Weekday Reading #8

The Loss of the Ennobling Principle (The PostLiberal Order)

MacIntyre’s excellent thesis is that we have turned the concept of dignity into something for which it was not built, and we’ve turned away from an objective account of justice which Cicero defined as “giving each his due.” The paradox is that we’ve lost both justice and dignity in the migration of meaning where dignity shifts from something socially established by familial and nobiliary bonds to something inviolably equal in all. We’ve managed to trade ancient ennobling principles for the thinnest gruel of “dignity” used to secure subjective rights in a tyrannical war of all against all.

The abuse of justice by the prosecution in the case against Kyle Rittenhouse is as good an example as one can find — whether one looks to the badgering prosecution that ends in a panic attack, or the trigger finger on that rifle aimed at jurors, we find the very gestures which reveal to us our problem: the standard which is seen has become not justice but the power to condemn.

Lockdown on non-vaccinated people enacted in Austria (The Post Millennial)

But there’s a major problem: While it might have felt like a return to normalcy, it wasn’t. We’re not going back to normal — at least not without a hard and vicious fight.

Why not? Because the past two years have witnessed the very things that kept those stupid marches largely confined to just stupid marches: our society’s apparent decision to sacrifice liberty on the altar of fear and the triumph of timid technocrats over bold citizenry. This had been building behind the scenes, mind you, but with the excuse of COVID was it ready to be revealed.

Back in 2019, before the global shutdowns, there was a lot of internal debate within conservatism about which direction our society ought to go. Should we stick with our collective devotion to libertine individualism and cheap goods, as lawyers like David French preferred? Or should we move past the modern liberal consensus, and turn to a more involved government that tries to actively reorder society toward the higher good, as Sohrab Ahmari, Tucker Carlson, and a few of us here at The Federalist proposed?

Why I Joined The University Of Austin’s Advisory Board (The American Conservative)

One of the most common charges is that UATX, as it’s known to friends, is somehow a right-wing project. Wrong: The institution stands confidently in the liberal tradition. In his launch statement, UATX President Pano Kanelos decried the “illiberalism” besetting much of academia these days. The answer, he argued, is greater “freedom of inquiry and civil discourse.” That such rhetoric codes as “right-wing” doesn’t make Kanelos any less of a liberal—it only reinforces his lament for the modern university and the elite culture it has bred.

The ideological composition of the founding members and advisory board is also telling. There are neoliberals (Larry Summers, Bari Weiss), conservative liberals (Arthur Brooks, Bill McClay, Leon Kass, Niall Ferguson), libertarians and classical liberals (Tyler Cowen, Deirdre McCloskey), progressive liberals (Kathleen Stock), and others who best fit in the various interstices of these categories (Peter Boghossian, Caitlin Flanagan, Glenn Loury).

Then there is me, the only member who can be described as fully and unapologetically a non-liberal, even an anti-liberal. Why did I join UATX’s advisory board?

I Bring You Glad Tidings! Three New Papers Prove (Again) You Can Take Them Off Without Worry (W M Briggs)

“Masks don’t work” is a proposition, like all propositions, that carries implicit definitions. In this case it means mask mandates don’t reduce the spread of respiratory diseases. It does not mean that a thick impenetrable rubber body suit with Jacques Cousteau-like air filtration and oxygen delivery system cannot slow infection rates.

This has to be said because there’s always some frightened ackhusally guy out there who believes he has found a loophole in the first proposition, and so can continue to demand all must wear flimsy paper, plastic, and cloth patches on their chins so as to quell ackshually’s fears.

Now that that’s out of the way, there are several more papers of interest, showing again what we have known for a century. Masks don’t work. Take them off and breathe free.

