What is the future of the intellectual right?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column.  I suggest it will take three major forms, namely anti-China, pro-internet as a communications medium (as an offset to left-wing media), and dislike of the Left, most of all the latter.  Note these are predictions rather than normative claims about what should happen.  Here is one excerpt:

Last and perhaps most significant, the intellectual right will dislike the left. It pretty much does already, but the antagonism will grow. Opposition to political correctness and cancel culture, at least in their left-wing versions, will become the most important defining view. As my colleague Bryan Caplan succinctly put it four years ago: “Leftists are anti-market. … Rightists are anti-leftist.”

The intensity of this dislike will mean that, within right-wing circles, free speech will prosper. As long as you take care to signal your dislike of the left, you will be allowed to hold many other heterodox views without being purged or penalized.

If you are on the Left, note that it does not suffice to dislike the Right, you have to dislike most parts of the Left as well (why is that? Can you model this?).

I also consider social conservatism, libertarianism, communitarianism, and Sam’s Club Republicanism as possible alternative directions for the intellectual Right.  The entire column repays careful study.


For mainstream conservatives, it'll be free speech and classical liberalism.

For those on the edge, immigration and "how did we get here".

"Free speech" means calling everyone who refuses to think and do as the intellectual right dictates.

"Liberty" means freeing everyone not on the intellectual right from the great burden of thinking and the chains of being responsible for one's choices.

In particular, the intellectual right wants to unchain women from the burden of making any choices by denying them family planning, choosing who to love and have sex with, the burden of supervising workers, managing a business, property ownership, .... and the same for anyone not a white man.

The century-long cultural revolution put women at the forefront of decision-making, as they took over the mantle of Western society. How has that worked out for us? The destruction of the family, a robust welfare state, wholesale importation of immigrants—these movements toward an r-selected society came specifically from leftist politicians' pandering for women's votes.

You speak ironically of the right's desire to free women from the burden of choice, yet it's clear that the leftist theme of women's empowerment gives agency to beings incapable of it. Abortion exists to free women from the consequences of casual sex. If their actions (thankfully) don't result in reproduction, but they regret it anyway, it's time for #BelieveAllWomen. If they end up having a kid, welfare. If they get married and have kids, and regret that, no-fault divorce. Women who skip the whole family thing and work complain in their forties because there aren't any good men.

It certainly seems, at a time when women have more power than ever before, that they're more miserable than ever before. And even still they're out campaigning for more leftists and more leftist causes (e.g., BLM, yet more immigration, etc.) to distance themselves even more from the consequences of their actions. Of course, the "intellectual right" has been scared into lockstep with the leftists, so one can hardly expect the resistance you and others attribute to them.

The left = Marxist socialist/communist. SO I sincerely hope that they dislike the left.

You Nazis are really scared, aren't you? The statues will keep falling.

you wouldn't recognize a fascist if one jabbed you in the nads
does this fella look scared to you?
this is the future of the intellectual right

Any animadversions to the empowerment of women are doomed by the Hegelian spirit of the “logic of reason.” Fact: women are obviously the intellectual, moral, and spiritual equals of men, and if you buy Ashley Montague’s rather quaint but compelling g argument for “the natural superiority of women,” especially in the modern age when women are the majority clients of American higher education, the notion that these “beings are incapable” of empowerment is, uh, inane. What, biology is destiny? Is that where the right wants to go? If the evolutionary process includes those evolving species that have invented (or discovered) the Noosphere, and obviously it does, then quaint Victorian notions of “women’s place” deserve mockery.

Yes, babies come from maternal wombs, and only females can bear a litter and nurse them little buggers until they can masticate meat and potatoes and grow up to be like you and me. And I pray to God we don’t enter a Brave New World phase of reproduction. But if we can, we probably will. We are cursed—cursed!—by our lust for forbidden knowledge. Damn Yahweh for setting up the Tree, the Serpent, and that intellectually daring female! Some helpmeet!

Before it was co-opted by chambers of commerce looking to sap both real and human capital and leftist libertarians who naively believe the world is as fiercely autonomous as they are, conservatism existed for the purpose of conserving: our culture, our society, and our traditions. Leftists like to imagine old white folks who are afraid of change to rationalize their own emotional reactions to conservatism, but the reason it's important is because what we want to conserve self-evidently works. If it didn't, you and I wouldn't be here.

Biology is destiny. It's clear that you think simply stating something makes it a fact, so I'll return the favor by saying that the culture you and the women describe as "patriarchal" didn't arise out of the ether. It's quite simple sexual dynamics and societies live and die by how they respond to it. Matriarchal societies don't last long and tribal free-for-alls where women are treated as a resource don't either. On the other hand, Western civilization, the one you and your ilk are currently fencing at the pawn shop to pay for your next dopamine fix, made it thousands of years on monogamy and setting clear expectations for each sex to harness their biological imperatives, from Greco-Roman mythology to the Abrahamic philosophy of marriage to the codes of chivalry that still last in various forms today.

This succeeded because women, in fact, are superior to men, for the very reasons you list. To break it down to a near-cellular level, eggs are more valuable than sperm. Billions of men have near-unconsciously spilled blood, sweat, and tears over millennia in recognition of this simple biological reality. But the problem is that societies that work make it a two-way street. Women want all the benefits of being the fairer sex (namely, the attention and adulation) without the expectations that accompany it (namely, sexual restraint). A society that conserves both the former and the latter survives; one that emphasizes the former while dismissing the latter as "quaint Victorian notions" does not.

That being said, this is not at all any woman's fault. You might find this confusing, but it's simply the logical end. Beings that don't have agency are hardly responsible for action. No, this is the fault of weak men like yourself. When you fail to lead, when you fail to take responsibility for the state and future of your society, someone else will. Nature abhors a vacuum and there's nothing as natural as the need for societal leadership. You acceded to the matriarchy and your society is circling the drain because of it. The only question is: what did you gain from it?

(By the way, before you start pining for the Huxlian womb-free reproduction, it might be wise to consider who needs who more. The tribal free-for-alls are inching closer by the day.)

OK, you say a lot in response, and I appreciate that. You made a bunch of inferences that don’t click with my intentions, and it would be tiresome to address them all. So I’ll try to focus on one point. You say that “beings that don’t have agency are hardly responsible for action.” Are you saying that women don’t have agency? or that “weak men like yourself” (I.e., me) don’t have agency? Or both? And if either, or both, what is your warrant? For if women in their feminist-action mode are in the process of degrading the civilization created by men, then would seem to have agency as destroyers. And if weak men have allowed them to do so, then are you saying such men have given up their agency? And if you make that claim, why couldn’t it be that men who recognize women’s agency do so willfully as well as willingly? As, say, John Stuart Mill did? Or would you judge Mill to be weak?

Women, by and large, don't have agency. There are exceptions, but you will find that the vast majority are unwilling or unable to act to fulfill abstract goals beyond deterministic reactions to their environment.

This is not intended to be a slight on women. There's in fact nothing inherently wrong with this behavior, it's our default programming as it is for all other lifeforms. It makes sense from the perspective of evolutionary psychology that women might focus on the immediate needs of themselves and, say, their children in the context of their environment.

The problem, as I noted, is that a functional society can't exist without a critical mass of leading individuals (distinct from formal leaders) who have the means to take responsibility to maintain and improve it, not only for themselves, but for those who can't or won't. Our society, in the mid-to-late stages of collapse, has a scarcity of these individuals. In their place, we have both men and women, namely leftists, who view the world as a series of events or forces inflicted upon them. Structure over capacity.

This is evident in the nature of leftist causes. BLM demands that other members of society, in particular the police, alter or cease their agency, while expressly forbidding discussion of how BLM members' actions influence such agency. Feminism, as I noted, is just a series of reactions to established societal norms designed to minimize and socialize the responsibility of women. Welfare, income/wealth redistribution, and similar concepts are designed as a method of equalizing what's presented as a force of nature (inequality of income/wealth) without exploring why and how those to whom the income/wealth should be redistributed might be responsible for the inequality. The net effect of all of these is to neutralize actors while rewarding both non-actors, on pain of the further destruction of the society (lately, looting and vandalizing).

This is a good time to note that degradation or destruction doesn't fit the definition of agency. Not only is it a reaction to created structure and order, it's simple entropy. An infestation of termites can bring a wood-frame house down, but that doesn't mean termites have agency. Time may do the same thing, time doesn't have agency. The house, like a functioning society, is not spontaneously created by nature. It requires actors to eschew their immediate personal needs to build it with a specific, yet abstract goal in mind. Destroying it requires nothing more than an impulse.

As for you, or other weak men, there's a distinction to be made between the capacity for agency and the willingness to act. I already asked you, what did you gain from ceding your agency to those who don't appreciate or understand it? What did John Stuart Mill gain? Where do you fit in with the above degradation?

What you say of most women in your first paragraph can also be said of most men. Making it a generalization focused on women may have been true before the Enlightenment; since then it has gradually become so much less true that we are reaching a point of equality. Roughly the same can be said of African Americans. There are more George Washington Carvers and ida Tarbells nowadays, and despite the efforts of the hard right, that trend is likely to continue. I consider this trend to be positive, not just for the marginally disempowered, but for you and me as well.

I would agree that the evolutionary development of our species has favored the sex-based division of labor you describe. Certainly sex differences are the primary reason for such a division. But the process of gene-culture co-evolution has led us to the point we are at now, and that point seems to recognize that women have leadership and creative qualities with quite as much positive agency as men (as witness the present leadership of Germany, New Zealand, Myanmar, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Greece). In fact, I would argue that they have been on the whole better stewards of their respective societies that their male counterparts. I would also say, at this stage of our evolutionary development, the qualities women tend to bring to leadership positions are what our species needs right now, given the accelerating challenges of globalism, climate change, and digital
technology. (I would reference Carol
Gilligan’s theories here.)

Your comments on leftist movements and agendas seem to disregard the legitimate grounds of their claims of injustice. Too much to deal with here, so I’ll just focus on BLM. What the world saw and globally responded to in the video showing black George Floyd’s slow and agonizing death at the hands of a white cop using his agency with the assumption of utter impunity ( an assumption well warranted by what certainly seems to be systemic racism among police, aided and abetted by police captains and commissioners and unions and mayors and governors of both parties) was an act of gross injustice that represents fairly the long experience of dark-skinned minorities . If you can’t see that, then we might as as well stop this dialogue.

