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The Esthetics of the Coronavirus Pandemic

I recently completed a long piece looking at the coronavirus pandemic from a philosophical perspective, starting with metaphysics and going through epistemology, ethics, and politics. That leaves us with one more major branch of philosophy: esthetics. So what are the esthetics of the coronavirus pandemic? First, we have to define what that question means. Are […]

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The Philosophy of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Published April 7 through April 16. Part 1: The Metaphysics of Abnormal Life Part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, like the response to everything else, has been to draft it as another player in our normal, everyday political battles. So we’ve seen the claim that “there are no libertarians in a pandemic,” the […]

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WTF Happened to The Federalist?

Coronavirus Truthers are now a thing, and I regret to inform you that a publication I used to work for has taken the lead in spinning crazy Infowars-style conspiracy theories about how the virus is all being hyped up by the Deep State. Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, recently took to Twitter to explain […]

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Are We All Paul Krugman Now?

Cast your mind back to the heady days of the giant Obama-era “stimulus package” following the financial crisis of 2008. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman—the great advocate of ultra-Keynesian big-government spending—assured us that the only problem with the nearly trillion dollars of pork-barrel spending was that it wasn’t big enough. What we really needed […]

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Libertarians in a Pandemic

In a moment of crisis, people like to assert a sense of control, no matter how illusory, by reverting to well-worn habits. In the case of COVID-19, that means using it as a vessel for whatever political hobbyhorses they had before the pandemic. So it’s no surprise to see the headline, “There Are No Libertarians […]

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How to Work from Home As If You Actually Want to Enjoy It

Now that everyone is stuck at home during the Time of Coronavirus, you may be getting a lot of advice on how to telecommute. It usually runs somewhere along these lines: make a separate and closed-off space just for work, keep a regular 9-to-5 work schedule, and get dressed and ready in the morning the […]

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“We’re Going to Face This Virus for Some Time”

An Interview with Amesh Adalja Transcript RWT: This is Salon of the Refused, I’m Rob Tracinski. My guest today is Amesh Adalja, and he’s a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and I’m talking to him about the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the first big question, the sort of overarching question people […]

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Trump’s Self-Induced “Authoritarian Blindness”

Donald Trump’s position heading into November’s presidential election is surprisingly strong. He remains personally unpopular, of course, but he heads toward re-election with—for now—a strong economy and—for now—no major foreign policy crisis. Notice that I keep saying “for now.” There’s one glaring weakness that could bring Trump down hard, and we’re seeing it on full […]

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Ayn Rand’s Answer to the “Social Contract”

As part of the research for my new book in defense of individualism, I’ve been reading several key books from the newly strident illiberal “nationalist” conservatives. I’ve noticed that they have mixed feelings about the “social contract.” Patrick Deneen rejects it because it’s too individualist: it assumes that “the individual ‘creates’ the state,” while he […]

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Have You Accepted the Free Market as Your Personal Savior?

Hello, friend. I’m knocking on your door today to ask whether you have accepted the free market as your personal savior. If you haven’t, I’m here to share the good news. I am, obviously, riffing on the latest talking point from the nationalist conservatives, who have formed a new think tank based on the complaint […]

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