We live in difficult times, and I don’t mean obstacles to consumption over the next month. The only way to understand them is to try, and to enlist others to try along with us. So try these out:
(1) Dani Rodrik at Project Syndicate has written about the negative externalities of individual countries’ macroeconomic choices, pointing out that there needs to be equilibrium between net importers and exporters. Something bothers me about the implications of that premise for monetary and trade policy, but I’m not sure what. Brad Delong offers the remedy of hegemonic stability, but the journey (back) to such a concentration of power seems unwieldy and full of dead weight loss. Of course, I’m not sure Delong gets it. More to follow.
(2) This article on Breitbart suggests that the “resurgence” of American libertarianism, such as that is, is vulnerable to, beyond electoral defeat, leftist capture because it is split by conflicting forces of traditionalism and technocracy, both of which carry the risk of oligarchic corruption. If we don’t want the future to belong to overreaching progressive elites who co-opt our better angels—and I am speaking, regardless of labels, to everyone who thinks that the freedom to innovate shouldn’t belong to any one entity—then we need to get our messaging straight. I believe
Conservatism the privileging of Liberty will find victory in bringing itself to the “new center” as a series of libertarian derivations, avoiding all the tradition-baggage and culture-warring that has been a stumbling block for recent electorates. I would suggest that successful messaging is based on an intentional reading of history that prevents its heroes from being put in progressive partisan boxes. There is a precedent for this.
Spend the day reading; it’s cheaper.