Mind the Microcosm
By Amy Willis
Were you aware that we are living in a miracle? The problem is, according to the guest in this episode, is that this miracle is totally unnatural. EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes Jonah Goldberg of National Review to discuss his book, Suicide of the West.
Have we abandoned the “Lockean Revolution?” Is there hope left for civil society in America today?
1. What does Goldberg mean when he says that all authoritarianism is reactionary, and to what extent do you agree with him?2. Goldberg argues that “treating your family like a contractual society destroys the family.” How does the way we interact within the family unit differ from the way we do so in larger society? How does this help explain the spread of tribalism he is so concerned about?
3. Who are the “idea merchants” Roberts and Goldberg are both concerned about? Are these types new? What has changed over the course of our history?
4. Goldberg argues that the purpose of politics used to be- and should be- persuasion. What does he see as the purpose today, and why does he find it so dangerous? Are you as concerned as he is? Why or why not?
5. How does Goldberg’s critique of the American political landscape today compare to that offered by Pluckrose and Lindsay in this episode from earlier this year? With whose case are you more sympathetic, and why?