Your definition of ‘agency’
as positive and creative power rather than merely the possession of power to act is fine with me. No need to quibble how to
use the term.

I don’t accept your assumption that I have “ceded” my agency to anyone. Had I done so, I would indeed be “weak.” Rather, I recognize the suppressed agency of others and seek to lift that suppression, which I find arbitrary, unnecessary, unjust, and unwise. We have more to gain from a truly democratic notion of agency than the elitist, quasi-aristocratic or oligarchic notion of agency ( or just power) that the right seems to favor.

Finally, the main source of social and political degradation I see now comes directly from the right, and from the Republican Party in particular, which has sycophantically embraced a Trump and Trumpism, a demagogic, vulgar, incompetent, and destructive movement that has no more in common with the ideals and pragmatic nation-building of the Founding Fathers than Caligula had with Cicero and the Roman Republic.

Fact: women are obviously the intellectual, moral, and spiritual equals of men,

Sorry but those ain't facts. They are a series of Christian theological statements presenting as facts. By any scientific or rational measure women and men are, on average, different in intelligence. Not as different as chimpanzees but different enough. Women do not do as well on IQ tests or in exams. They do not make big scientific break throughs. They do not, by and large, write important books except about marriage and children. David Stove has a lovely essay on this topic.

There is no way to measure moral or spiritual levels, but I would think that casual observation would suggest morality is mainly by and for men while women's interest in spirituality exists and can be highly advanced, most of it is on par with crystals and not worthy of respect.

in the modern age when women are the majority clients of American higher education,

They had to destroy Higher Education to win, though. A dominance not caused by women taking over STEM but by Women's Studies taking over the Humanities.

What, biology is destiny?

Well yes. That is why chimpanzees can't vote. .... Yet.

then quaint Victorian notions of “women’s place” deserve mockery.

Off you go. Mock. The future belongs to those that turn up for it. Which means those that have children. Which means those cultures that recognize women's strengths and weakness, if that is your politics, or forces them if it isn't, and encourages them to stay at home to have children. America belongs to the Hispanics because they have children.

What opinion polls show women want is 1950s America. We should give it to them.

Women do not do as well on IQ tests or in exams

No, you're just wrong here. Women and men have about the same average IQ. (I think usually within 1 point.). There's some evidence that the *variance* may be higher for men than women, but the *average* is within measurement error of being the same.

They do not make big scientific break throughs.

Again, you're just wrong. There is a ton of good research being published by women. For breakthroughs, look at the history of discovery of telomeres and mobile genetic elements. For opening a whole new area of inquiry, look at evolutionary psychology (Cosmides and Hrdy are both pioneers).

What opinion polls show women want is 1950s America. We should give it to them.

A quick Google search got me to this Pew Center report that says that 61% of women think "feminist" describes them very well or fairly well. That doesn't look remotely like what you're claiming.

As best I can tell, most of the factual claims you're making here are just wrong, which doesn't give me great confidence in your conclusions.

Re: The future belongs to those that turn up for it. Which means those that have children.

This is an erroneous statement. At far enough remove the future belongs to no one now living because we shall all of us be quite dead (regardless of what one believes about an afterlife since the dead in heaven or in hell do not rule over the affairs of the living). The future belongs to people who will be alive in it until they too shuffle off. But none of those people are clones of their ancestors, and they may (almost certainly will) hold different beliefs about politics, etc., etc. than their ancestors did. "Time changes all things and we step not twice in the same river". Remember that before relying on grandiose deterministic statements.

The female aspect of the disaster has been noted. The culture whose preservation in the face of communism involved the development and maintenance of atomic weapons and more, has now been made nearly unrecognizable within the normal lifespan of a human.

Indeed, we went from star-gazing to navel-gazing in a very short period of time. It's not hard to make the connection, unless you don't want to.

Re: The century-long cultural revolution put women at the forefront of decision-making, as they took over the mantle of Western society.

Always nice to hear from another universe. In this one in all but a small handful of nations men hold the majority of powerful positions both politically and economically.

Re: Abortion exists to free women from the consequences of casual sex.

Since Virgin births have occurred either once or not at all, men are also freed from the possible consequence of casual sex. You know, child support payments. As well as the duties of fatherhood which any number of men are not disposed to take on just as many women are not able, ready or willing to be mothers.

I thought the American right was trying to do the left a favor by keeping women out of the work force, all of destruction raises wages for current workers... and in mulps world that can’t be a bad thing...

Won't disagree, but I'm pretty concerned about how the dislike of the Left plays out in a Biden win. 'Dislike' may be way too soft a word.

The right, least of all the "intellectual right", isn't the group on the streets destroying American heritage with impunity.

When Biden wins (and he will win, as our overlords surely won't leave it up to the people as they did in 2016), you'll see from the "intellectual right" exactly what you see now, which is a response somewhere between tacit approval and cowardly silence.

Well, the people voted for Hillary in 2016. An old slaver anachronism gave it to the popular vote loser. But whatever. Biden is +5 in Texas.

For whatever reason Biden is popular and you guys are having a hard time painting the guy who saved Clarence Thomas's nomination as a Maoist.

Saved Clarence Thomas? Hah! What Hollywood propaganda have you been consuming, Comrade Moo? That’s like saying Cheney saved that lawyer’s life by only shooting him in the face a little.

yet another false equivalency from the leftist sociology dept.

I think the right wing fevor pitch of rage against Biden is gonna be one of the greatest spectacles in US history. It will make Trump look like child’s play.

Think about it! A white male Democratic baby boomer president? OMG-the republicans and the American right better enjoy it while it lasts.....

> I think the right wing fevor pitch of rage against Biden is gonna be one of the greatest spectacles in US history.

The right has to go to work everyday, and they don't have much time to protesting. Things were pretty tame during Obama if you'll recall.

I'm so old I remember when all of the right-wing racists were going to launch a coup to keep our first black POTUS from taking office. Or that he was going to be assassinated because conservatives just couldn't handle it.

This was right after Dubya was going to refuse to leave the White House. (As it stands he should have just directed the FBI to spy on the Obama campaign and administration to dig up dirt for his buddy McCain. I bet he wishes every day he'd thought of that at the time.)

I think he was being sarcastic.

American Exceptionalism is real and under attack.

As an independent and ex-Republican I consider this to be a great tragedy, if true. The thing that kept me in, for as long as I was, was argument for ideas. Opposition to people is not that.

One might go further, and say "intellectual" opposition to "people" is an oxymoron.

Perhaps "intellectual" affinity to in-group anti-intellectuals would be as well.

Leading to the Straussian reading "they ain't intellectuals" I suppose.


Lack of Affiliation 2021

In the coming years, three things will dominate the attention of the intellectual right: the main international rival (China), the main domestic rival (the left), and the main thing they stare at all day long (the internet). That bundle of concerns may not be terribly surprising. All the same, it would represent a true break from the Reaganite and Trumpian ideology of the present and recent past.

What a funny quote. Trump himself is animated by antipathy towards China, his love of the internet, and his hatred of opposition. So this is a continuation of Trumpism couched as a change?

The other thing this essay shares with Trump is utter silence on Russia. Curious that. I would say if someone is going to take a serious look at competing ideologies, one would have to include both. China and Russia.

Oops, I failed to close that just before "what a funny quote"

I’m not enough of a scholar to know how much political and economic risk Russia and China pose to the USA. I strongly favor free trade and globalism though and am personally hard-pressed to anti-other-country speech (and stuff like economic sanctions) useful.

Back to your point, the unclassified National Security Strategy gives equal footing to Russia and China as threats to America. However, military-wise, China’s advances are incredible, growing fast, and far ahead of Russia. So I do see a point there for increasing anti-China thought.

China under Xi is definitely more evil than China under Deng, and so we must shift policy to respond.

China is not 'definitely more evil'.

Free trade with all is the path towards lifting another few hundred million people out of crushing poverty.

Come on man, Deng did more transformation for wealth and with (as far as we know) fewer concentration camps.

I am not sure China's approach to trade, though, is what the West would call free trade. Yes, it is trade that allows us to buy a bunch of stuff more cheaply than otherwise. But China insists on a bunch of conditions for US companies to operate in there, mandates some level of IP transfer and Chinese state ownership, has a much more aggressive and efficient government role in protecting and investing in domestic innovation, and steals a lot of corporate IP from US companies.

It's not free trade, it's trade that benefits China while harming the US. Makes you wonder about the politicians and pundits who advocate for it. There's a word for Americans who blatantly act against American interests.

Stealing is wrong. Mandating conditions is a different matter.

An interesting read from a Chinese perspective:


Asia Times was set up by a Thai Chinese businessman in the 1990 and has been taken over by a bunch of Western ex-journalist/banker types.

The Author Samo Burja appears to be a Slovenian or Slovenian American living in San Francisco.

Samo Burja is the founder of Bismarck Analysis, a consulting firm that investigates the institutional landscape of society, usually in political risk. Samo is also a research fellow at the Long Now Foundation where he studies how institutions can endure for centuries and millennia. As Senior Research Fellow in Political Science at the Foresight Institute he helps advise how institutions can shape the future of technology.

It may be an interesting article, but it is not a Chinese perspective.

Sorry, sometimes I try to say things in the fewest words possible.

The longer winded way to say it is that the article presents a framework of thought proposed to be held by Chinese leadership.

Got it. Thanks for the link.

As we learned from Bolton, Trump has no foreign policy doctrine, anti-China or otherwise. Rather, Trump thinks exclusively in superficial terms --- the next photo-op or tweet. Also, Trump is animated by antipathy towards everyone, not just China. With no strategy, why bother cultivating alliances?

The keyword here is "main". If China is the *main* international rival, i.e., the 21st Century Soviet Union, then what is the conservative vision for an Indo-Pacific NATO?

That might be another interesting discussion, how exactly China competes. I for one do not believe their aircraft carriers are designed to attack and hold Los Angeles. They might be just for flexing muscles, though perhaps an attack on Vietnam is something that should be considered within the realm of possibility.

