Libertarians for sexual assault?

Why are libertarians so conservative? Libertarian intellectuals usually deny this insisting that they are beyond left and right, but libertarianism as a mass movement sits squarely on the right of the political spectrum as demonstrated by Ron Paul. One noteworthy example has been in debates about legislation proposed in Virginia to require women to undergo […]

Republicans resurgent

Noteworthy that in the last few weeks liberal commentators, such as Mathew Yglesias and Jonathon Chait,  have begun to seriously contemplate the possibility, even the likelihood of the Republicans securing a House of Representatives majority this year. Some of this commentary has been in response to the recent analysis of Harry Joe who has argued […]

1934 and 2010 compared

  David Greenberg was one of Hillary Clinton’s academic defenders, and he did a more effective job of this than Sean Wilentz. He has an insightful article on Obama’s first year: One year in, Obama’s approval ratings have slipped, and they’re likely to get worse. He’ll probably muddle through seven more years of partisan acrimony, […]

Religious conservatism and religious freedom

Recently in Australia we have seen Christian conservatives (they claim support for those of other faiths but little evidence of this) argue that extension of anti discrimination laws to cover employment decisions is a threat to religious freedom. Worth remembering that this is for employment in organizations such as schools and welfare services very largely […]

Liberals and ‘liberalism’ from 1984 to 2009

With the Liberals in opposition debate has raged as to the party’s future direction. The debate is often phrased as one of ‘liberals’ vs. ‘conservatives’. Tony Abbott’s recent book, which I still have to read, has been hailed as an intervention on the conservative side and Senator George Brandis has set himself up as the […]

Will the Republicans listen to Jeb Bush?

Recent comments of Jeb Bush confirmed by today’s American elections. Virginia and New Jersey Democratic defeats no great surprise, moderate republicans can win elections in Democratic or swing states, just as moderate to conservative Democrats can win in Republican states. New York mayoral election almost a major surprise but its a Democratic city. New York […]

Wall Street vs. Main Street Democrats?

Although buried in marking doing some work on my paper on American liberalism and capitalist development based on my recent Sydney presentation to a symposium on social democratic governments and business. One aspect is the relation between the Democrats and business and the question of ‘corporate liberalism’ apparent in current debates about financial regulation.  We […]

Oliver Williamson and American liberalism

Lecturing recently in Modern Political Ideologies I observed that classical liberalism are not entirely incompatible, classical liberals were concerned about workers’ subordination in the production process and about the rise of corporate capitalism. Currently rereading Oliver Williamson’s The Economic Institutions of Capitalism, doubly appropriate because of his recent Nobel Prize in economics. An interesting milestone […]