “know” the future? Fairy tales […]

Absolute Solutions Necessary

Only two things to do: 1. zero out carbon emissions 2. exception: all technological and scientific labor exploring new solutions […]

Rachel Carson’s book had no real effect

Facing Global Climate Disruption and the End of Everything All At Once… David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth tries very hard […]