Quotable (#182)

Seth Myers on “I don’t know anyone voting for Trump”:

Did you ask everybody in your yoga class? Did you check with the entire drum circle because guess what: You know you have that crazy uncle you only see at Thanksgiving? Well, this country is about 48 percent crazy uncles and it’s about to be Thanksgiving all day, every day.

Quotable (#181)

This is basically right:

The television era was about globalism, international cooperation, and the open society. TV let people see for the first time what was happening in other places, often live, as it happened. We watched the Olympics, together, by satellite. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Even 9-11 was a simultaneously experienced, global event.

Television connected us all and broke down national boundaries. Whether it was the British Beatles playing on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York or the California beach bodies of Baywatch broadcast in Pakistan, television images penetrated national divisions. I interviewed Nelson Mandela in 1994, and he told me that MTV and CNN had more to do with ending the divisions of apartheid than any other force.

But today’s digital media environment is different. …

Twitter cuts (#127)

Permissionless innovation, like free association, is one of those few compressed political-economic programs that does everything on its own (when fully expanded).

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Twitter cuts (#124)

(Massive tweet-storm follows that is too long to reproduce, but well worth your time.)

The “national capitalist” is a concept that arises in the Marxian tradition, but has also (recently) acquired a very different valency elsewhere. Countries come to appear as estates.

Quotable (#180)

Michael Ignatieff on the political contradictions of democratic globalism:

I do think that there’s a real disconnect between an international cosmopolitan discourse about rights — the rights of migrants, the rights of refugees — versus the way in which ordinary people in most democracies see this question. […] For ordinary people, a citizen’s relation to a stranger is a gift relationship, not a rights relationship. They think it’s up to the citizen to decide who gets in. It’s up to the citizen who decides what the boundaries of a political community are. […] That’s what democracy means to them. That’s what democracy promises them: control of borders and the handing out of discretionary gifts to those they decide belong in the community. […] There are a lot of Brexiters who think a decent country is generous to strangers, is compassionate to strangers. But that’s the language of the gift. That’s not a language of rights.

Quotable (#179)

Union and its discontents:

The founders believed horizontal and vertical federalism was the salve for … factionalism and regionalism. The federal government should have the limited powers necessary to unite the various factions for national ends, but otherwise should leave people alone. Those who wanted a liberal paradise should be able to live together and those who wanted a conservative stronghold should be able to have it. But now everyone is vying for a one size fits all homogen[e]ous tyranny where we are a truly diverse, heterogen[e]ous republic and all that does is drive up the stakes.