Tag: Propaganda

Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the “Dark Ages” »

As the culture wars intensify in America, let’s consider some of the roots of these contentious conflicts. With the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 17th and 18th centuries, a “modern” narrative was invented to explain the history of the West, the wider world, and humankind’s place in the universe. This narrative claimed that liberty,…
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United States of Fear »

[F]irst of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of…
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50 Shades of Predatory Abuse: The Role of Civil Society »

The movie adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey by author E.L. James swept its opening weekend competition and has generated blockbuster revenues of over $133 million, making it the top grossing movie of 2015. Controversy has come with it, as would be expected from any movie breaking through traditional cultural taboos. Combine that with…
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Politics Is Not Just Spy versus Spy; It’s also Slogan versus Slogan »

For as long as political and ideological movements have sought to engage large followings, they have embraced slogans and catch phrases that give pithy expression to their views, aversions, and objectives. Slogans are dangerous in that they substitute rote declarations for serious thought, yet they may sometimes serve a purpose even for thoughtful people…
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I Pledge Allegiance to Blind Nationalism »

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Many of us will recognize these words as the “Pledge of Allegiance.” As a child in elementary and middle school, I remember saying…
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The Fall of Liberty and Human Dignity in American Sniper »

Given the buzz from conservatives touting the film American Sniper‘s homage to Christopher Kyle as a war hero, libertarians may be tempted to sit this movie out. I think they should resist that temptation. This is not a typical “war movie.” In fact, I would argue it’s not a war movie at all: it’s…
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Common Core Boosters Trying to Scare States into Keeping National Standards »

Last year wasn’t a good year for Common Core, and the myth-makers are already hard at work publishing some new spin, but first let’s review what we’ve learned over the past five years. Common Core national standards are: Costly (here, here, and here) Weak (here and here) Intrusive (here) Politicized (here) Anything but “voluntary”…
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Photo Explaining Obamacare’s Perverse Incentives Is Worth a Thousand Words »

Health insurers in Obamacare’s exchange plans have perverse incentives to attract healthy patients and deter sick ones from enrolling. This is because the law forbids insurers from charging premiums that reflect applicants’ likelihood of incurring high medical costs. Although there are risk-mitigation mechanisms to overcome this, they appear to be inadequate. If this photo does not tell…
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Katniss Everdeen and the Paradox of Revolution »

“Historically, the common form of revolution has been a not-too-efficient despotism which is overthrown by another not-too-efficient despotism with little or no effect on the public good. Indeed, except for the change in the names of the ruling circles, it would be hard to distinguish one from the other.” —Gordon Tullock For the past…
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Normalizing Relations with Cuba: Good Policy »

President Obama announced that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, which is a good move for both countries. The economic impact of the policy will be limited, however, because the economic embargo the United States has imposed on Cuba can be removed only by Congress. This presents the obvious political…
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