benfell's blog

Is Ayn Rand authoritarian populist or capitalist libertarian?

  • Posted on: 27 December 2014
  • By: benfell

I have little reason to doubt that my dissertation will prove controversial. The sheer scope of my work on the topic of conservatism means there is much to pick apart and attack. There's been no shortage of questioning about what conservatism even is—I say it is authoritarian1—and most conservatives would deny that it even is an ideology.

Rending the conservative coalition

  • Posted on: 20 December 2014
  • By: benfell

This is a little too rich to let pass unremarked. In the (mostly) Republican uproar over President Barack Obama's decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and relax the trade embargo, Rand Paul, who is in favor, has apparently tweeted of Marco Rubio, who is against, “Senator @marcorubio is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism.”

Whence rights?

  • Posted on: 4 December 2014
  • By: benfell

One of the more curious points I have encountered in my study of conservatism is their attitude toward human rights. Russell Kirk and Richard Weaver both deny that they exist, referring instead to a nebulous notion of 'natural right' (notice the singular).

How I archive and format articles for analysis (you probably don't care)

  • Posted on: 2 December 2014
  • By: benfell

Update, December 3, 2014: This post has been updated in line.

This will not be a post that most people will be interested in reading. Seriously. No, really. I'm not kidding. I'm not trying to use that as some sort of hook to suggest that you should read this because I don't want you to or because I am pretending to not want you to. You're welcome to read it. But you'll probably be sorry.

Data collection, November 28, 2014

  • Posted on: 28 November 2014
  • By: benfell

At first, it looked like my dear sweet cat wasn't going to let me get anything done this evening. But I also needed caffeine and so ventured out for coffee (both beans and a rather large cup). It has now been a very productive evening and as I start to write this, I think I've at least significantly improved my collection of articles available to analyze:

Data gathering, November 27, 2014

  • Posted on: 27 November 2014
  • By: benfell

I still haven't started plowing into the various conservative publications for more material. I had an update problem with the mediawiki software I've been using for my wiki, so I've also been moving the relevant entries over to a dokuwiki installation. That means the old links are out of date. The schools of conservatism are now listed here.