Skip to main content

Another way forward

Image result for Bloomberg


Yesterday, I spoke to the issue of the cycles of American history. I abandoned one cyclical theory and reverted to another one, the long-cycle theory that focuses on constitutional changes.

If that theory holds up, and if I'm applying it properly, then this year should see a party re-alignment which will make the Democratic Party dominant for sometime to come, and will make the US a social democracy on the European pattern.

I find that result unsatisfying, so naturally I will look for other live options. I also find it unsatisfying, by the way, to resign myself to merely passive observer status. what I want is a way forward that has some real contact with what is going on and that, if it manifests, might lead to a result I'd recognize as an improvement over the status quo.

That could happen, if the polarizing tendency of both primary competitions intensifies from here, and if Michael Bloomberg turns out to have political talent transferrable outside of the bounds of New York City.

If Sanders wins, then the Democratic Party could nominate someone whose politics resemble those of George McGovern, who was on the hurting end of a memorable landslide in 1972.

That, combined with similar self-destruction on the Republican side, where for example they have turned their anti-Obama "birtherism" against each other, might well mean there will be plenty of room for a candidate to run in the political center.

That in turn is what could create room for Michael Bloomberg, if he chooses to accept it.

For those who think that it would be a pity to lose the opportunity for a historic first offered us by Hillary's candidacy, ask yourself: wouldn't the first Jewish-American president qualify?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Francesco Orsi

I thought briefly that I had found a contemporary philosopher whose views on ethics and meta-ethics checked all four key boxes. An ally all down the line.

The four, as regular readers of this blog may remember, are: cognitivism, intuitionism, consequentialism, pluralism. These represent the views that, respectively: some ethical judgments constitute knowledge; one important source for this knowledge consists of quasi-sensory non-inferential primary recognitions ("intuitions"); the right is logically dependent upon the good; and there exists an irreducible plurality of good.

Francesco Orsi seemed to believe all of these propositions. Here's his website and a link to one relevant paper:

https://sites.google.com/site/francescoorsi1/

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/3

What was better: Orsi is a young man. Born in 1980. A damned child! Has no memories of the age of disco!

So I emailed him asking if I was right that he believed all of those things. His answer: three out of …