That said, it might be a mistake to even think too much in military terms. If China is patient, then building domestic wealth, and Belt and Road type alliances might be their plan for the next century.

If that's their real plan, another American aircraft carrier doesn't stop it.

Who knows, they might even seduce "American" corporations into betraying the system that built them, and win the war without firing a shot. Getting some help from a virus they released might help too.

From what I've read, the Chinese seem to believe that the US is doing a pretty good job at destroying itself without much effort on their part. It's not an evidence-free take.

china did send us the virus

Russia isn't really a rival; it's just another militarist, pro-family not-quite-but-soon-to-be dictatorship. You solve Russia by solving their power to export massive amounts of energy resources on a favourable basis, and being mindful to not do anything that provokes militarily what is still a major nuclear power with huge extent.

There's no systematic ideological threat there really. Proganoia about oligarchs and "election interference" aside. The US just has to do the bear minimum of not alientating every conservative, pro-trad family voter, and the Russian ideological alternative will look pretty unattractive.

China very different.

Sorry, the question of the day has a very clearly become about the value of democracy and the rule of law.

Russia is not the only actor saying you don't need those things, but is possibly the most active in asymmetric war.

No, Russia's not important here at all.

Even on your chosen ground:

The major threat to the Rule of Law is lawfare to subvert and attack elected representatives, and finagle decisions that are clearly more much held by citizens by higher social standing. That destroys respect for law.

The major threat to Democracy is loss of faith that elected representatives will simply enact what the public wants them to do, rather than "lead" with what they believe is best.

The major onslaught to both these ideas is the perception that they are not much help in a struggle with a social elite determined to get its own way rather than respect the rules and spirit of process.

When populist strongmen ever succeed through history, it's because elite classes are unwilling to compromise their leadership and bend their preferences towards what is desired by the population's base. The people almost always prefer a monarch on their side to an aristocracy that is not.

You are saying blame the guy going out the window, not the guy pushing him

Trump is only animated by his own ego. There won't be a coherent ideological left nor right. There was never a coherent Trumpism to begin with.

The only spectrum that's operative is high trust vs low trust. How it takes the zombie form of whatever parties exist is entirely irrelevant.

Low trust is on the rise.

By the same token, it's silly to suggest that there is any animating or unifying principle on the left other than (class-based) hatred of Trump's supporters. Certainly, the affluent left in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in big business make out quite well from the market. They favor government regulation because that disproportionately burdens their small-business competition, not it if some philosophical opposition to capitalism. The white radicals in the streets, who do hate the market, were serving in common cause by burning down small, minority-owned businesses.

Me: "Leading to the Straussian reading 'they ain't intellectuals' I suppose."

My morning after thought is that there is very little for actual intellectuals to like in this framework:

China - this could be driven by humanitarian or democratic concerns, but it looks likely to be driven by a combination of xenophobia and tribalism.

Internet - everybody uses the internet, so no big

Hating the left - rather naked tribalism

So what is even "intellectual" in any of that? It might even describe a rump collection of anti-intellectual refuseniks.

Related reading:

Third, “conservatism” — whether libertarianism/hostility to government or Trumpian right-wing populism — has become an intellectual dead-end, horribly ill-suited to the needs of Americans in a globalized economy and a nation riven by race, geography and great gaps in wealth. The most interesting effort to think through a practical and humane alternative philosophy comes from the Niskanen Center, whose work I have frequently referenced and continue to follow with interest. In any event, we could use a heavy dose of pragmatism, moderation and creativity in addressing a raft of issues from climate change to productivity to policing.

Understanding the mysterious group of Never Trumpers

At the global level, does anti-China strategy lead to cultivation of stronger alliances with Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, India, etc. a la Reagan or retrenchment a la Trump?

Where does this leave trade and immigration? Just oppositional to however the Left looks at it? It seems to me that, until now, it's been the opposite --- the Left has defined its immigration stance as anti-Right: anti-immigration when Koch Bros support it (Bernie Sanders), pro-immigration when anti-Latinos oppose it (more recent years).

"If you are on the Left, note that it does not suffice to dislike the Right, you also have to dislike most parts of the Left as well."

How sustainable will that be?

There is a pragmatic answer that is neither right nor left. US companies have huge investments in China. No one is willing to abrogate them and pay off damages. Thus we must continue business with China even as we shift geopolitical policy.

This necessitates, and it isn't even an option of right versus left thinking, this necessitates a policy of engagement, and hopefully change.

Such a policy might hit all the moral high notes as well, trying to do good by each party, and trying to reduce harm where possible.

The left vs. right split arises from the trilemma among military spending, low taxes, and social welfare spending. The general public demands the second. So, our experience during the Cold War was that, when someone favors the third over the first, that led to rationalization that we didn't really need the first, the threat was not that large, we could accomplish everything diplomatically by just being nicer, etc. We just got through the Cold War (in the grand scheme of things even though some people alive today weren't born yet). So, no need to speculate on things. We pretty much can predict how the debates are going to go.

To restate it perhaps more clearly, I am saying that too much military preparation might be a misallocation of funds, and an opportunity cost.

If China wants to become more prosperous we can't blockade them like it's the 18th century.

All we can do is make sure we have better alliances, and the engagement necessary to support our own future global trade.

We could also dramatically increase our own research and development budgets. A technological edge is pretty important.

Use point-based immigration policy to steal the best brains we can.

All that falls in line with what really happened in the Cold War you mentioned. We did not have to fight it Hot, we won by prosperity.

This is a big part of the Trump Doctrine:


He did the same thing with North Korea.

Best thing China wise is to realize China can’t be changed from the outside. Second, play for time and muddle through it. Eventually they will trip over themselves.

Who will trip over themselves first, I wonder? Watching the recent stumbles from inside the USA, I don't get the sense that our country is exactly steady on its feet.

... what about the NeoCons who still dominate the Republican Establishment ?

They do not and will not. They were never a distinct tendency from the standpoint of policy preference, but due to personal history and a disposition that was less literary and more social-scientific. About the youngest person who was ever a member of the Committee for the Free World was John Podhoretz. He is now 60 years old. Commentary has one regular contributor under the age of 50. Wm. Kristol scrounges for patronage from liberals like Pierre Omidyar.

The people who 'dominate the Republican establishment' are cat's paws of the Chamber of Commerce and the party's donor class.

I'd much rather have the Republican Party influenced (not dominated) by the Chamber of Commerce than by Donald Trump. The COC actually, you know, makes and sells stuff, and employs people.

Isn't the main challenge how can plutocrats and warmongers get a large block of racists back under control? Solve for the equilibrium amount of racism to draw in the white 'working class' and not turn off suburban women.

And hopefully those plutocrats and warmongers don’t take their 2.9 percent economic growth with them when they are voted out of office.

When the people’s party comes to power with their 1.5 percent growth rate, we’ll be wondering who the implicit racists are.

No! The key question is how "plutocrats and warmongers got a large block of previously hostile, putative "anti-racists" under control.

How George Soros helped the World Economic Forum buy Antifa could be the next best seller.

The plutocrats and warmongers have made the right their enemy and have paid no price for it.

Yet I do not see people converging on any particular solutions to the China problem. It will suffice to say, ‘Something must be done.’”

Ummm... “decoupling”? Seems to be quite the buzzword.

To be fleshed out perhaps starting with Biden’s China proposals as a base:

“implement fundamental reforms that shift production of a range of critical products back to U.S. soil, creating new jobs and protecting U.S. supply chains against national security threats. 
While medical supplies and equipment are our most pressing and urgent needs, U.S. supply chain risks are not limited to these items. The U.S. needs to close supply chain vulnerabilities across a range of critical products on which the U.S. is dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers. America needs a stronger, more resilient domestic supply chain in a number of areas, including energy and grid resilience technologies, semiconductors, key electronics and related technologies, telecommunications infrastructure, and key raw materials. “

-Joe Biden .com

I believe Biden's buy American plan is limited to government purchases, which makes it fine in my book. I would say every government in the world has a natural right to prefer domestic suppliers.

But chances are the man in the street will view the plan as broader than that. And perhaps some will view it as an attack on trade for that reason.

If limited to government only...

Politically it seems problematic in the sense in that well... firstly to what extent does the US government not already "Buy American", and within that, secondly when does the US government actually buy from non-allies?

So it seems like it presents a target that's easy to go in on as "worst of all worlds"; dependent on surging public spending, alienating of allies that build and export (like South Korea, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, etc), and ineffective on the margin as something which the US mostly already does.

"This is old wine in a new bottle, and where it's not just that, it doesn't help resolve the problems of the relationship with China, while being actively bad for ally relationships!".

While if it is a comprehensive plan to re-orient the private economy, it does go beyond Trump's mere "fair trade and reciprocity" international trade campaigns that seek to replace American unilateral unconditional engagement (the openness is always better stance) with an international quid-pro-quo of trade relations (as he seems to seek in virtually aspect of politics and business, even when illegal).

There is a reason I used the word "prefer" rather than the "require."

As you say, sourcing is not the only factor.

Sure, but I don't really care what you think is right or not, here, I'm commenting on (and we're discussing) what Biden is saying he'll do.

If his plan is "I'll prefer American suppliers for government contracts", as if you don't already, that's remarkably much an empty recapitulation of the status quo as if it were innovation!

The problem with China is that they play economic hardball, and we respond with softball tosses.

The way to deal with China is to force them to respect the norms of other trading countries. For example, we should have a policy of responding harshly to intellectual theft. If we find a stolen chip design, ban the company that created it for five years. A 'knock off' tariff could be slapped on goods that are obvious ripoffs of other country's products.

We should hold the Chinese government responsible when we find Chinese 'Students' who are in the university to steal research, We should consider internet attacks to be acts of cyber-war, and retaliate in a way that makes it too expensive for Chjna to continue (same for Russia). Come up with a law like ITER which puts some onus in American tech companies to polide Chinese influence and technology theft.

Economic, rather than military deterrence is what is needed. Make sure that the penalty is high enough for infractiins that it's jot cost-effective of them to even try.

Of course with China you also have to maintain a large military presence or they will respind to economic disincentives with military threats.

