More of this please. The history behind Straussian was a nice extra note of interest.

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Jan 15, 2022·edited Jan 15, 2022

"That's why, if we chose our candidates for president in conventions and smoke-filled rooms, as we used to, they wouldn't have come up with Donald Trump. He's a kind of consequence, if you want to say, of the increasing democratization of our country"

This is exactly the reverse of correct. What made Trump possible was that--even without smoke-filled conventions--the system was set up so that the Hillary Clintons and Jeb Bushes always win. And the electorate was rightly furious about that. The system was so rigid it could only shatter and get Trumped.

Which brings us to his next big fallacy:

"liberals think they're losing, because they're not winning the economic issue—capitalism is thriving and they care less that they're winning the cultural values question. Whereas conservatives are the opposite: They think they're losing because they're losing on the culture, and they forget that they're winning on economics, to which they attach somewhat less importance."

On the contrary, many conservatives are starting to realize that what they thought was "winning on economics"--ie funneling all of the nations' wealth to a small number of woke plutocrats--is actually *why* they are losing the culture. There is nothing "conservative" about small towns with labor markets so barren that fentanyl and despair are the only thing that can grow there. Likewise, real liberals recognize we're not winning the culture wars at all--the successor ideology is, and SI is just a handmaiden of neoliberalism. Plutocracy has captured both parties and both traditional liberals and traditional conservatives have lost.

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Of course Trump doesn't have anything that could be called philosophical convictions, but if there's one thing that he absolutely does seem to believe in sincerely, it's that life is dominate or be dominated, or maybe abuse or be abused would be more accurate. And that's as antiliberal as it gets. The whole point of liberalism is to come up with ways (democracy, human rights, the rule of law) to prevent dominance and submission from becoming absolute. Not to abolish it completely, human nature doesn't seem to allow that, but to, dare I say, check and balance it.

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It's great to hear from a moderate conservative; sometimes, one forgets that they exist! Mansfield's thoughts on the tyranny of majorities are fascinating. Historically, liberal theorists like De Toqueville have been very worried about this, but people seldom talk about this today. In my opinion, the increasing dominance of liberal values raises new questions about the power of majorities. As postmaterial values have spread among populations, associated with better economic conditions, support for the rights of ethnic and sexual minorities has grown. Crucially, support for these rights has attained reverse polarity, entailing social pressure to adopt these stances. Fifty years ago, conformists tended to oppose gay rights. Today, conformists tend to support this issue. In these conditions, liberals have incentives to support censorship. If anyone is interested, I wrote more about this here: https://thomasprosser.substack.com/p/why-dont-liberals-support-free-speech

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