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Harrison Searles
Fairfax, Virginia.
Master's student at George Mason University in economics, MA Fellow at the Mercatus Center, and alumnus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst; avid scribbler.
Recent Activity
Earlier this week, I had an email on Tyler Cowen's post on the question of why Chinese civilization has been so successful in establishing a centralized hegemony over a population around the same size featured on Marginal Revolution. In that post, Rome vs. China, I look at how geographic factors,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Right Reason
From The Economist's "Muslim attire: The state and the veil": France is different. The roots of French political secularism, known as laïcité, go back to the revolution of 1789 and to an anti-clerical campaign in the early 20th century. By 1904 some 10,000 religious schools had been shut; thousands of... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Right Reason
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During the evenings, I have been listening to Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast, which I can wholeheartedly recommend. In particular, I've been repeatedly listening to the most recent cycle, on France's July Revolution. The podcast has brought to mind one of my favorite paintings, Léon Cogniet's Scène de Juillet 1830. With... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at Right Reason
Human beings free will. Although it is certainly marred by concupiscence and circumstances, free will provides the human species with the ability to choose their actions and to make judgments about what ends in life are worthwhile. Perhaps a better word than ‘free will’ might be autonomy. ‘Autonomy’ derives from... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2017 at Right Reason
One of the fundamental problems with talk about healthcare in politics today is casuistic: Commentators start with the hard cases and try to craft policy based on hard cases that pull at the heartstrings, rather than straightening out the easy cases of daily life first. Americans should be more concerned,... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at Right Reason
Over at The New York Times, David Brooks has penned an article titled, "The Crisis of Western civilization," about the rise of illiberal threats to Western civilization in the past couple of years. Although Mr. Brooks wisely begins by noting that the West is successful because of its ideas and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at Right Reason
Not a half-year out of his presidency, Barack Obama is already filing to the trough laid out by corrupt system of crony capitalism. This September, the former president will be paid $400,000 to address Cantor Fitzgerald’s healthcare conference. Matthew Yglesias reacts over at Vox: That's so much cash, for so... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at Right Reason
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Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each. This pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the with the universal good of the whole. By stimulating industry, by rewarding ingenuity, and by using... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at Right Reason
Am I the only person to think that the line "it's time for the Jedi to end" is extremely insulting to the original trilogy? The original trilogy ended with The Return of the Jedi, and the destruction of the Sith order for good. Why is this trilogy so willing to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at Right Reason
Today is the 92nd anniversary of the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. One of the lesser known factoids about The Great Gatsby is Hunter S. Thompson's inspiration from the work and this is covered in an article about him from The New Yorker, "Believer": There is a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at Right Reason
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St. Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria, outside of which a bomb exploded. 2017 Holy Week is a Holy Week of Christian unity. More often than not, the Western and Eastern churches celebrate Easter on different dates and so their respective Holy Weeks do not coincide. It is not the case in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at Right Reason
National Geographic has a fascinating, if not macabre, article about cannibalism in human evolution. The article starts with a discussion of a recent findings about the nutritional value of a human carcass and then questions why, given those findings, cannibalism would ever be as endemic as it seems to have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2017 at Right Reason
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The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. -Woodrow Wilson, Address to Congress on April 2nd Yesterday, April 6th, marked the centenary of the American intervention in the First World War. After three years of armed neutrality, the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at Right Reason
Vox reports: The United States has just intentionally bombed a Syrian regime target for the first time since the country’s civil war began in 2011. So far, it has been a limited cruise missile strike targeting one Syrian airbase, causing an as-yet-unknown number of casualties. "Dozens of Tomahawks were launched... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Right Reason
Over at the Niskanen Center, Samuel Hammond has written one of the worst articles I’ve ever read on mutual-aid societies and the welfare state. So let’s begin my rant: The conventional libertarian argument has always been a bit hand-wavey, pointing to eras in history where, yes, government was smaller and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at Right Reason
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I've been feeling a bit languid this evening. One of the things that I've been doing instead of the editing that I should have been doing is looking at pieces of art on Wikipedia. It is fitting that today is the anniversary of Vincent van Gough's birth. However, despite the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2017 at Right Reason
Why more people should embrace boxing, from The Economist's 1843: Boxing and canoeing are more energy-sapping, though less accessible. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, 48m Americans pulled on their running shoes in 2015 (the country has a similar proportion of joggers to Australia, with Britain trailing). By... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at Right Reason
This sociability… or this Care of maintaining Society in a Manner conformable to the Light of human reason Understanding, is the Fountain of Right, properly so called; to which belongs the Abstaining from that which is another’s… -Hugo Grotius, On the Rights of War and Peace The Economist has recently... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2017 at Right Reason
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Muß es sein? Es muß sein. -Beethoven's Epigraph to String Quartet in F Major Today is the 190th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s death on March 26, 1827. To note the anniversary, I include my favorite piece from Beethoven’s corpus, the 5th Piano Concerto Emperor, below. I wish that I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2017 at Right Reason
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If there is one benefit that the Trump Administration has brought to the United States, it has been the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. For better and for worse, Mr. Gorsuch’s nomination has provided the opportunity for commentators to discuss... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2017 at Right Reason
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Marcus Aurelius was the perfect man, says Renan. Yes; the great emperor was a perfect man. But how intolerable were the endless claims upon him! He staggered under the burden of the empire. He was conscious how inadequate one man was to bear the weight of that Titan and too... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2017 at Right Reason
Two articles that I’ve read on the internet have reminded me of the notion of authority and the dignified part of government: The first: “An Interview with the most hated man on the internet” by D.D. Guttenplan at The Nation: But if you’re based on an agreement to a set... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2017 at Right Reason
One of the perennial questions brought up by a philosophical approach to politics is the question of “Why do people obey and show, frequently self-destructive, loyalty to their nation’s customs and officials?” More succinctly: “Why do people obey the law?” The answer, like all human affairs, must involve both an... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Right Reason
One of the interesting aspects about the inauguration yesterday is that the United States has now elected two presidents in a row because of their ability to communicate, experience for the office notwithstanding. These are also two communicators who have employed entirely different styles, have entirely different intended audiences, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2017 at Right Reason