Finally, we need to remove their censorious influence in the internet. Perhaps legislation that prevenfs Google, Apple, or Facebook from censoring their Chinese equivalent services. If China does 't like it, they can build their own.

Start making Chinese misbehaviour very expensive, and you will get less of it. China needs us more than we need them. It's time they knew it.

Like that monstrous peddler of Race Science Steve Sailer says, what unites the leftist coalition of the fringes is hatred of normal white people, white men especially.

New Yorker: Monstrous People (Like, Say, Me)



I think hatred of the left on the right is almost entirely a reaction to rabid hatred of the right from the left.

+100 This.

Take a look around at the news. The left is animated by its hatred of the right. The right is animated by the threats of the left. Immigrants are used as pawns by the left to threaten the right, and so the right responds to immigrants as threats also.

In general, I find people on the right side of the spectrum just want to be left the fuck alone. And people on the left can’t stand their indifference. I would be surprised if most right leaning people could define the acronyms of the abc people or if they give two shits either way about the black community (unless they happen to be a black conservative).

They care about their taxes, their schools, their homes, and the prospects of their children. Likely some form of religion and whatever the bitchy mom said at the last soccer game. And this “small-mindedness” drives the left fucking crazy.

As a moderate conservative, I 100% agree that those local issues are what conservatives do and people should care about most. I disagree that most conservatives don’t care about black communities. I think most of us care in the sense that we find it unfortunate that so many live in violent squalor. The more intellectual conservative will disagree with the left’s prescription for solving (black) poverty and community breakdown.

But we are definitely more than happy to let the radical left yell about acronyms and masks on the cable news while we crush Whiteclaw on our boats.

Gentry liberals don't give a good goddamn about the welfare of working-class blacks. Everything they say is just obnoxious posturing and a sales job to redistribute more income to social workers and school administrators. Gentry liberals are motivated by their conceits and resentments.

Nigel, up thread there are people talking about nazis. I agree with your revision, but it misses my point... most people on the right do not default to seeing the world through lenses of skin-color or the abcs.

But they do start seeing it that way when it’s used against them at work, there kids at school, and their communities at the state and federal level.

It is idiotic for Tyler to frame this as the right’s “dislike” of the left. People on the right are being threatened. And they’re being threatened by groups of illiberal people happily engraving discrimination into every institution they can get their hands on. With the justification that, somehow, by drinking white claw on their boats, the right has earned the targets on their backs.

It is scary that leftist derangement and demonization of normal white people might drive America to civil war.

But I think normal whites have more guns, ammo, and firearms skills than deranged leftists do, and normal whites are still the majority of the American military.

Indeed, one wonders if the left's constant invocation of Nazis might ever come back to bite them. In the sense an exasperated parent of a previous age might say: if you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about.

I forecast that the American right will become more positive about more of American history, most notably the New Deal, as anti-American hatred grows on the left. The mob hasn't yet toppled FDR's statue in his wheelchair on the National Mall yet, but I mostly only hear about FDR these days as the evil white male who perpetrated that worst crime of all time: redlining.

Mostly I only hear about FDR these days as the evil white male who perpetrated that worst crime of all time: taking America off the gold standard.

Or because he tried to pack the Supreme Court.

Not sure who lives in the more segregated neighborhood.

Will caring deeply about history and culture (whether from the "let's smash these statues of evil white men" side or the "let's preserve these statues of our great men of the past" side, ever engage very many people? It seems like most people honestly DGAF about history.

My guess, which I haven't tried to check, is that in most every big city, you could get overwhelming public support for closing down the museums in exchange for new stadiums for the professional sports teams.

Megan MacArdle, generally spoken of with respect by our host here, once pointed out that taking the US off the gold standard, was the singe most beneficial thing FDR did. The economy started to improve almost immediately.

"namely anti-China"

If we had supported our allies, Brazil, India, Vietnam, etc., when we had a chance, maybe we would not be in such a dire situation, China gets to be the focus of our political system.

Good point, Mr. Marshall. China can only live rent free in the Trumpists' minds because they gave it free rein in Asia.

Trumpist here. I don't mind China really. Their government tends to watch over public morality way better than ours does, and their government actually gives two ---- about their own people. The US government is acting to displace Americans with foreigners as quickly as possible.

Conservatives intellectuals are split between the “Jen Rubin” wing of intellectuals like George Will, David Frum, and Jonah Goldberg who make their money dumping on the Republican base for the amusement of progressives, and the “country music” wing of intellectuals who to make their money still have to pretend not to hate working class whites. In one of his bigoted rants Will bravely takes down “those in thrall to country-music manliness: ‘We’re truck-driving, beer-drinking, big-chested Americans too freedom-loving to let any itsy-bitsy virus make us wear masks,’” but apparently saw no money in taking on maskless protesters. The Jen Rubins and the Country Music elites will cancel each other out leaving the USA to the tender mercies of a Democrat House, Senate, and President and then they will truly of no use whatsoever to man or beast.

There are no conservative intellectuals in the Jen Rubin wing. There are just grifters who are paid to pretend to be Republicans so they can convince the RINOs to vote for Democratic policies.

As we could see with the Journo-list thing where they were open in private about what they really thought

That was Dave Weigel who was exposed as a fraud. He still has a job. That's who they are.

There is now a corps of starboard pundits whose remarks are regulated by the reality that their salaries are paid by liberal patrons. That includes Ross Douthat, Jennifer Rubin, Ramesh Ponnuru, David Brooks, and the crumb scroungers at The Bulwark. (George Will and David Frum each have an eight digit net worth, so aren't in it to make rent). There's an intersecting crew (most paid out of donor and endowment income) who've been for some years in a snit that their readers ignored them in 2016. That would include most of those who edit and contribute to National Review and Commentary, as well as George Will and Mona Charen. Charen in particular has no interest in policy and the sum of her remarks now have the air of a late-middle-aged woman complaining about her frenemies over lunch.

The election of 2016 was actually a lesson in how little all but a few purveyors of topical commentary matter. They're decorative. Buckley mattered. Wm. Rusher mattered. Limbaugh matters. Tucker Carlson matters. Richard Lowry is superfluous (and bad at the non-mechanical aspects of his job).

Higher education has grown so corrupt and sectarian that there's hardly room for any sort of dissident literature to be produced and disseminated there. The think tanks have a comparatively small corpus of people and have a history of wasting salary money on the likes of Mona Charen and David Frum. Religious bodies are largely run by people whose outlook is similar to that of random NGO executives. Those that aren't are run by goofy people pleasers like Russell Moore. They're no good, and the faculties of the religious colleges are thick with people who make it their job to sell the rancid secular culture to their supposed constituency, not to develop the academic aspect of the constituency's culture. You've got a few bright lights, but a lot of these guys are old. If you asked me to list 10 prominent Catholic, Orthodox, or evangelical scholars who also write for general audiences and produce engaging commentary, I'd be hard put to come up with the name of anyone under 50. (Ryan Anderson is the only one who comes to mind).

As for secular authors, those with academic chops and those without, there are very few.

"The election of 2016 was actually a lesson in how little all but a few purveyors of topical commentary matter."

They matter so little that Arts-and-Crafts will spend several paragraphs attacking them and their writings. Self-refuting. Irrelevant people are the people with 15 twitter followers and no syndicated columns or speaking gigs. The people Arts-and-Crafts seems have spent a considerable portion of his life hate-reading are not.

+1 nailed it

George Will has always added a dash of country club elitism to his conservatism. He once devoted an entire column to a rant against the idea of non-working class adults wearing jeans.

George Will is a faculty scion who knew nothing of country clubs as a youth. His preferred mode of exercise when younger was jogging and his preferred spectator sport is baseball. He isn't known to play cards. Among all his proximate relations, the only one who's the sort you'd commonly find on a country-club roster would be his youngest son (who works for a BigLaw firm).

The left have no reason to be pro-China, so plank one can be rendered anodyne by the opponents of the right if it becomes too popular. That leaves Thiel and Milo. Who'd have predicted that outcome!

- If you are on the Left, note that it does not suffice to dislike the Right, you have to dislike most parts of the Left as well
- Socialists are a tiny minority of elected centre/left politicians so it makes sense for them; the main political enemy 80% of the time is a centre/left incumbent. I don't think Biden, or even most of Congress, hates the left.

The left doesn't dislike the right or the other parts of the left, the left hates them, a very deep strong abiding hate of anyone who doesn't agree and take their side. I didn't know what real hatred was until I attended a BLM protest as an observer, if I had let on where my politics lie I would have been assaulted at the least and probably worse would have been inflicted on me. No civil discourse seems possible with a true leftie.

People riot because they are too angry.

there are no riots there are only mostly peaceful protests
chunking bricks at police is purely a symbolic act

Until the Right mostly abandons Twitter, it has no future. The appeal of the Right has always been its defense of traditions and longer-standing principles (independent of their utility, veracity, or even whether the traditions are all that based in actual historical practice). The of-the-moment aesthetic of Twitter undercuts this, deeply, much in the way that rock music undercuts the religious lyrics that "Christian rock" tries to tack onto it. On Twitter, the Right can't help but convey a certain sense of alternate Leftism.

None of this applies to longer online formats, like blogs.

The fact that Republican politicians refuse to leave Twitter is really an embarrassment for any claim of having self control. "Oh sure Twitter is censors us and is openly hostile to our very existence, but I need a high amount of Likes (TM) on my tweets!!" You can get the same content out with blogs where you actually own your own platform. Marginal Revolution is a model blog.

In non-Twitter media, the content would be different. Style is not layered onto content. It's part of content. When you cut a cookie in the shape of Santa Claus, the cookie's content is very different from when you cut it in the shape of a pumpkin. Same dough. Different shape. Different message.

And if one thinks about it, using a name like "White American" does the same thing. Words pushed through that cookie-cutter shape can't help but be an appeal to imagined status, a lame attempt at ironic pushback against other sorts identity politics, or both. Independent of the words chosen, the message amounts to a not-so-vague racialism.

The right-left binary is an illusion concocted by the political class, who make up both teams. No others allowed. The real division is between the abstractionists and the realists, which loosely corresponds to the white collar "skilled workers" and their inferiors, the blue-collar "low-skilled" that need a shower after work.

