Category Justice

Why I Think Totalitarianism Matters Today

The deepest foundation of my critique of totalitarian succor – yes, succor – is the simple fact that, of the people I grew up around, the most impressive, self-possessed and contented were almost all born in the United States before 1930. As a consequence, each of them lived through the Great Depression. The males were […]

Why It’s So Hard to Combine Goodness and Honesty

I was reading Bertrand Russell’s “History of Western Philosophy” and got to his analysis of Socrates. Russell has a number of amusing insights into the man, but my favorite is this idea that Socrates’ primary value was as perhaps the first systematic philosopher of bullshit-detection. The Socratic Method, though of limited use in formal, mathematical […]

The Tragic Heroes of 2020

The last year and a half saw two major crisis – COVID19 and the breakdown of the rule of law. COVID itself was – conspiracy theories aside – almost certainly a naturally occurring infection that jumped from a wild species to humans. Its spread was aided by freedom protesters and conspiracy theorists, eager to fight […]

So Much Bathwater

One of my happiest memories occurred around 1998 when the family and I went onto the back porch at sundown. My dad peeled sections of grapefruit with a folding knife and passed the chunks to my mom, my sister and me. The sky turned the most flamboyant shades of purple and orange as the sun […]