‘Global’ Category

  1. The tax state and entrepreneurial profit

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    December 12, 2017 by AK

    Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind, wrote on Crooked Timber: Schumpeter famously said that taxes are the “thunder of world history.” In The Guardian, he put it this way: Taxes are the “thunder of world history,” wrote Joseph Schumpeter. “The spirit of a people … is written in its fiscal history.” Schumpeter’s 1918 …
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  2. Through a fen to the pit

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    December 3, 2017 by AK

    I’ve never listened to AC/DC, but let’s say I grew up with it. At school and at college, every other desk bore a semblance of their logo – carved, scratched, inked, penciled. (I’m talking about late-Soviet Moscow, to be clear.) Everybody pronounced the name IS-sy DIS-sy or EES-sy DEES-sy – I still don’t know why. …
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  3. “I was more wicked than I had imagined”

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    November 29, 2017 by AK

    Last week, Ben Judah wrote in The American Interest: Why is it always Orwell o’clock? Why is everything mildly unpleasant about government instantly Orwellian? Why is every banal propaganda effort obviously 1984 sprung to life?.. Most of the Orwell cult only irritates, but one thing legitimately grates: the idea of Eric Blair as a monument …
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  4. What about a Muslim Jan van Leiden?

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    November 7, 2017 by AK

    Google Tariq Ramadan Martin Luther, and you’ll have a dozen headlines comparing the prédicateur to the Prediger – tentatively yet hopefully. Assuming the impossible, suppose it were a near-perfect parallel. Would it logically require an upheaval in the Arab world comparable to the European turmoil in the years and decades after Luther’s Wittenberg demarche? As …
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  5. Fit for any office of the state

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    October 23, 2017 by AK

    My thoughts keep coming back to the story of the postmistress from the Sedlčany district as told by Švejk in Jaroslav Hašek’s novel. You can find it near the end of Part III, “A Glorious Spanking.” I’m relying on Cecil Parrott’s 1973 for the quotes while keeping an eye on Petr Bogatyrev’s Russian translation and the …
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  6. Small angles

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    October 19, 2017 by AK

    In Chapter 4 of Misbehaving, Richard Thaler writes: Here is a test to see if you are a good intuitive Pythagorean thinker. I mentioned this test in my previous post. Here’s Thaler’s formulation of it, abridged by me: Consider two pieces of railroad track, each one mile long, laid end to end… The tracks are …
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  7. “Normative theories tell you the right way to think”

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    October 17, 2017 by AK

    …but what is rationality? What is rational behavior? In a word, maximizing: choosing the preferable consumption bundle given the budget constraints and certain other factors. One word is not enough, it seems. I should link to the principal sources of inspiration and ideas for this post: two papers by Mario Rizzo and Douglas Glen Whitman …
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  8. “Deep concerns that do not arise in traditional welfare economics”

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    October 11, 2017 by AK

    In 2013, “W.W.” wrote in the Democracy in America column in The Economist: The insidiousness of “libertarian paternalism” is not in the slippery slope from the non-coercive nudge to explicitly coercive limits on individual liberty. Rather, the problem is that, as a piece of language, “libertarian paternalism” renders difficult the ability to conceive of a …
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  9. La bontà in trionfo

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    October 6, 2017 by AK

    Kazuo Ishiguro’s fiction gets reviewed in literary journals, awarded literary prizes and included in Top 100 Best Novels lists. It means that – after Alexievich (documentary non-fiction) and Dylan (song lyrics) – we’re back to the world of novels and short stories, with an occasional drop of poetry. A more interesting phenomenon than the Nobel …
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  10. Houellebecq and the Karamazov family

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    September 14, 2017 by AK

    In a review of Michel Houellebecq’s H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, Lee Rourke quoted the opening lines of the French author’s 2001 novel Platform: Father died last year. I don’t subscribe to the theory by which we only become truly adult when our parents die; we never become truly adult… As I stood before …
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