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History

Historical background related to current issues and/or events.

Homeostasis in the American 2-Party System

It takes a major social upheaval in the American political system, such as civil war, to cause a major political realignment that goes as far as the downfall of one political party and the rise of another. The Republican Party historically began as an anti-slavery activist party in 1854.

Econ 101. Lesson 1, markets and the theory of value

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From ancient times, there existed free markets. We find biblical patriarchs bargaining in the Book of Genesis (cf. Gen 21:22-34, Gen 23 and Gen 29:16-30). The ancient Greek market place, known as the agora, was a gathering place both for merchants and for public discourse. The Romans, for there part, had an equivalent space known as the forum. The ancient Jews infamously carried on merchant activities in the Temple area in Jerusalem. Cincinnati has its Findlay Market and Fountain Square. Most towns have a farmers' market.

Liberal? What's it to you?

The term "liberal" used to mean something very different from what it means today. Consider what happened to the trade-name "Coke." Because "New Coke" was introduced and because it was such a radical break with the previous version, and because it proved to be so unpopular the old version was brought back, we now find ourselves enjoying a "Coke Classic." Something similar happened to the word "liberal." According to Wikipedia, the term classical liberalism,

Rickshaw economics...

The Fed's policy of easy money and the government's policy of subsidies and bail-outs, especially in recent decades, has tipped the economy toward a consumption-driven orientation. The result has been inflation and debt. Our debt with China is a combination of both, in part due to the Chinese government's deliberate policy of inflating their currency vis-a-vis the dollar.

The sources of neo-conservatism

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The late Irving Kristol defined a neo-conservative as "a liberal who has been mugged by reality." I believe it would be more historically accurate to describe a neo-conservative as derived, not from a liberal, but from a progressive. He also claimed that neo-conservativism is not a philosophy, but a "persuasion." This makes neo-conservatism closer to a religion than to a philosophy, and, indeed, closer to fundamentalism than to a religion that unites faith and reason (and, which therefore recognizes the importance of fundamental principles). Indeed, neo-cons are suspicious of political and moral principles, which makes them easy fodder for moral relativism.

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