Commentary
It Really Does Depend on the Context
Ben Burgis and the Analytical Marxist Critique of Dialectics The title of this essay recalls the Congressional hearing that took place on December 5, 2023, in which Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard University, seemed to dodge difficult questions by uttering the phrase “it depends on the context.” The phrase immediately became meme-able, even the…
“Tragedy of the Commons” Part I
All Landlords Are Terrible Landlords As an object lesson in support of his thesis that “government is a terrible landlord,” Steven Greenhut (Reason, Dec. 1) recounts his experience trying to get action from his county government over complaints of a poorly maintained, overgrown vacant lot owned by the fire department.  I started making calls to…
A Story of Interest
Before I share my story, let me make something unequivocally clear: Western governments are currently aiding and abetting the mass murder of Palestinians by an extremist Israeli government expressing clear genocidal intent. I have very little leverage in this world, but it would be a moral failure to ignore this reality and not do everything…
John Tamny Hits the Trifecta of False Talking Points
At Real Clear Markets, John Tamny — FreedomWorks Vice President and Director of the FreedomWorks Center for Economic Freedom — manages to fit an impressive number of fallacious talking points into one column. FreedomWorks, as you might know, is the outfit founded by Dick Armey — the crook extraordinaire who (along with fellow dumpster fires…
Konstantin Kisin’s Delusions Are On Life Support
An October 22 article by Konstantin Kisin at The Free Press — a publication founded by Bari Weiss, a pony whose one trick is anti-“woke” culture war theatrics — immediately went viral. Its popularity on the Right is suggested by the fact that its title, “The Day the Delusions Died,” trended on Twitter the following…
Netanyahu’s Chickens Come Home to Roost
Or, How States Create Their Own Enemies You may or may not be familiar with the concept of “blowback.” Basically, it’s the idea that most foreign policy threats faced by nation-states are the unintended consequences of their own past foreign interventions and exercises of power. The October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel is a…
On the Death of Henry Kissinger
“Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands” –Anthony Bourdain On November 29th, 2023, Henry Kissinger died at the age of 100. The internet rejoices. For years, Kissinger had been a living embodiment of evil that would just not die, in the realm of…
Anti-Zionism Isn’t Enough.
We Must Oppose Nationalism in All Forms. In today’s cynical and dishonest political climate every critique of Zionism is smeared as antisemitic by the right wing and moderate liberal media. For instance, no matter how many times US representative Ilhan Omar apologizes or clarifies the intentions of her statements against Israeli war crimes, she is time…
How and How Not to Question the “Mainstream Narrative”
In the unlikely event that anyone reading this is unfamiliar with him, Russell Brand is a one time more-or-less leftist who, like Naomi Wolf, has gone down the rabbit hole of batshittery (he endorses the “Great Reset” conspiracy, among other things). Rape accusations against Brand have provoked howls all over the nuttier right-wing websites and…
Israel and Palestine: Against the Nation State
The angry words of one young Jewish woman, a survivor of the Be’eri Kibbutz attack, reflect both the despair and hope of the current crisis, “it was citizens who came to help us. Citizens. The Government was nowhere.” Indeed, Bedouin from the Negev were among the first to organise volunteer teams to search for missing…
Zionism and the Nation-State
Palestinians Are Not the Only Victims In “Memory Voids and Role Reversals,” Palestinian political science professor Dana El Kurd writes of her jarring experience, hearing of the October 7th massacres by Hamas while visiting the Holocaust Tower at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. She notes the historic irony of Holocaust survivors seeking security from future…
On Gaza: “Now Is Not the Time,” “Moral Equivalency,” and “Liberalism”
“Moral Equivalency” is the Only Alternative to Nihilism. Israeli President Isaac Herzog said, in the aftermath of the October 7 terror attack, that  as far as the military is concerned, there is little difference between Gaza’s civilian population and Hamas, which has governed the besieged territory since 2007. “It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians…
The Climate Denial Machine’s Fake Statistics Just Keep On Coming
In a previous column, I examined the way Reason’s Ron Bailey (and the hack climate “scientists” he showcases) have toyed with GDP statistics in an attempt to downplay the harm from climate change. It looks like Ron and his buddies have some competition in the “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics” category — it’s coming from…
The Not-So-Funny Joke of Progressive “Decolonization”
When it comes to how we handle the history of colonization, a choice between gestures of recognition on the one hand, or widespread social ignorance and non-recognition of past atrocities on the other, is no choice at all—the former is obviously preferred. So, politicians making speeches, passing motions, creating holidays, and so on to recognize…
Won’t Somebody Think of the Poor Taxpaying Landlords?
At Reason (“Did NYC Just Kneecap Airbnb?”), Liz Wolfe seems to be diversifying beyond her normal focus on tech platform apologetics and crowding onto the turf of resident landlord whisperer Christian Britschgi. I confess my first reading of the title brought a smile to my face — probably not the effect Wolfe intended — as…
Straining at Trains and Swallowing Highways
According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus used a colorful metaphor to condemn the scribes and Pharisees for scrupulously obsessing over minor points of the law like tithing their herbs, while ignoring weightier matters: “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” The same metaphor could describe right-libertarians’ approach to transportation policy. A…
Horseshoe Theory
I recently saw someone on Facebook post a “horseshoe” graphic, illustrating the popular centrist-liberal “horseshoe theory” trope that, the further right and left deviate from the center, the more authoritarian they become and the more they resemble each other. The problem with “horseshoe theory” is that it takes the status quo for granted and ignores…
Bargaining Power and Prices: A Response to Sanyazi and Carson
In a way, the theory of supply and demand explains prices. But in another, more accurate way, bargaining theory explains prices.  The idea that the prices of commodities are determined by the bargaining power of the buying and selling parties is not new, having been raised in the nineteenth century, but it does not play…
No, You Leave Those Kids Alone!
Transphobic protestors and commentators have recently taken to the slogan, “Leave our kids alone.” It’s part of an attempt to brand educators, librarians, authors, artists — whoever works with kids and supports trans children’s right to self-identify however they wish — as “groomers,” threats to the safety of kids via insidious brainwashing. In reality, reactionaries…
The Duality of Private Gun Ownership
I’ll keep this short. I count myself among the defenders of private gun ownership, because I am an anarchist and I see utility in having a population that can challenge the state monopoly on violence if needed. Despite this, I am highly critical of right wing gun culture and it’s simple manichean narratives that cast…
Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory