Monthly Archives: February 2010

Historical contingencies of civilizational ideologies

Reading An Introduction to Confucianism, which is not the typical historically linear treatment (i.e., Confucius → Han dynasty State Confucianism → Song dynasty Neo-Confucianism, etc.), and is also more comprehensive than most introductions (it’s over 350 pages). In case, the … Continue reading

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Spirit Quest (or Something)

The appeal of going on some sort of spiritual voyage has always eluded me. I’m happy where I am, paddling in the spiritual shallows. Today’s New York Times piece by Charles Blow had a beginning that was, therefore, unlikely to … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 14 Comments

Pur et Dur

As (effectively) a call for unity among America’s conservatives the “Mount Vernon Statement” is, on the whole, fairly anodyne stuff. Fair enough. If there is to be any chance of defeating Obama in 2012 the various tribes of the right will … Continue reading

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No Cliché Left Behind

Pitchfork Pawlenty’s condescending cultural stereotyping doesn’t just include Brie. Chablis is, apparently, unacceptable too: “When you listen to the elites and the pundits talk about the Tea Party movement, or they talk about us as conservatives, they may not always … Continue reading

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Passed on Without Comment

Via The Corner, the latest from Creationist Tim Pawlenty: Pawlenty also made a strong pitch for the support of the religious right. “God is in charge,” he said, criticizing the “naysayers who try to crowd out God.” If God is … Continue reading

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Christopher Beckwith against modernism

A few months ago I reviewed Empire’s of the Silk. I focused on the historical scholarship, but Lorenzo Warby puts the spotlight on the more normatively charge jeremiad against “modernism” interlaced throughout the book.

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Building A Better Nation The Labour Way

While we are on the subject of national population development, this new Janet Daley piece from the London Sunday Telegraph makes some interesting claims. Here’s a key passage. So now we know what Labour’s immigration policy was really about. The … Continue reading

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Social cycles

An addendum to my comments on the posts on natalism. As I suggest below I think as a whole it is appropriate to model humans before 1800 as a conventional animal subject to Malthusian constraints. When a new crop (e.g., … Continue reading

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No Need for Natalism

John, your great-grandmother was a statistical outlier. By 1870 the average British woman was having around 5.5 children. Britain did see a dramatic increase in population in the 19th century, but this was a consequence of technological innovation, improved agricultural … Continue reading

Posted in politics | 16 Comments

Natalist Fundamentalism

I have just learned that my paternal granny was one of at least 11 children, born in England 1860-1880.  My mother was one of 13, born 1896-1917.  How they did breed! Learning that fact a couple of hours after reading Richard … Continue reading

Posted in culture, history | 22 Comments