America 2.0, Part 2

When we left George and Jenny Leader’s soiree last week, the thirteen people at the dinner table were locked in intense discussions about what sort of government could have elected (that is, reelected) Lyndon Johnson, allowing him to escalate a wildly unpopular and increasingly deadly war.

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America 2.0

When I was serving in the US Army in the early 1970s I spent a lot of time patrolling in my Military Police Jeep and boring myself silly. Being a cop is a bit like being an airline pilot: hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date? (Part 7)

Last week we considered the possibility that, precisely to the extent that human equality is the most important issue facing the world, to that extent liberal democracy can claim little legitimacy.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date? (Part 6)

John Rawls, the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century, was born into a prosperous middle class family in Baltimore in 1921. He attended a private school in Connecticut and went on to Princeton.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date? (Part 5)

When the theological content of the idea [of human rights] was abandoned, nothing was put in its place. James Griffin, On Human Rights

Earlier in this series of posts we revisited the Age of Enlightenment, examining the back story of the ideas that led to the creation of liberal democracy. That’s also a good place to start to examine the ideas that are undermining liberal democracy today.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date? (Part 4)

[Liberal democracy] celebrates certain values: reasonableness, conversation, compassion, tolerance, intellectual humility and optimism. David Brooks

Nice guys finish last. Leo Durocher

As I noted last week, the American governmental system in particular, and most modern liberal democracies in general, were well-designed to manage the tension between the two most fundamental rights we have as citizens: freedom and equality.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date? (Part 3)

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. The first line of Rousseau’s The Social Contract

Even by the loose standards of his era, Jean-Jacques Rousseau lived a bizarre life.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date? (Part 2)

In the beginning all the world was America. John Locke

The most important thing to understand about the Age of Enlightenment is that it contained both a practical cast of thought and a utopian cast of thought.

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Has Liberal Democracy Passed Its Expiration Date?

Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Churchill

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Viral Investing, Part 2

Profit from folly rather than participating in it. *** Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful. *** I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it’s a little like saving sex for your old age. Warren Buffett

The true contrarian only buys when it makes him feel physically sick to press the buy key. James Mackintosh

I had a lot of response to last week’s post on “Viral Investing.” And no wonder – stocks have fallen faster this month than they did during the Global Financial Crisis or even during the Great Depression. Of the six worst trading days in the history of the S&P 500, two happened within the past two weeks.

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