The abstractionists deal with ideas and concepts, their workplace is in front of a keyboard and monitor. The overwhelming majority of them are simply data-entry drones. None of their ideas or concepts can come to fruition without the work of the low-class scum in the field. The collar blancos, on a monthly salary, take coffee breaks at will while their hourly underlings are religiously regimented by the clock. The intellectual difference between the two is obvious, a significant period of life working with one's hands qualifies no one for higher status, even in the ultra-meritocratic Yankee environment. If a blue collar had any brains he'd have never picked up a shovel, hammer or shears. Instead he'd have become a teller at Wells Fargo or a adjunct professor at South Dakota State. Anomalies like Eric Hoffer are just too rare to be worthy of comment.

“The right-left binary is an illusion concocted by the political class, who make up both teams. “

Actually it has bee traced back to the French Revolution, nevertheless, you are entirely correct.

FWIW, per Wikipedia:

“In his seminal work An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957), Downs introduced a left–right axis to economic theory.[14] On the "left" he placed communist parties that want entirely state-planned economies, and on the "right" he placed conservative parties that demand an entirely deregulated economy.[15] He claimed that most voters have incomplete information when voting for political candidates in a democracy, and therefore will resort to economic issues of "how much government intervention in the economy there should be" and how parties will control this. Downs borrowed the curve from Harold Hotelling, who developed it to explain how grocery stores targeted customers. Downs' book has since become one of the most cited books in political science. His left–right axis model has been integrated into the median voter theory first articulated by Duncan Black.“

Slavish devotion to maintaining this axis as the be all and end all is what has rendered political science irrelevant. The left-right binary and the inability to think beyond it is largely what holds the citizens of the USA in thrall to the inexcusably primitive winner-take-all two party tyranny and keeps them living in a second rate country that ranks well below the modern democracies in rule of law, overall governance, perception of corruption and other important metrics.

It's probably less about slavish devotion than about the luxury of being so devoted. If you're comfortable enough to play the video game and have the time to do it, then why not? It is devotion though, for sure, but it's somewhere between tribalism and rooting for your favorite football team (given that we have plenty of free time on Sundays).

The left-right distinction hasn't been "traced" back to the French revolution, it originated in 18th century France where the liberals, consisting of the merchant and professional classes who didn't want to be regulated, sat on the left side of the National Assembly and the pro-king and church conservatives sat on the right. This is well known to anyone who has taken (and passed) a college-level political science class. Anthony Downs didn't discover this, he just wrote about it.

Political distinctions don't translate well across countries and centuries and the Right in the United States has been pro-business and anti-regulation since something like the late 19th century. The mantle of the Left was taken up by Marx and Engels and you know the rest.

The mantle of the Left is worn by Social Democrats, who are not communists, nor do they hate the right as represented by conservative Christian parties, who they often work with in governing coalitions throughout Europe.

Because the U.S. has a two-party system, it doesn't generally have governing coalitions. It would have to change its electoral system to have the multi-party system that lends itself to coalitions.

Mostly right. As evidence, notice the attempt of white-collarists L (for "leader") to prevent other white-collarists N (for "non-leader") from contributing ideas and concepts even further, by "commanding a room," running meetings, and so on. Does it work? Sometimes. But only to the degree that white-collarists L have mastered the art of shouting in moderate tones, cutting off others in speech, and the degree that white-collarists N buy into it.

Man is a political animal, The tactics of and contexts of power change, and free institutions allow you to take most attempts at power less seriously, but the effort to exert it doesn't diminish. It's baked into our brains.

So I don't think this is mostly about abstractionists versus non-abstractionists. Because power is not abstract. In a civilized world, power mostly revolves around triggering emotional responses in those gullible enough to take the Ls too seriously, foolish enough to take their own little knee-jerk emotional responses too seriously, or both. This latter category, the gullible, includes most of the abstractionists too (especially the ones schooled in Enlightenment or liberal ideals).

More dichotomies:
theorist - experimentalist (somewhat like the white collar - blue collar)
risk averse- risk taking
male - female
youth - knowledgable
inward focused - outward focused
etc - etc

-China is too much on people's minds.
-The left is characterized by envy, so deeply that they are willing to undermine and destroy productive institutions.

(i) China has probably peaked.
(ii) On the other hand it may be overtaken on the way down by the USA.

I'm not usually a fan of Reason Magazine, in part because the quality of writing does not always seem all that high. And I can't really say whether Reason would or should be counted among "the intellectual right." Nonetheless, these are three very fine essays on that letter in Harper's




And that letter in Harpers, if you haven't read it:


"We have in America," Mark Twain once said, "three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to practice neither." By overloading the last, Twitter overloads liberal democracy, putting it in danger of toppling, like a wheelbarrow loaded high with a half-ton load of rocks. The inevitable result is a need for such letters, which are likely futile.

Save the republic. Stop Tweeting.

"What does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left?"

It says that the left is deeply insecure about its ability to win an open argument.

Etalon es boss

Why would anyone believe that there is any future for right of center writers and intellectuals. Given the demographic changes occuring in the U.S., the future is the U.S. operating under a dominant party arrangement until it becomes a one party state.

Why would anyone waste their time writing or speaking about right-of-center issue/polices/ideas when there is no chance that the government will ever act on them.

It's amusing the psy-ops sorosphere outfits engage in.

Look up the status of the Republican Party and/or conservative politis in California. As the demographic trends of the U.S. continue along the path of the rest of the country being more like California, why would anyone believe that anyone in the intellectual right will have an audience?

Yet oddly enough Trump outperformed his national numbers among every demographic in California except whites.

I am always reminded that if you went back to 1900 which trends would define voting in the coming decades they would bank of Republicans having a lock on the Black vote, the Democrats having a lock on the South, and a major fault line being prohibition. Long term trends reverse themselves regularly in politics.

Is Trumps overperformance with Californian minorities the beginning of such a reversal? I doubt it. But stranger things have happened.

Indeed. If Trump wins in November, who knows, it will likely be because of a substantial numbers of blacks and hispanics voted for him.

Actually Trump is going to be the pattern for Republicanism making inroads into Blue enclaves. Imagine a Republican winning as mayor of Chicago, or Los Angeles. Or Boston. Deeply entrenched Democrat machines with wide patronage networks, meaning lots and lots of people with skin in the game, and would see a Republican mayor as a personal affront and threat. The only type of person who would take on such a challenge, and be able to accomplish anything at all would be a rhino skinned, personally popular person with a background in sales; sales people get no no no no no no .... yes, and are successful.

The intellectualization of the right was a mistake. Academy is the ultimate in suckuptitude, and the type of people who inhabit or wannabes aren't up to the street brawls.

The model of left/right is union steward/ used car salesman. One will go to the mat to stop the pedophile from getting fired, the other will sell you a car that may or may not work.

Nope, Trump did 5-ish points worse in California among Asians and Hispanics than in the country as a whole, and only 1 point better among blacks (within a margin of error): https://www.cnn.com/election/2016/results/exit-polls

That said I agree that a plausible future is one where many particularly US-born working class Hispanics identify as white and vote like working class whites. However, immigration and demographic change are probably going to skew more towards higher-education and higher-skill workers going forward due to both economic development in third world countries and likely increased restrictions on unskilled immigration. These immigrants are likely to become more Democratic as they assimilate because they will be assimilating into the white professional class, the fastest growing Democratic voter segment (indeed, 2016 polling already shows that US-born Asians, mostly higher-skill immigrants, are more Democratic than foreign-born Asians, the opposite of the Hispanic pattern). So if the Republicans go down the path of gaining working class votes at the expense of professional class ones, they will be in trouble in the future. (Of course I expect them to shift gears—no party has ever achieved a permanent dominance in the US because the other party always adapts).

NO party can survive as just the working class party because it will not have enough donors to compete and will unable to produce competent candidate.

Also, there is flight from white. Middle Eastern and North Africans are claiming to be people of color due to 8a contracting and diversity quotas. The University of Michigan has added a MENA block on its application to try to get unsophisticated Egyptians and arab to stop claiming to be African-American.

The Straussian reading of this post is:

a) Tyler refuses to acknowledge Trumpism as a kind of conservative agenda.

b) Tyler is similarly contemptuous of the Yoram Hazony-style "national conservatism" despite its successful and heavily discussed conference last year.

Small states do not have the liquidity to wait out the right/left battles in the Swamp. We get sudden stops in the Senate. Both the left and right are at fault, neither understand that government is a very skewed value added chain. The solution is not fixing the Swamp but to use revenue sharing to alleviate the risk of value added chain collapse. With revenue sharing both the left and right have to pay a stability price for volatility they introduce in the Swamp. They have to pay off the small states for the right to screw the Swamp up worse than it already is.

No, “free speech” means being free to express any views from any part of the political spectrum. “You can be as racist as you want as long as you signal your dislike of the left” is not free speech any more than “you can espouse with as many extreme left-wing positions as you want as you don’t signal any agreement with the right.”

And yet, one of these positions gets a free pass throughout public discourse while the other is applied even if it doesn't exist in reality.

In fact, I'd argue that "You can be as racist as you want [...] as long as you don't signal any agreement with the right" gets a free pass as well. Just ask Ralph Northam et al. And remember, if you don't vote for Joe Biden, you ain't black!

Give up the Orwellian gaslighting, the new standards of social acceptability draw the line well short of racism, and currently include calmly tweeting misgivings about rampant violence. Also, it was after all conservatives on the Supreme Court who ultimately ruled in favor of free speech in Citizens United, over the objections of a Democratic president. Maybe someday we'll see a president Hawley go up against liberal justices in a similar manner, but as of yet, the best defenders of freedom of speech among the political elite have been conservative Supreme Court justices (most of them at least).

I’m referring to article that this post is discussing, which says: “The intensity of this dislike will mean that, within right-wing circles, free speech will prosper. As long as you take care to signal your dislike of the left, you will be allowed to hold many other heterodox views without being purged or penalized.” This is defining free speech to mean you can say whatever you want as long as you “take care to signal your dislike of the left.” Do you interpret that paragraph differently?

The intellectual right will tact mostly toward religion as it has been doing for decades.

