Tag: coercion

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…

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David Brooks on culture and economics. Brooks completely ignores how integral coercion is to the Democratic platform. What Brooks calls materialism (redistribution) is a major component, but it is the open coercion that is more likely to bother people. Materialism involves coercion (taxation is theft), but forcing schools to allow men into women’s bathrooms and […]

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9th Circuit affirms CA forced abortion promotion law


So, you want to help pregnant women and girls with the information and resources they need to bring a healthy baby into the world? Well, in California, you can do that, but only if you tell these women and girls about free or discount-rate abortions they can get through the state. And only if the pro-life pregnancy care centers also provide the name, address, and phone number to the nearest abortionist.

The most reversed federal appeals circuit Friday upheld AB 775 – a speech coercion law that has less to do with women’s health than with political cronyism – in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Harris

Better Living Through Coercion


389px-Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863Prior to the Civil War, apologists for the South’s “peculiar institution” concocted “positive good” rationales that claimed slavery was beneficial. Though the arguments varied, they were broadly based on assumptions of white superiority: intellectual, spiritual, and civilizational. The “superior” white man had the right to live off the labors of the “backward” African because doing so freed him to engage in the higher pursuits afforded by his loftier intellect, morality, and civilization.

Abraham Lincoln’s rejoinder — made during his debates with Stephen Douglas — was that the Southerners’ arguments could equally justify their own slavery by their supposed betters. Islamists, for example, believe their religion, morals, and culture are infinitely better than ours and so it is their religious duty to conquer the West and bring it under Sharia Law. Those refusing to convert to Islam are to be subjected to death, slavery or — at best — to the partial slavery of dhimmitude, which entails limited rights, obligatory humiliation, and special taxes to help enhance the lifestyles of the faithful.

In early America, people voluntarily supported the weak and infirm, but such practical compassion is not compatible with the enlightened and progressive times in which we live. Instead, the left of today imposes its own form of better living through coercion, based – not on assumptions of superiority – but on assumptions of inferiority. In the left’s utopia, productive individuals are forced to support those unable or unwilling to work; the recipients’ poverty, ignorance, infirmity, or victimhood entitling them to the fruits of others’ labor. The successful must be subjected to special taxes and to humiliation (“greedy,” “uncaring,” “elitist”) to justify the confiscation of their property and to soothe the beneficiaries’ feelings.

Old-Timey Classroom

Compulsory Education: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone


It is a truth universally acknowledged that the US education system is messed up.  Opinions differ as to what — precisely — is wrong, what can be done to fix it, and whether fixing it is possible or even desirable.  One thing we should all be able to agree with is that making education compulsory in today’s world makes no sense.

I am not arguing that education is bad.  I am not arguing that attendance at school should be officially discouraged.  I am arguing (among other things) that forcing the most vulnerable in our society — the children of the poor in the inner cities and deprived rural areas — to attend institutions that we know do not work (or that are actively harmful) is a colossal waste of resources that actively prevents better things from happening.

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The Democratic Party is working hard to make America a land ruled by an elite kept in power through fraud and coercion; a land in which people are fired for their personal beliefs; a land in which individuals are denounced if they contribute to causes opposed by those in power; a land in which private […]

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