Monday, November 11, 2013

Is there Anything on the Right Worth Reading Nowadays?

I'm a firm believer in the importance of hearing the views of all sides and constantly challenging one's own views. This helps to sharpen thinking as well as providing a greater understanding and sympathy for people that one disagrees with.

However, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find anything from the American right worth reading. I like the American Conservative, but they're hardly mainstream. Everything else I've tried reading from the right strikes me as mostly nonsense. Most articles seem to take the dependency theory as established fact, assume business owners, rather than employees and systems, as the economic drivers of society, rely on lazy anti-urban comparisons, often make crazy assertions about the applicability of military power, and deny the reality of settled issues like the cost advantages of public health systems. If they ever advanced evidence in support of these positions it would be one thing, but if I go over to Red State or the National Review it is just assumed that readers KNOW that the welfare state leads to dependency. The closest to an argument that is ever advanced is through single country historical experience, such as Casey Mulligan's The Great Recession (comments on why this book is implausible well handled at Noahpinion).

About the only issue that gets any traction with me is worry about debts and deficits, but even here I am far less than convinced because while the potentials problems of debt are notable I haven't seen an argument offered which addresses the opportunity cost of dealing with the debt nor why it is not preferable to cut the debt through tax increases rather than spending cuts despite the evidence that tax cuts do less economic damage in most situations (and the situations where spending cuts are better are nothing like current conditions).

So, I've expressed why I have trouble reading conservative blogs or other news sources. They make assertions about the world that are testable but that don't stand up to testing yet stick with these assertions. Is there anything out there that I should be reading which doesn't start being wrong at the level of starting assumptions? I'd like to read something from the other side but unless the assumptions are plausible I don't really see the point.


  1. Draco's Laws... as a potential future...
    Tzi, you know very well that the mainstream right doesn't care to prove its assertions. The opinions presented are facts that verge in immutable physical laws and also bordering in the ten commandments. Your cries are in the desert

    1. I agree, but that makes it difficult to maintain an open mind. Learning requires challenging one's beliefs and right now it is very difficult to find anything sensible that isn't coming from the center left of American politics. There is considerable diversity within this group but it is still a small slice of possible political viewpoints.

      I think what I'm going to have to do is start looking for conservative publications from Britain, Canada or Australia. Though I know Canada at least considers their conservative party to have become Americanized so I don't know how deeply they've imbibed crazy. I'd like to read something sensible from a conservative viewpoint on America, but I've just about given up with the exception of the non-mainstream American Conservative.