You are certainly not the first to have that kind of initial response to the views I express in my articles. I share your dislike of important people’s views being pushed aside (though I know we disagree on who’s considered important in many cases). To be truly comprehensive, I would have had to write an entire book covering what I mentioned in the article. We do, it seems, share an interest in the interplay between individualism and collectivism/tribalism and the value of discourse.

I will look up Stephen K. White and approach his work with an open mind. It is very unlikely that his work will change my mind. I have read several analyses of postmodern thought (most of them quite critical) including:

Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen Hicks — a critique of postmodern thought from a classical liberal perspective

Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont — critique of postmodern misrepresentation of scientific terminology

Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left by Roger Scruton — critique of the intellectual influences on the ‘New Left,’ the most political of the three works here

As for Marx and capitalism, I think we fundamentally disagree on many points. I would argue that Marx made some correct observations about nineteenth-century abuses but then proceeded to devise an elaborate theory in opposition to fundamental realities. There were, and are, plenty of abuses when it comes to crony capitalism. Working conditions were far from ideal for nineteenth-century laborers. However, they were not leaving some idyllic life in the countryside. The wages they were getting allowed them to begin to carve out a relatively decent existence for them and their families. The rise of capitalism has coincided with massive improvements for our species. I would take issue with the whole ‘capitalists vs. the rest of us. mentality so prevalent in Marxist thought. I was somewhat sympathetic with Marxist thought as an undergraduate but found that many Marxists were motivated by bitterness and resentment, using the philosophy of Marxism as a cover — appealing to leftist ideals to mask darker intentions. I would argue that crony capitalism, top-down government, and elaborate bureaucracies are among the negative forces in society today. Radical libertarian politics is not the answer either. I would argue for dialogues between (classical) liberal, libertarian, and conservative voices. Fringe political theories contribute an interesting idea here and there but tend to be far too unstable for a healthy polity. A couple examples:

-anarchism is valuable because it is based on distrust toward the state but is not a workable philosophy on its own

-socialism is valuable because of its focus on inequalities which, if they become too great, destabilize society. However, socialist countries have all been failures. (The Nordic countries are not socialist, they are capitalist countries with more social programs)

Capitalism is not perfect but I cannot support replacing a system which has led to incredible advances for societies around the world over the past two centuries with any proposed alternative. Moreover, increasing government power is among the most dangerous things that can happen. Idealists on the left tend to think that they can legislate their way to a better society. They pay little to no attention to the real power dynamics of increasing government power to bring about the changes they hope to see. A strong and stable polity can only be maintained through the intelligence and work of self-disciplined individuals with some common core values.

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Artist | Content Creator | Pantheist | Bohemian | Philosopher | Juggler | Anti-Authoritarian, Pro-Decentralization/Localism| http://www.instagram.com/kevinshau/

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