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Tag: Political Theory

Prison Philosophy: Beyond Coddling and Punishment

Prison Philosophy: Beyond Coddling and Punishment

The documentary “Breaking the Cycle” from Finnish state television does a good job exploring the differences between the American “punishment” methodology and the Nordic “humane” approach to prisoners. Much has been said elsewhere about the drawbacks of the hard-line punishment approach to incarceration. Obviously, the high rate of re-incarceration, the violence and abuse at such prisons are major arguments that can be used to support a more “liberal” approach to the prison system. The “humane” prisons found in the Nordic…

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Centrist Extremism

Centrist Extremism

Why is it that the political center always escapes criticism and negative focus from the media? We know that most of the people running the mainstream media, academia and so on subscribe to the political left. I’m sure that they could easily brand centrists as right-wing “light” if they so desired. The inertial drift of politics greatly benefits the political middle. The left and the right want to pull politics in their respective directions, while the center can present themselves…

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Political Bacteria: Parties as Societal Disease

Political Bacteria: Parties as Societal Disease

Flipping through newspaper stories about the crazy shenanigans contained in the actions and proposals of “green” and “red” political parties has got my gears turning. Increasingly, I’ve come to believe that people, organisations and companies have to operate and succeed despite the presence of such parties. Their actions sometimes appear functionally indistinguishable from malevolent wreckers, hell-bent on sabotaging society at large. Politicians often shroud themselves in colorful language about “creating a healthy business climate” and “environmental justice”. In practice what…

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Thank You For Not Voting

Thank You For Not Voting

Preceding our recent parliamentary election here in Norway, there was a national debate in newspapers over who should vote. Some political scientists took a lot of flak for their assertion that some people should refrain from voting. Specifically, they referred to “uninformed” low-engagement citizens. Instead, they should leave the decisions to a technocratic elite. This liberal elitist thinking attracted a tremendous amount of backlash. Unfortunately, Norway still has a high level of public trust in the integrity of politicians and…

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This Is Not The End of History

This Is Not The End of History

A lot of the events taking place around us would make a lot more sense if we viewed them in the context of history. There are many different ways to look at history. Buddhists and others view history cyclically, as an endless loop of repetition. There is some merit to cyclical thinking. The meme “good times create weak men, weak men create hard times, hard times create strong men” contains a lot of truth in my eyes. It is especially…

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The Rise of Pragmatism

The Rise of Pragmatism

Back in 2007 when I got into politics for the first time through the Ron Paul movement, ideology was still the primary factor driving the political scene. Individualism, collectivism, Keynesianism, the Austrian School, big government, small government. Such labels meant something and they separated believers into neatly defined categories. Today with Trump we are currently in a sort of post-ideological state. I won’t call it the end of ideology, we can all see what happened to Fukuyama’s “The End of…

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Generational Guilt

Generational Guilt

J’Accuse! Is it reasonable to hold an entire generation at fault for the actions of some? As a (relatively) young person in the West today, I face decades of living with the consequences of policies enacted and supported by the baby boomer post-war generation. Talking about my native country Norway, they did create a robust economy and took Norway from being a poor agrarian society to the wealthy country we have today. They also set up a fund with actual…

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