I mean at the end of the day rightward intellectuals need a constituency, who exactly do we expect that to be? The business right has their low taxes with new Democrats-won't-raise-their-taxes line sitting at what $400,000 now? And the value of any rightward offer is going to be wholly offset by the value of not being easy bait for charges of racism (not to mention the value of being left connected whenever the next trillion dollar no strings attached bailout occurs). The foreign policy right confronts an American public that is utterly allergic to casualties and again is not going to be able to shake the "racist" image. When popular foreign policies do come up, I suspect they will be co-opted by the left.

The things that actually keep the right intact in the US are abortion and religion. Particularly if you look at the younger cohorts, such conservatives as are there tend to overwhelmingly be pro-life or traditionalist religionists and most often both. We can expect that the majority of primary votes on the right will retain some hold on political control and demand at least genuflection at pro-life, anti-secular shibboleths. Being an intellectual for these sorts means that, at least in the current climate, you will be held responsible for their views. So I suspect that the intellectual right will disintegrate in half with many going off to be "libertarians", "nationalists", or something else that is not officially Right.

Barring a change in intellectual behavior or of the apparatus of intellectual career building you either will buy into the actual motive issues left on the right or you defect before being tarred too deeply as a racist.

This was a good start, but:

Religion is quickly fading. Christianity has already been largely replaced by fully-converged churchianity that preaches low-investment, feel-good leftism under the guise of WWJD. A dopamine hit in a communion wafer, assuming they still do communion. And even then, the declining rates of (Protestant) religiosity in the US means that most people can't even be bothered to get the stream from lifehopepoint.tv up on their smart screen for an hour on Sunday morning. Religion requires for its survival an impending existential crisis (that is coming for Westerners but not nearly soon enough).

That brings us to abortion, not only because it's inextricably intertwined with religion but because it's itself a referendum on r/K strategy. The number of pro-lifers are shrinking fast as well, and it's far to easy to play the leftist (fake libertarian) "if you don't like it, don't get one" card that worked for gay marriage, etc. It needs more people to realize how it relates to the pedophilic Satan-worshipping issue, and again, that's not coming quickly enough.

Really what this means is that the intellectual right is dead. Has been for a while. Tyler might (uncharitably, perhaps) be considered a leading intellectual on the right, that should tell you all you need to know. It exists as a rearguard for the progressive left, nothing more, nothing less.

The future belongs to whoever is wearing the alt-right as a skin suit when they finally stand up and say "no one cares what you think is racist", and the only question there is whether they get to stand up on a statue's pedestal or on a pile of ashes. I'm leaning towards the latter, but maybe I'm in a bad mood today.

There has basically been no or minimal drop in religious praxis in the US. The same 25 - 30% of the population that went to church back 40 years ago still goes today according to time use diaries. All told only about 10% of us are attending religious services less than our parents on net.

The secularization of America is happening, but it is happening much slower currently than the media reports suggest.

The country is more pro-life now that it ever was under Reagan when you ask it straight up (losing 48:46). Support for abortion on demand with public funding (e.g. Biden's current position) is a minority position. It is minority position among Democrats. It is only a majority position among white, educated self-identified liberals. Median voter in the US is for restrictions on abortion somewhere in the 2nd trimester and that is moving in the pro-life direction (albeit very slowly with recent reversion) over time.

Within the right half of the electorate, it is not even close. Further it is often abortion that is the only issue holding younger conservatives in the party or even making them conservative. Among Republican and Republican leaning voters less than 1 in 6 want to liberalize abortion law however phrased.

And in the long run (i.e. 3 or 4 generations) the religious pro-lifers will win. Even with college defections, they still have long run demography on their side. I trust no trendlines more than a couple of years, but from the current state of things the future of the US right is religious.

Everybody else has basically already defected to "independent", "libertarian", or some soft "center left" as their issues (e.g. tax cuts) have become less salient and they share the same proclivities for greater self expression, personal freedom, and bohemianism as their center left counterparts.

This may mean that the "right" becomes a permanent minority faction. This may mean that we end finally breaking the duopoly on political power. But around a quarter to a third of the country is consistently religious by praxis and voting patterns. They will be the bulk of the right for the foreseeable future.

It certainly helps explain why many Americans prefer trusting in God than any secular humanist beliefs involving the germ theory of disease.

the right are not the fello/as shrieking science is violence
it is the marxist memezombies

Perhaps related, perhaps background, but a fair amount of weird:


The populist’s obsession with China and tariffs has been a colossal waste of time and recent events has demonstrated the real enemy of freedom is the PC Left that is advocating some truly devastating economic and social policies. Tucker, Hannity and Ingraham didn’t keep their eye on the ball and now are left scrambling to keep Trump in power as the Left has mobilized its identity politics constituency into a formidable challenge to Trump. Now they are upset conservative and libertarian think tanks aren’t rallying behind Trump when they were wasting time with China, tariffs and building a stupid wall (and often shitting on libertarians along the way).

All governments maintain their legitimacy by protecting their subjects from the enemy without. In the case of China, and Russia as well, invasions from outside happened within the memory of living citizens. They have reason to be leery. This has never been the case with the US. All of its wars have been foreign wars. It has troops stationed all over the world and still has occupation forces in Germany and Japan. It has nuclear weapons aimed at its "adversaries" while not having declared war on any of them. Ohio class subs armed with missiles freely roam the seas. The US has 11 active aircraft carriers, no one else has more than one at the moment. The idea that China is a meaningful military threat to the US is preposterous, unless you examine the record of the US. While able to guide and detonate a drone in Sudan or Iraq from a room in Illinois, the US has been unable to make allies of its enemies. They're doing something wrong.

This is partisan red meat rather than a set of concerns shared by a broad coalition. Trump won the last election by giving voters the impression he had unorthodox ideas on economics and latched on to unfair trade practices on the part of China as a defining issue (and also because black voters in Michigan did not turn out for Hillary). Take that away and what does he have left? More warmed over ideas from the 1980s on tax cuts, spending caps and deregulation.

Couched in that level and style of criticism, I wonder what ideas the Left has? It mostly seems like luxury urbanism, funded by public debt. Lots of "services" and "infrastructure" funded by low interest bonds and some gibs to the base (free college, free healthcare).

Yes, borrowing at historically low interest rates to fund things that cause a great deal of anxiety for middle class Americans sounds like a good strategy. "Infrastructure" can be code for pork-barrel spending but that's how the game is played.

It is important that ideological conservatives who spend lots of time on the internet don't mistake ideological red meat for things a critical mass of voters care about. Even conservative red states have subsidized state universities that are popular with voters and John Kasich of Ohio seems to have won some popularity points by opting in to Medicaid expansion. PC culture run amok, rising national debt and dismay over "free stuff" from government riles up a base of mostly hyper-partisan Republicans but lots of other people really do not care about these things.

I think it's a pretty reprehensible strategy, really, to use borrowing to fund things that mostly benefit a pretty narrow constituency ("middle class") that's already fairly well off, and "infrastructure" White Elephant projects. The middle class can pay income and property tax for middle class things.

I don't think it'll work better than tax cuts for social equality. Certainly not than a much more progressive tax base reform.

or Kanye.


Unfortunately, I think it will be Turning Point USA or PragerU. Very pro-market libertarianism that identifies Western civilization with nothing more than "individualism" and the free market. A very cosmopolitan internationalist ideology with no use for any cultural identity.

They'll buy into all the left's identity and culture politics and be just as anti-american history, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and pro-lgbtq+. The difference being they will shoehorn their hatred of the government into the racial issues and try make arguments about how "big govt hurts minorities" that have won over almost no PoC. You know, the whole "Dems r the real racists and Hitler was really an egalitarian socialist!" argument people like Jonah Goldberg and Dinesh D'Souza keep making to no effect. Maybe not "no effect", they have made a lot of money selling those books and speeches to conservatives.

The only area where they will value the government is foreign policy with strong support for "key allies" like Israel.

mebbe you are over strategizing a bit
we bet in the biggest crime wave in years many/most people will simply vote against the party of violent mobs & arson/arsonists.
not because they are "scared" but because it is rational
to vote against people who indiscriminately burn stuff.
could be why the left is now desperately attempting to re-define rationality as racist & science as violence

It could be but what you described above is pretty close to the Republican Party during the George W. Bush years. The turning point toward Trumpism started in 2006 with Bush's failed attempt at liberal immigration reform. This exposed the fact that a sizable number of Republican voters are hostile toward liberal immigration policy. I think the leaders of the right will largely take the pulse of the voting public on this issue and follow rather than lead public opinion.

"Unfortunately, I think it will be Turning Point USA or PragerU. Very pro-market libertarianism that identifies Western civilization with nothing more than "individualism" and the free market. A very cosmopolitan internationalist ideology with no use for any cultural identity."

We can only dream. (though I would've said Cato and Mercatus; Turning point and Prager aren't libertarian, they're old-fashioned conservative, which still has bits of libertarianism in it, in contrast to the new monstrosity of populist conservative social democracy)

If you can't define yourself
Other than by a reference
To what someone else picks out for you
As representative of the other side
You have lost your way.
And are being led by others.

This is politics. You gain power by winning, and winning is getting more votes than your opponent.

It is remarkable how Biden is co-opting many of Trump's policy ideas, the ones that are popular. One of the election issues that Trump likely will be pushing is Biden's support in past years for strong law enforcement.

Losing your way is losing power.

'winning is getting more votes than your opponent'

For those who misunderstand the almost 250 year old system, Trump got 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227. Consistent with what Derek said.

derek didn't understand what I was saying. So, let me explain. The post is about the intellectual right. Tyler posits at the end that one way that it could go would be that the intellectual right would simply be the opposite of the left. My point was that it is not a basis for definition, since you place in the hands of the person claiming the right to define the right the right to pick who the opposite is...is it Omar, or Obama, Biden or Sanders, etc.

If you can't define yourself or what you stand for you have no identity.


peeps have and always voted both for and against ideas.
the pro violent crime demographic is not the majority

Higher education reform. There's a growing resentment against higher ed and growing appetite for reform.

"If you are on the Left, note that it does not suffice to dislike the Right, you have to dislike most parts of the Left as well (why is that? Can you model this?)."
I'll give it a try. The left is fracturing because each subgroup can't hold the call-in-the-arsonist cause. So they must resort to calling anyone out of step a Karen.

