If democracy is not going to be capable of righting the wrongs of this world, then what will? If the majority is steadfast in favor of tyranny, then what option is the minority left with?
I am really trying to move away from the word ‘libertarianism.’ Progressives [have also done] a pretty good job in the last couple years of demonizing words like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’—these are becoming like the dirty words of irresponsible people. I really like the idea of moving back to ‘voluntarism’ and weeding out people who don’t ask what that even means.
Politics is a place where people go to be angry, where people go to be paranoid, where people go to fantasize about bad things happening to people they don’t like. It is a terrible place—an extremely hostile place—for introducing new ideas.
Science progresses by exploring the unknown, finding the unexpected, and being challenged by sceptics. The quest for knowledge is a search for things we don’t already know. It is, when all is said and done, an exploration of our ignorance. In the unforgiving post-graduate world where I was expected to apply my knowledge usefully to the satisfaction of my benefactors, I slowly came to realise that education was a form of classical conditioning in the Pavlovian mode; we were its dogs, and both the tricks we were to perform and the rewards we would consequently receive were made abundantly clear to us. It is a principle of democratic governance that the effectiveness of the process depends critically upon the vibrancy of opposition. If in parliament there is no effective opposition, then government tends towards virtual dictatorship, no matter that members were democratically elected in the first place. There is no doubt that science is governed. There are rules, and the rules are enforced.