Tag: Authoritarianism

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Vermeule’s Gleeful Illiberal Legalism

 

Few have been brave enough to flesh out what the Ahmarist, or “anti-Frenchist,” vision of the common good should be. Some have said articulating specifics is beside the point, that Ahmarists’ refreshing achievement is unapologetically asserting a common good exists, even if they decline to say what, exactly, it is. And then, there are guys like Adrian Vermeule, writing in The Atlantic, brave enough, at least, to flesh out a vision of sorts. Vermeule calls it “common-good constitutionalism”, which he describes as “an illiberal legalism that is not ‘conservative’ at all, insofar as standard conservatism is content to play defensively within the procedural rules of the liberal order.” When Vermeule writes,

[U]nlike legal liberalism, common-good constitutionalism does not suffer from a horror of political domination and hierarchy, because it sees that law is parental, [emphasis added] a wise teacher and an inculcator of good habits. Just authority in rulers can be exercised for the good of subjects, if necessary even against the subjects’ own perceptions of what is best for them—perceptions that may change over time anyway, as the law teaches, habituates, and re-forms them. Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires…

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus and Human Nature

 

For a few weeks, we in the coronavirus-stricken parts of the world have been living under “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. The only conceivable purpose of such orders is to keep people from congregating and spreading the disease. But I can leave my house while also avoiding human contact — a truth evidently lost on Italian authorities, who’ve been punishing the criminal scum of their society for engaging in the recklessly dangerous activity of jogging with their dogs; or on the social-media malcontents who believe that carping at their neighbors is 2020’s equivalent of storming the Normandy beaches.

In Britain, police shamed hikers for daring to wander the wilderness in solitude. Do the moorlands have a preexisting condition? Are birds and butterflies at risk of dying from coronavirus-induced respiratory failure? Britain’s own lockdown law allows residents out of their houses for only “one form of exercise” per day. Does combination exercise cause coronavirus to spring up out of nowhere, like maggots spontaneously generating in a hunk of rotting meat? Who cares whether Simon and Bertha spend their entire day camping in the countryside?

Member Post

 

Exra Klein, the left-wing editor of the left-wing Vox.com, thinks China’s one-party authoritarian state is a more inspiring model for aspiring countries than America’s loud messy constitutional Republic. Imagine you’re a small country charting a path between Chinese-style autocracy and American-style democracy — which many are right now. How appealing does our model look to […]

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Member Post

 

There is a Khmer saying that translates to “a mountain cannot be ruled by two tigers.” And that saying manifested in a coup d’état in Cambodia twenty years ago. It all started with the result of the UN-backed Cambodia’s general election in May 1993. The country elected the royalist FUNCINPEC, led by Norodom Ranariddh. But […]

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