That was good.


The Democratic Party is probably more unified today than it ever has been though. There’s much less appetite for a protest vote against the chosen candidate compared to past elections. Dislike of Trump is a very powerful unifier.

In 2016 the right was pretty happy that Donald Trump had effective internet memes. It didn't matter whether those memes were rational, coherent, or intellectual.

So why don't you like "Karen?"

It is someone else's effective meme.

Trump is the leader of the party right now, but he has not been, is not, and never will be the leader of any intellectual movement.

Certainly. And certainly the "Karen" memeists are not the leaders of any intellectual movement either.

The question might be how the anti-intellectual wing, on either side, strengthens or opposes the intellectuals "on their side."

My sense is that both on the right and on the left, the lowbrow part of the movement doesn't much like or trust most of the intellectuals. Often with good reason.

For what it's worth, my frame of mind as I read this page today is that "an intellectual" is anyone with an integrated theory of government.

A lot of "politics" is accomplished without that, of course.

Succinct definitions:
Right: What I have, I keep.
Left: What others have, I take.

Obviously, left hates allocations of resources that come out of markets. The right hates the idea of having their stuff taken from them.

I thought the last generation (since Reagan/Thatcher) has taught that the Right believes in privatize the profits, and socialize the losses.


Well sure, it appears the financial industry really is a den of leftists.

sometimes succinct = reductive
the right funds a lotta infrastructure, education & public safety

What would an anti-internet stance even look like?

Pro-internet means pro-free internet. Anti-internet is more like pro-centralization. Anti-internet people, in general, dismiss any platform that isn't promoted by Amazon, Google, Twitter, or Netflix.

Response to Tyler's comment:

1) China won't be a "Right Intellectual" thing. It'll be bipartisan thing pretty quickly.

Focus will be different between Right and Left; Right will focus on PRC as a godless atheistic Communist system that tries to revolutionize and micro-manage its citizens lives and the wasteful nature of SREs and so on, while Left will focus on the very unWoke nature of the Party.

But there isn't really much room for either the American Right or Left in a world where China isn't more contained than engaged, so that's where they'll both go.

2) The US Right will probably focus electorally on peeling off enough sympathetic or disaffected minority voters at the coasts, or any viable states in play, to enable the transfer of more powers to state level authorities, in the regions where it can still win.

It'll be about decentralizing the USA to some degree, as "demostacking" increases at the coasts, and you get more natural polarisation of preferences. Distrust in the federal government and trust in state governments will grow. The US will become, functionally, a more fractionalized society. The Right will want to gridlock any kind of national, federal legislative processes and move them to state level, giving up the coasts as alien territory.

This may work or may not - it ultimately depends more on demographic factors out of their control than anything else.

3) Income and wealth inequality will matter increasing to both the Left and Right.

But the Left will propose more far-reaching transformation of infrastructure in urban areas with the goal of boosting social mobility.

While the Right will focus on restrictions to the market to allow "The Forgotten Man" to have more bargaining power, and on opposition to "Woke Capitalism".

What the Right will aim to do will also be more modest; a return to 1950s-1970s US inequality (still pretty high compared to OECD today), while the Left will aim for Denmark's inequality on California and Brazil's demographics.

Crucially both coalitions are being transformed away from being class/income level coalitions, so class interests will become a less salient defining marker of each, and both will sell different visions of class collaboration. Left more in favour of "Woke Capitalism" and professional classes, Right more in favour of apolitical/Right-leaning Capitalism.

4) I don't expect the "Intellectual Right" to be pro-internet exactly (there will be skepticism towards the internet-focused-life - too internationalist, too unfocused on what is real and concrete). But I do expect it to be anti-social media, seeing emergent social media platforms through the lens of Right skepticism of life focused on media events rather than the traditional rhythms of life, and to boost better, older forms of internet engagement with more community focus and mooring in real life (see Tanner Greer's recent anti-twitter blogpost for a dress rehersal).

For largely the same reasons, I also expect it to be increasing skeptical of the university as a source of moral truth and insight, but not very STEM skeptical. Pro-science, anti-intellectual, with an exception for those intellectuals that make very strong statements about personal intellectual humility and doubt and make few claims to moral authority.

Churches and Christianity as sources of moral truth will probably gain in status on the Right, even as it becomes less religious (because Millennials and Zoom are less religious). You can see shades of this in Jon Haidt's moral contrast between the Church created culture Dignity vs the University bred culture of Victimhood. Despite the fact that he is no Christian! Christian church leaders will come to be mythologized as wise sources of moral authority, the more its possible to contrast nostalgia for them and the nature of pastoral care, with the reality of a distant, out of touch moral elite living in cloistered ivory towers that issues moral pronouncements with no element of pastoral care.


I expect the future of the right in the US to be defined contra the left by being largely pro-Working Class White Male, but willing to make compromise outside of WCWM country to win. This is not exactly the same as being anti-Leftist, but aligns with it to some degree, since the position of the Left is largely and increasingly simply to be anti-WCWM while abandoning and shifting away from class conflict generally, despite combining this with a good bit of socialist cosplay.

1. There’s a tension between universalist liberals (who believe liberal values are universal) and particularist liberals (who believe liberal values are good for their own societies but it would be very illiberal to force them upon other societies) going back decades. This was the main left-schism regarding the Iraq War, and probably will be with respect to China too. Some liberals will focus on how unwoke China is, while others will argue that unwoke China should be tolerated just like unwoke Iraq should have been tolerated. I think the particularists will have a bit more chance to win this time though—at least in the case of Iraq, the left got more particularist further left and more universalist towards the center, so if the left has moved left, I’d expect particularism to have more appeal. But most people don’t really care about China much one way or the other because China doesn’t affect them at all (which is why they are so easily swayed on the issue by party elites). However, if our government does things that restrict the freedoms of ordinary Americans in order to combat China (like the possible TikTok ban), people will again understand that stirring up international conflicts just gives the government a pretext to take away the freedom of Americans, and thus you’ll probably see the emergence of pro-war and pro-peace camps.

2. Neither side in the US favors state and local rights. They only favor those rights when they are out of power. You saw the same pro-state and local rights rhetoric on the left after Trump won and it came to things like sanctuary cities. You still see the same local rights talk on the left in many states where the states are Republican but many localities are Democratic—for instance, Texas banned local governments from requiring masks. I agree with diminished federal control in exchange for increased state (and ideally) local control, but neither party in the US has consistently advocated for it and I don’t expect them to start.

3. Income inequality matters much less to most voters than pundits; almost no one names it as the most important issue (https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx, https://news.gallup.com/file/poll/246839/190218MIP.pdf). The fact that cross-class collaboration is now possible in both parties shows that there is in fact little hatred, envy, or polarization across classes. To the contrary, most concern for income inequality is actually “the other side’s rich people have too much political power and will impose their views on me.”

#2: I expect they will be a shared framework will become increasingly non viable.

#3: I think it's impossible to view current politics through the lens of much more than inequality. I think if you do, you haven't spoken to enough people under 30.

The authoritarian central planning of the Chinese system is certainly something for which the US elites should be thankful. A relatively more free China in some sense would be even more of a problem for the US in terms of economic advantage and international influence than it is now. In fact, the CCP, while intent on maintaining political power in the country, is very likely to be liberalized whether it likes it or not and this will make them more competitive with the US.

To me, Bryan Caplin and chums idea of the anti market left seem like the invocation of a mythical beast that they would like to heroically slay, but which doesn't actually exist. Or ar least not in the political possibility of western democracy.

I say this because while most of my friends are left wing. None of them, not one, are against markets or imagine a future which doesn't involve markets. Neither, so far as I can see, do any of todays marxist economists (I'm not a marxist, juts to be clear).

If Corbyn or Sanders had been elected, none of them were proporsing anything that would mean not having markets. There's also nothing qualitatively different between the markets they would have and the markets right wing UK and US governements would have. It's just a bit more or a bit less regulation, a bit more or a bit less redistribution.

Finally, everyone that's vaguely informed understands the benefits of markets. And yet your Caplans of the world speak as though if only the idiots understood they would see how right they are...

A bit sad that, for all his scholarship and reading books very very quickly, TCs basically one of them.

Excuse rant :)

It is an important point. The American mixed economy and the Danish mixed economy are not so far apart in absolute terms, but a lot of Right identity is built on the Danish model being an inner region of hell.

Free speech" means calling everyone who refuses to think and do as the intellectual right dictates.

"Liberty" means freeing everyone not on the intellectual right from the great burden of thinking and the chains of being responsible for one's choices.

In particular, the intellectual right wants to unchain women from the burden of making any choices by denying them family planning, choosing who to love and have sex with, the burden of supervising workers, managing a business, property ownership, .... and the same for anyone not a white man.
Here we go, more histrionics from a leftist. Getting rid of disparate impact and affirmative action is setting "women and minorities" back. As a rust belt white male gen x'er, this is really getting tiresome. Here is what I would like: Stop rewarding family breakup, stop encouraging disruptive students, get rid of the laws that forbid employers from testing prospective employees because the results would offend the sensibilities of minority constituencies. Enforce the borders, not political correctness. I know man white men that could not be promoted in their job because they didn't fill the appropriate boxes. Stop doing things like that. That literally makes me Hitler so obvious I need to be shut up even before I speak.

As a rejoinder to "As my colleague Bryan Caplan succinctly put it four years ago: “Leftists are anti-market. … Rightists are anti-leftist”" I'd say "There is scarcely any such things as the Left except in the minds of Rightists." Seriously.

I wonder where hbd ideas fall into this. My impression is that a lot of the shrieking that these ideas must never be spoken in public is a reaction to the fact that they're known by a large number of people, and that the sensible version of them (IQ matters, heredity matters, biology matters, and also environment and culture and incentives matter) is widely believed or suspected but very rarely stated out loud.

My assumption here has always been that eventually, the dam will break and hbd ideas will quickly go from unthinkable horrifying stuff that must be stamped out immediately to stuff everyone knows and acknowledges.

