April 2021

Selected articles, including Richard Hanania on why everything is liberal; Tyler Cowen on green jobs as an obstacle to green energy; and Bari Weiss curating a roundtable on systemic racism.

Why is Everything Liberal?

Richard Hanania in his Substack

Conservatives may tell themselves that they are the normal people party, too satisfied and content to expend much time or energy on changing the world. But in the end, the world they live in will ultimately reflect the preferences and values of their enemies.

We Need Green Energy. We Don't Need Green Jobs.

Tyler Cowen in Bloomberg

The biggest obstacle to green energy is not that American voters love pollution and carbon emissions, but rather people do not wish to pay more for their gasoline and their home heating bills. If we insist that green energy create a lot of good jobs, in essence we are insisting that it have high labor costs, and thus we are producing a version of it that will meet consumer and also voter resistance.

What is systemic racism?

Lara Bazelon, Kmele Foster, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, Kenny Xu and Chloé Valdary in Common Sense with Bari Weiss

Bari Weiss curates a roundtable of formidable writers with varying perspectives, each of whom weighs in on the question: what is systemic racism?

The Western Difference

Robert Henderson in City Journal

Henrich’s book argues that the Western Church (his term for the branch of Christianity that rose to power in medieval Europe) enacted a peculiar set of taboos and proscriptions regarding marriage and family that dissolved Europe’s kin-based institutions. These rules produced a more individualistic society, which in turn spurred the creation of impersonal markets, fostered trust between unrelated strangers, and propelled the development of voluntary institutions, universally applicable laws, and innovation.

Dana Gioia on Becoming an Information Billionaire

Dana Gioia and Tyler Cowen on Conversations with Tyler

COWEN: Do you, like Auden, crave a social function for poetry?

GIOIA: I think poetry has a social function but it’s a relatively complicated and subtle one, which is to say, the reason that we have art is, in a sense, to increase human happiness. It does that, essentially, on an individual level. A work of art awakens you. It awakens you to the possibilities of your own potential. It takes that potential, it enlarges it, it refines it, and each art does it in different ways. Music appeals to the auditory sense, an organizational, formal structure in the mind. Painting is visual. Sculpture is visual and tactile. In the old days, people always would feel sculptures. Poetry is to our language and our emotional functions. They awaken emotions and awaken our ability to articulate them.