The durability of violent revolution

…regimes founded in violent social revolution are especially durable. Revolutionary regimes, such as those in Russia, China, Cuba, and Vietnam, endured for more than half a century in the face of strong external pressure, poor economic performance, and large-scale policy failures. The authors develop and test a theory that accounts for such durability using a […]

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My Conversation with Matt Yglesias

Substantive, interesting, and fun throughout, here is the audio, video, and transcript.  For more do buy Matt’s new book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger.  Here is the CWT summary: They discussed why it’s easier to grow Tokyo than New York City, the governance issues of increasing urban populations, what Tyler got right […]

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Is this a reason why sex has been declining?

Even pre-pandemic that is, for an illustration let’s turn to Washington Post’s Date Lab: Sam says his ideal partner would share 80 percent of his political views (100 percent “would be boring,” he says), and over the nearly three-hour conversation, they discovered where their 20 percent gap in politics lay: former South Bend, Ind., mayor […]

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My dialogue with Freddie Sayers of Unherd, on herd immunity and related matters

It is about fifteen minutes, and also I give you all a separate clip of me praising the new Matt Yglesias book (which was alas cut from the main edit, note there is a lag before the short clip pops up) and discussing “family capacity libertarianism.”  Here is the main episode, with a few clips […]

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Brazil growing popularity of Bolsonaro fact of the day

As I have been saying, the median voter does not die of Covid-19, which means that many political responses will be highly imperfect.  Here is one recent narrative: Some 66 million people, 30% of the population, have been getting 600 reais ($110) a month, making it the most ambitious social program ever undertaken in Brazil, […]

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The Solomonic solution?

Or should that be “Solve for the equilibrium”?  How about “China Civil War of the Day”?: The largest province in Solomon Islands has announced plans for an independence referendum as tensions with the country’s national government over China policy rise. Malaita, a province of 200,000 people in the country’s east, “will soon conduct a provincial-wide referendum on […]

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*The Stakes: American at the Point of No Return*

That is the new book by Michael Anton, the famed then pseudonymous author of the “Flight 93 piece.” I consider this to be the very best book for understanding where the current Intellectual Right “is at.”  In that sense I recommend it highly.  The opening chapter is a polemical fear that all of American will […]

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*The Rise of the G.I. Army, 1940-1941*

The author is Paul Dickson, and the subtitle is The Forgotten Story of How America Forged a Powerful Army Before Pearl Harbor. For one thing, I enjoyed the examples of “fast action” in this book.  For instance, the U.S. passed draft registration Sept.16, 1940. All men between 21 and 45 are supposed to register, and […]

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From Christianity to liberalism

Daniel Klein sets the record straight: Olsson: But was it Christianity in particular, or monotheism more generally, that opened up the road to liberalism? Don’t other religious traditions and civilizations also have ideas on individuals, moral agency, and the conscience? Klein: Monotheism is necessary but not sufficient. Other monotheistic religions didn’t have moral agency, moral […]

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History-bound reelections

We introduce history-bound reelections. In their simple form, they consist in a “score-replication rule.” Under such a rule, an incumbent has to match the highest vote share he or she has obtained in any previous election in order to be reelected. We develop a simple three-period model to examine score-replication rules. We show that suitable […]

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