Modernist and pre-modernist unexamined “objectivity” isn’t coming back, but meaning need not be a casualty. Rigorous post-modernism grounds social meaning in the radically interconnected experience of our shared society.
Hierarchy is necessary to functional society. But we are haunted by the memory of past injustices, so we’ve clung to unrealistic ideals of equality. It’s time to start rebuilding the positive case for just and useful hierarchies.
The sexual revolution, individualism, and technology have all been blamed for our social pathologies, especially widespread loneliness. But the underlying problem is an economy which cannot sustain deep social fabric.
Faith in democracy has been shaken by populist upheavals over the last decade. This has opened the door for theorists like Garett Jones to explore how the state could be improved with a little less democracy.
Henry George foresaw San Francisco’s housing crisis. His solution is still the way forward: a bold developmentalist orientation, starting with a land value tax to incentivize denser building.
Since the Cultural Revolution, China has feared and suppressed mass mobilization. But the coronavirus crisis is revealing this strategy’s fragility. The ghost of French thinker Gustave Le Bon haunts both the CCP and its discontented rivals.
South Korea’s bold story of state-led development is how every wealthy country on Earth has industrialized. State capacity is necessary to coordinate long-term industrial investments.
Chinese political theorist Jiang Shigong, accused of acting as the Party’s black hand in Hong Kong, has been quietly building a vision for a new world order that appears tolerant of difference—but with Chinese power at its center.
I originally planned a literary excursion to famously stable Chile. Instead, I came to a country engulfed in protests, where trains pass by the wreckage without a word. From Santiago and Valparaiso to the Atacama Desert, I delved into a conflict for the future.
Civility is critical to collective self-government. But the formal structure of self-government has no way to maintain it against political division and private interest. Civility can only be restored by some outside intervention.
The locus of legitimate authority in the American state is increasingly unclear. A reconfiguration of Marxist thought on the state reveals how elites interact with it, and also the state’s power to shape the elite itself.
There are times in politics where top-down, elite-driven mandates are necessary for the common good. Building communities is not one of them.
The current American AI strategy is disorganized and unambitious. With no real innovation on the strategy front, the U.S. is just playing not to lose.
Universities have endured plague, population collapse, scandal, and even outlasted nations. Despite proclamations of the university system’s death, one thing is certain: it’s not going anywhere.
Ash Milton reviews Mariana Mazzucato’s book The Value of Everything. Mazzucato’s work confronts an overreaching financial sector and provides a powerful case for rebuilding state capacity.
Facebook’s global payment system, Libra, would usurp the role of the dollar, but it doesn’t have the hegemonic military, historical moment, or political utility to make that viable.
Real estate development in California has been frozen for decades. A new coalition is emerging to break homeowner resistance. But dishonesty from both sides prevents the reconciliation of social fabric and development, jeopardizing the future of American cities.
American discourse doesn’t prepare you for how good life in China is becoming. It’s a sharp contrast to our own governance troubles. It feels like the American dream has moved to the other side of the world.