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Many kinds of objective justice

One would think that if justice were objective, as Mark and others have argued recently on Catallarchy, that it would be relatively simple to discover what justice actually is and convince others that this is so.

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case. Mark believes that justice entails respecting other people's negative rights, as self-ownership implies. I happen to agree with Mark that these are mighty fine principles to live by. Read more »

Ovation Inflation

Julian Sanchez notices a disturbing trend: the standing ovation is gradually becoming expected, even for mediocre shows. What are we supposed to do now to signify a truly extraordinary performance? "Tear our shirts and howl like the teens in that old stock footage from the Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan?" That might not be such a bad idea, depending on who is doing the shirt tearing... Read more »

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Libertarians

From an article linked to by Amy Lamboley: Read more »

Politics as Professional Wrestling Redux

Can we dub this the "Frankensteiner?"franken.jpg

Wise-cracking funnyman Al Franken yesterday body-slammed a demonstrator to the ground after the man tried to shout down


Gov. Howard Dean...
Read more »

Contradictions of Natural Copyright

Timothy Sandefur has a particularly well-written and well-thought-out post on the contradictions of natural copyright.


firefly.jpgI recently purchased the television series Firefly on DVD, after reading some comments made by Julian Sanchez and Glenn Whitman. Read more »

Aggravating Assault

Eugene, your constant harping on campus speech codes is beginning to aggravate me. Stop it at once, or I will be forced to call the proper authorities.

To the Nth Degree

Question for Jeff Jarvis and Matthew Yglesias:

Does this mean that the enemy of my enemy's enemy is my enemy?

Marx, Incentives, and Materialism

Andrew Chamberlain has a wonderful post in which he uses Marxian economics to explain the phenomenon of metrosexuals.

Andrew rightly notes that "Karl Marx got almost everything wrong," but he acknowledges Marx's contribution to understanding how the economic structure of society "profoundly shapes how we relate to one another in society. And those relations influence moral norms, and ultimately law." Read more »

Subjectivism in Ethics

An interesting discussion is taking place in the comment thread to Bill's movie review of Open Range.

Perhaps surprising to some, and certainly at odds with Objectivists, Rights Theorists, and most other libertarians, I am a subjectivist with regard to ethics. Read more »

The Ethics of a Living Wage

Proponents of a "living wage" often argue that it is the employer's social responsibility and moral obligation to pay workers enough to live on - hence the term "living wage."

For example, an online acquaintance once told me:

I don't understand this obstinate refusal to believe that people deserve to be paid a living wage. We're not talking about giving them a check to sit on their rears and do nothing, we are talking about paying them a decent wage for the work they do.

Huh? What Planet Are You From?

Sometimes someone says something so surprising, so counterintuitive, so clearly wrong, that I don't even know where to begin in response.

Perusing this thread on Crooked Timber, I came across the following post by someone named "wcw."

the natural state of being, if there is such a thing, is as hunter-gatherer. hunter-gatherers, while bereft of DVDs, are well-fed, healthy, and do on average very little work to sustain their existence every day.

The Black Blog of Communism

The good folks over at the Volokh Conspiracy have been discussing liberal (or, rather, leftist) apologia for communism. Read more »

Why Libertarians Prefer Big Industry to Big Government

I consider the ability to steal and kill somewhat more threatening than the ability to offer me a free web browser or disrupt my dinnertime with a telemarketing call.

- Gene Healy

[Note to Kevin Carson: yes, it's a false dichotomy. Libertarians don't have any great love for Big Industry either, but I still think it's a funny quote]

African-American Africans

I've never liked the term "African-American." The term "black" is sufficient for its intended purpose, as skin color is one of - if not the only common factor connecting such a large and heterogenous group of people as black Americans. Further, what do we call black people who are not American? African-American Africans?

One of my white friends in high school was born in South Africa. We used to joke about how he should claim to be African-American when applying to college on the grounds that he is more of an African than most black Americans. Read more »