11 thoughts on “Weekday Reading #8”

  1. I predict that suddenly masks will be dumped by the authorities once they realize how they make facial recognition much much harder…

    As for the University of Austin I give it a decade before it succumbs. The pervasive colonization of academia by the Left means that people with academic credentials applying to the faculty positions will be overwhelmingly lefty. And once they get in they recruit more like themselves. Righties no longer stick around to do PhDs, they have brains to use and lives to live.


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  2. …the past two years have witnessed the very things that kept those stupid marches largely confined to just stupid marches: our society’s apparent decision to sacrifice liberty on the altar of fear and the triumph of timid technocrats over bold citizenry.

    Funny…I don’t remember being asked.


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  3. Bruce of N

    Righties no longer stick around to do PhDs, they have brains to use and lives to live.

    Conservatives and libertarians have lives to live, lefties have politics to pursue.


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  4. Qld health under Jeanette Young was a farce she is either professionally ignorant or politically active. But, there is a time and a place for masks .Doctors and dentists when operating on peoples faces need to wear masks just to stop the spray when they talk. This I learnt to my immune compromised cost last week.


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  5. win

    Qld health under Jeanette Young was a farce she is either professionally ignorant or politically active

    It is not necessarily an “either – or” issue. Embrace the power of “and”.


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  6. “Doctors and dentists when operating on peoples faces need to wear masks just to stop the spray when they talk.”

    Yes, that is the point, isn’t it? Masks help stop infected people spreading a disease (the amount may be debatable etc), but are near useless at protecting you from getting said disease (again, efficacy may be debatable in exact amount, but there is no question it is small).
    Yet we are told we must wear a mask, even if we are not infected and even if there is no reasonable grounds to believe we are infected. And not an N95 mask that might actually do something, just a piece of cotton or paper that is near useless and may indeed actually be harmful to the wearer.
    It’s “just in case”, not “it is likely”. A “recommend” in this case is fine, even “social shaming” if you want, but a mandate (“you must”) and a fine for not complying when there is no evidence you present a risk? Not only wrong, but against federal law, I believe – the bio-security act and the also the UN charter on universal human rights.
    No-one who can do anything seems to care about such things – or they are looking for a way to avoid it, anything it all that hints they shouldn’t investigate is seized on and presented as “not MY job!”.

    And while I certainly sympathise with win and other immuno-compromised individuals, I have to say that you having such a condition should not require me to take a risk with my health to “protect” you from what, for all the rest of us who are not so compromised, is not very much of a risk and would not normally concern us very much. Such people can, by all means, request this of people they interact with, and I would certainly be inclined to agree to such a request in specific circumstances – much as I would agree (and have) to assist the wheelchair bound, for example – but to force this on everyone “at the point of a gun” as it were is not acceptable.

    We all have different tolerance to risk – from what I have seen, most people would avoid jumping out of a plane with a parachute, but this is something I have done and it was a great experience that I would highly recommend you do if you have ever considered it. Scary as all hell to do, but worth every second and every dollar! But I digress – take whatever risks you feel comfortable with and leave everyone else to make their choices as they see fit. Hide in your house wearing a level 4 bio-hazard suit if you wish and if you feel the need, just don’t demand that I do the same based on your paranoia.


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  7. It will be darkly interesting to see the long-term effects of these “Lockdowns”, on both physical and mental health.

    Quite the way for the “health” bureaucrats to come up with numbers to back their perpetual expansionist drive (a la “Yes Minister”).


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  8. Morrison condemns threats of violence against politicians

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2021/nov/18/australia-news-live-victoria-pandemic-covid-nsw-andrews-tyrrell-police-nt-vaccination-parliament-morrison-gunner?page=with:block-619585b98f08d09d4ebd9c0c

    After oerdering police to shoot unarmed, peaceful protesters in the back, spraying peaceful protesters in the face with pepper spray after pushing them over … there are plenty of videos for ScoMo to peruse …

    Don’t remember ScoMo saying that about the not just threats, but the political sanctioned thuggery we witnessed.
    Not a peep.

    No ScoMo &co, we’re not all in this together.


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