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Historical background related to current issues and/or events.

Anti-humanism and "collective good"

The term "anti-humanism" is a catch-all for philosophical movements which deny the reality of the human subject. In other words, they deny the reality of true moral agency, or true free will. As the Wikipedia article on anti-humanism makes clear, the 19th and 20th centuries witnessed a "perfect storm" of anti-humanist ideas from the likes of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger and a variety of 20th century positivists and semantic and existential nihilists.

The fundamental impact of these ideas is to eject individual moral responsibility from human culture and to reduce humanity to the status of multi-cellular automata. Stripped of the higher capacities that so informed the philosophies of the classical, scholastic and enlightenment periods, man is regarded as a set of mouths to feed and carcasses to cloth and house. Interestingly, the purveyors of these philosophical ideas do not generally regard themselves as bereft of consciousness. Though they may deny any basis for moral obligation, they feel free to denounce the behavior of certain others as morally reprehensible, and even those responsible as worthy of execution. In this conception, politics is reduced to a game of PACMAN.

Putting the USCCB and the CCHD in context.

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The ever expanding role of the federal bureaucracy

It is becoming increasingly evident that the founding fathers' vision of the federal government as referee in the area of interstate trade was a valid one, and that it was not in need of substantial improvement. Substantial improvement, however, is the inspiration behind many a progressive drive to change things as they are and to remold them nearer their collective hearts' desire.

Pessimism vs. prudence in economic activity.

Market pessimism, of course, is a contagion spread when a market plummets, as well as a perpetual feature of economic (zero-sum-game) progressives. By contrast, prudence recognizes when investment risk is high, but does so based upon fundamentals, and, by the same fundamentals, recognizes when real opportunities exist.

Three years ago, on May 13, 2007, New York Times business writer Geraldine Fabrikant introduced us to fund management guru Seth Klarman in "Manager Frets Over the Market, but Still Outdoes It." Klarman is a quintessential realist, possessed of great market prudence.


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