In the meantime, though, I expect a dissident thread of thought on the right will continue to use hbd ideas in their analysis. They will be universally denounced by all right-thinking people, despite producing more accurate predictions of the future and the consequences of various proposed policies than anyone else. Probably we'll continue this nonsense where people who know about IQ differences or genetics or whatever occasionally get shamed and Twitter-mobbed out of their job when it accidentally leaks out that they know about those things. But I would expect some thread of serious thought on the right to continue in this vein, from pariah thinkers like Sailer or Murray or Razib Khan who continue to have influence on smart people, but who aren't ever going to be given a platform in a mainstream place.

Shrug. What do you about people who have lost on science and want to continue believing anyway? I wouldn't call them "the intellectuals."

If hbd ideas are wrong, then debate them openly and show that they're wrong. One side wants these debates, out in the open with nobody getting fired for expressing offensive ideas. It's a good bet that that is the side that believes open debate, evidence, and logic favor their side.

There journals of population genetics that are getting along just fine. That's where the science is real and active. But:

Population Genetics: there is no genetic foundation to "race"

HBD: but if we pretend there is, we can continue our argument

Thus HBD is in an intellectual ghetto of its own design. To "debate" it is pointless.

(And note that false theories should not get extra credit for being "intellectually dangerous" false theories.)

Remarkably, most of the actual people involved do not say the things you're putting into their mouths. But hey, I'm 100% up for public debate of these matters.

For example: Is there an average IQ difference between blacks and whites in the US? About how big is it? Is that due to cultural bias in tests? Do IQ tests predict outcomes of blacks and whites about equally well?

These are all empirical questions with knowable (and in fact well-known) answers. They're just not the answers you want.

Now, I'm all for moving from "race" to "population" in places where that makes sense--racial categories are a very messy social thing that happens to correlate with a bunch of stuff we care about (genetics, culture, environment, family wealth, etc.). But if we have a discussion about why Asians are massively overrepresented in magnet schools all across the country, we're kind-of stuck with the messy and imprecise social categories of race, rather than something more precise. The social phenomenon people want to know about is why the 5% of the local population that are Asian ended up with half the places in the magnet STEM high school. To understand that, we have to look at the data we have on statistics applying to those messy racial categories.

I don't see it ever happening to be honest. The data are what they are and they're not moving, but no one really has moved with it.

We know that as far as we can from heritability analysis, a Black American of equal performance to a White American probably has roughly the same genetic potential for educational performance as that White American, as far as all the evidence points. Black Americans generally, as a group, perform not as strongly as White Americans. Therefore, we can deduce that on a group level their relative genetics are...? (We can all fill in the gap).

(And so on in the relative directions for Chinese Americans, Ashkenazi Jewish Americans and so on).

But people don't want that. They want a mysterious cultural X factor such that the groups have equal genetic potential. (Even though this means individuals of the same performance would have to have different genetic potential! Pretty discriminatory against individuals of equal potential, right?). They're gonna go on wanting this essentially forever, despite it being the more complicated hypothesis with no actual positive evidence whatsoever *for* it. That's not gonna change.

The best case feasible scenario, is that the US can maintain its institutional advantages while offsetting disadvantages in cognitive perforamance through selective immigration and AI. Mainly AI and ultimately becoming a machine-thought civilization (where the machines do all the thinking that actually matters). And then papering over the cracks as you go along.

I think actually untangling genetic from environment/culture/incentive causes for different outcomes is quite hard, and almost certainly the answer will be different for different things. Seeing a difference and assuming it's genetic in origin seems just as wrong as seeing a difference and assuming it's environmental in origin. To choose extreme cases, it's obvious that the black dialect of English used in the US is 100% environmental, whereas the lower susceptibility of blacks to sunburn is 100% genetic.

The more contentious arguments come from stuff where the causality is hard to untangle--differences in crime rate, IQ, school performance, unwed births, life expectancy, income, wealth, etc. And there, you have a really hard problem, because blacks and whites in the US have (on average) really differerent environments, cultures, incentives, etc., and blacks and whites are also somewhat genetically distinct. There are plenty of plausible causal factors lying around, each correlated with the stuff we care about. That makes it easy for lazy people to jump on the first correlation they notice that agrees with their existing beliefs, but hard to figure out what causes what.

And knowing the causes is important because it tells us what we might be able to do about it. If the black/white IQ gap is caused primarily by higher lead exposure (black kids are more often exposed to high lead levels than white kids, IIRC), or vitamin D deficiency, or too few words spoken at home, or whatever, then we might be able to come up with something to do to help. Forbidding the discussion and declaring the whole topic off limits will never lead to any way to help--we just have to hope whatever's going on fixes itself.

I wouldn't really object to anyone continuing to research an environmental X factor that mediates the gap and makes all ethnic groups identical (from African Americans to Hispanics to Han Chinese). It would be a big gain if found as it would potentially make almost all those Garrett Jones type problems go away, substantially reduce inequality and so on.

It is more the presumption of such an X factor that seems twisted out of shape.

Analogous, if there really were an X factor that, for instances, mediated the performance of all other American groups up to the level of Ashkenazi Jewish Americans, or to Chinese Americans, that would a wonderful thing to discover.

It would quite simply make anything better. Almost instantly or within generation the US would go to a nation that performs significantly better, on everything (as far as we can tell from "Hive Mind").

But it would be wrong, scientifically and ethically, to presume that such a factor must exist, even if we don't know what it is yet. The null hypothesis should be that all groups perform about equally well relative to their genetic potential, until it is specifically demonstrated that they do not.

It would inequitable in terms of fairness to declare that, for instance, a high performing Jewish American guy far outperforming his genetic potential, relative to many gentiles who would really outperform, if we just knew what the right X factor was, without actual specific evidence for that X factor.

It also seems very inequitable to insist that there *must* be an environmental X factor that explains White v Black differences... But for some reason there is not such a factor between them and other remaining groups who perform better than Whites do...

(With the caveat that, on the ones raised in your post, it looks like a fair few of those have been at least attempted to be tested, and come up with not much evidence that they mediate gaps, as far as I know).

within right-wing circles, free speech will prosper. As long as you take care to signal your dislike of the left, you will be allowed to hold many other heterodox views without being purged or penalized.

So free speech will "prosper," as long as it's within accepted bounds of opinion. Funny definition.

And what is this "intellectual right," anyway? What are its ideas? Most of what I see coming from the right is nonsense.

An interesting question. I wonder how would you distinguish this future group from the present group? Is the point that DT's influence will be harder to shake than many might prefer? Take care.

The intellectual right has lacked a good spokesperson for decades. Economists are best prepared to do this.

Milton Friedman did a great job. Read “Capitalism and Freedom”. Tyler Cowen often speaks up for the intelligent right. The ideas on the intellectual right have not changed much since Friedman argued them so brilliantly and clearly.

Economists have a duty to speak up more about the economic inefficiencies and adverse incentives in the policies from the left.

China is getting richer, so there will be more to say about it. I predict problems for their authoritarian government. We can stand aside or speak out about their worst actions and wait for China to implode like most authoritarian countries do.

We need to maintain a strong military. Look at what happens to the weak in a world where there is international anarchy. If there is not to be anarchy, then who will enforce the rules?

I guess I have come to the conclusion that conservative ideology does not really exist. I used to believe that your average conservative bought off on the whole "small govt" libertarian thing. But I have spoken to too many average everyday conservatives (especially in the military who love TRICARE and the VA and only rarely indicate to me a preference for the private insurance mess) and I know they love big govt like most lefties do (medicare and SS anyone?). And 90% of recent economic research pretty much upends this idea that free markets everywhere and always must not be touched (that is not to say, contra Caplan that we are anti-market - we are just cognizant that it does not always work the way your econ 101 class says it does). So libertarainism is out!

Then what? Abortion? Ok I see it but that is just one thing and not much to wrap a whole intellectual movement around. Gay marriage? Trans issues? Social conservative stuff? I guess maybe you could turn that into an intellectual movement. But I am not sure that your average libertarian can join in with this. And most people (even Repubs) do not care that much anymore about this with the exception of abortion. So again, what is conservatism?

This really leaves some kind of intellectual movement designed to be tribal. If we lefties say x, then you will hate x. If a fellow conservative says x then "WOW what a great idea". I see this already with Tucker Carlson yapping about how free markets are not always such a great idea. Pure left messages that are decades old. But if Krugman says it, the reaction is "BLECHHHHH".

I have asked many conservatives what truly animates them. I find one thing and one only. Hatred (dislike) of the left. Even if we are right. For them, it like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard. And maybe that is our fault. Maybe we should work harder to communicate better. I do not know.

But if we do get better and we do make our case (global climate change, Iraq being dumb) will you listen? Or will you insist that I am a godless traitor who hates his country (ohhhhhhh how many times did I hear that in the buildup to the Iraq War).

I think the old left/right split that solidified sometimes after Reagan/Thacher just doesn't work anymore--the world is wildly different. Trump seems to hint toward a populist right that maybe could come into existence, but there's nobody less qualified (or inclined) to lead an intellectual movement than Donald Trump, so it's not clear what the intellectual core of that movement would look like. The broad outlines seem to be broadly anti-free-trade, anti-immigration, pro- at least some kinds of welfare, skeptical of foreign military interventions, skeptical of large financial companies. But those are all tendencies, not an internally consistent set of ideas.

My sentiments exactly.

What are the principles of this so-called "intellectual right?" Not liking Hilary Clinton?

I've always thought of myself as a person of the left. I've almost always thought the left-right dichotomy is not very useful in thinking about politics in our world. While I'm keenly aware of my identity – whatever the hell that is – I also think identity politics is a disaster.

The main problem with identity politics is that you end up voting for the crook because at least he's your crook.

...or the orange-faced blowhard because at least he's your orange-faced blowhard.

Perhaps we should look at the industrial revolution to understand the future tech revolution. We still need engineering and innovation no matter what your ideological proclivities. Also, when the Democrat Republicans took over under Thomas Jefferson, he developed almost Federalist attitudes regarding growth economically and as a society. The extremes often revert to the middle. Extreme libertarians failed because they claimed they could measure all costs in dollars and cents. China screwed that up.

Tyler is only a fat man. He wasn't allowed to date the popular girls.

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