Do Democracies Fight?

Jason says that democratic peace theory is one of the better explanations for the decline of large-scale conflict around the globe. I remain unconvinced – here’s why: 1) This ain’t the Theory of Gravity we’re talking about. Until recently, democracies were remarkably rare. The third and fourth waves of liberalization still qualify as recent events.…

Rumors of liberaltarianism’s death are greatly exaggerated

Tim Carney thinks liberaltarianism is dead following the departure of Will Wilkinson and Brink Lindsey from Cato. He asks if there are any real life liberaltarians in politics, pointing out that the the only truly libertarian members of Congress are also social conservatives. He writes, "maybe there’s something about the socially liberal agenda that draws…

A few more notes on cutting defense spending

Joerg Wolf, of the Atlantic Council, disagrees that European nations would increase defense spending if America decreased its presence in Europe and around the globe as I noted in my defense-spending piece at NRO. He notes that countries like Germany will increase or decrease spending for domestic reasons.  That may be. However, I would note…

Everyone knows that Presbyterians, not Lutherans, are the hard-working Protestants

Via Will Wilson and MR, here’s an interesting paper on the Protestant work ethic: Many theories, most famously Max Weber’s essay on the ‘Protestant ethic,’ have hypothesized that Protestantism should have favored economic development. With their considerable religious heterogeneity and stability of denominational affiliations until the 19th century, the German Lands of the Holy Roman…

Bruce Bartlett, Socialist Lackey

An essential post from Bartlett on the trivial differences between Europe and the United States. Speaking as someone who managed to survive growing up on that benighted continent,  it’s high time we move beyond gratuitously bashing our closest political and cultural cousins. I’m not in favor of replicating the European social model here in the…

The Hassan Chop of Logic

Br. Will links to an interesting review of Christopher Caldwell’s new book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe by Michelle Goldberg. Will notes that he thinks there is cause for real concern–without going into as he calls it (correctly) Steynian hysterics–concerning Muslim immigration patterns in Europe.  An analysis that is not the fears of Eurabia…

Kulturkampf

Victor Davis Hanson is visiting Europe. More precisely, Italy and Greece. Several profound insights into the nature of continental society follow: After concluding another 16 days in Europe. I am again reminded how different their form of socialism  is, and yet how closely it resembles the model that Obama seeks for America. The vast majority…

Poverty and Human Rights

Will Wilkinson has a fascinating post on whether some basic level of material well-being should be considered a human right. My gut response is that while we have some  moral obligation to alleviate poverty, this obligation is too conditional (welfare programs are dependent on outside factors like cumulative wealth) to be considered on with par…