"If modern libertarianism is just a fever dream of turning America into New Mexico, then just what is "wealth taxation is theft" really about? What message are radical free-marketers conveying without stating it specifically? What would be “free from theft” if the dreams of radical free-marketers came true? Well, if taxation is theft, who’s the thief? Who’s the victim? Who benefits?"
"There's some uber-liberal snow-flakiness here, as well as the now perpetually residual shock that one of the worst people actually became the worst president ever. However, in conversations with people who've expressed the sorts of feelings documented in this article, I've detected three distinct "Trump traumas.""
"Is climate change on prestige television dramas really the issue? Over the last three days, heat indexes along the mid-Atlantic and northeast United States reached the 110s. These are Mad Max temperatures, yet not a single meteorologist I watched on tv over the last three days mentioned climate change."
"There are issues on the horizon (energy, climate change, migrant flows, technological shifts, sluggish productivity) that will make realists of us all. Whereas neoconservatism and liberal internationalism have been aspirational, realism might have a chance of preserving a (big “L”) Liberal international order simply by injecting it with some good old fashioned rationality."
"As workers are replaced, the future will (almost literally) be owned by owners. Then even the owners will be disrupted. I foresee a great battle among tech barons looming as those who own machines and robots and are heavily taxed to keep the entitlements spigot flowing declare war on those who own software and algorithms and are hardly taxed at all."
"Human engineering is absolutely critical to the future of humanity," the argument will begin. "The problems of the future will be more complex than today's to such an extent that cultivating the brainpower needed to solve them can no longer be left solely to the genetic crapshoot known as procreation." Very much within the realm of techno-optimism, proponents will hype the possibility of editing out certain diseases as one of gene engineering’s great benefits. However, the true scope of gene editing won’t be truly understood until posthumanists (quite rightly) advise us that “we need more Einsteins.”
"You see how control is not discipline. You do not confine people, for example, with a highway. But by making highways, you multiply the means of control. I am not saying this is the only aim of highways, but people can travel infinitely and freely without being confined while being perfectly controlled. That is our future."
"If diversity issues within the milieu of black producers, writers, and actors affect more than several dozen black people in tv and film I'd be shocked. The kind of diversity reflected in “The Black Characters I Wish I Saw More Of” is a function of different kinds of privilege and therefore doesn't go "all the way down" to regular black people whose lives look more like mine than they look like Donald Glover's or Ava Duvernay's."
"Several decades of extraordinary innovation have had a hand in creating extraordinary inequality. In the wake of this development, George Soros, the Kochs, and others like them now get to call the shots on how much tax they should pay. This twisted privilege is the result of the political influence of wealth and years of tax cuts and relaxed tax laws allowing money across borders with little to no friction."
"The death of the star vehicle meant the death of the original blockbuster or at least a blockbuster where the IP wasn’t the primary selling point. What was unique in 1989, a big-budget adult-skewing comic book superhero movie directed by a wunderkind visionary and filled with “prestigious” adult movie stars, is now virtually the only path to success."