Progressive Antiquarianism: Hating Riot Victims Because Of Their Ancestors' Past
06/29/2020
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As I’ve been pointing out for lo these many years now, progressives have lost all interest in recent history (roughly post-Emmett Till) and now obsess about the increasingly distant past.

For example, today when yet another delegation of Mostly Peaceful Protesters broke through a gate and onto private property in St. Louis, a rich couple who have painstakingly restored one of the city’s most magnificent mansions brought their guns out onto their porch to make sure the mob kept moving on past. New York Times editorialist Binyamin Appelbaum immediately explained the antiquarian angle that justifies breaking and entering:

“Binyamin Appelbaum is the lead writer on business and economics for the Editorial Board of The New York Times,” so he knows all about the evil “Budweiser family” “waiving” guns around.

I read his mother Diana Muir’s book Reflections in Bullough’s Pond, a Malthusian history of economic development in New England. It’s quite good. I look forward to her next book:

My current project is a book with the working title Nationhood: The Foundation of Democracy.

Nationhood is a pre-condition of liberal democratic government. It is not the only pre-condition for liberal democracy, but it is a pre-condition so fundamental that it has been described by political theorists as a premise, a presumed condition or a tacit assumption in all discussions of liberal democracy. This book argues that we ignore only at our peril the fact that culturally unified nationhood, the bond shared by people who share a language, a literature, a future and a set of ideas, is necessary to liberal democratic government.

The shared culture that we call nationhood has the apparently unique capacity to create a degree of social trust that makes it possible for large populations to enjoy civil liberties and participatory government. Absent nationhood, electoral systems fracture, are manipulated by the wealthy, ratify dictatorship, descend into violence, succumb to military coups, or become paralyzed by ethnic bloc voting.

Indeed.

Meanwhile, Jerry Taylor, the president of the Niskanen Center think tank, is fantasizing about how he would have gone all Lawrence Taylor on the homeowners:

 

Who Jerry Taylor wishes he were the brother of:

 

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