1. Regarding politics and freedom. Why does Congress insist on regulating and limiting political expression?
I think that politics is a major part of the definition of freedom in free societies. Suppression of politics is a major part of the definition of totalitarianism. I think that most Americans would mostly agree with me.
So my question is, where does the impulse to regulate political expression come from? It can't come from politics itself, where the central thrust is to expand political freedom. I think somehow that the desire to suppress is intrinsic to the establishment of the two-party system as in effect the legal political parties in the modern era. But how?
2. Regarding governmental bureaucracy. Why do governmental bureaucracies expand endlessly?
The snap answer is that bureaucracies must continually justify their existence in order to be refunded. To justify their existence, they have to find more instances of the ills and problems they were established to deal with; so they do. Then failing to complete their mission, they excuse themselves saying they don't have the money need to succeed, and request additional funding and expansion.
But this answer has been unpersuasive for a long time. An historic answer is that expert bureaucracies must recruit their expert administrators out of the industries and social organizations which they regulate as those persons have the most expertise in the problems. Thereby, staffed by industry insiders, the regulatory bureaucracy is in effect the industry regulating itself. (Herbert Croly, an enthusiast for regulatory noticed this problem a century ago.)
This arrangement only breaks down, when conflicting experts get toe-holds on the bureaucracy. So the power industry ran the utility commissions until the environmentalists broke in. Or so the theory goes. This theory is one that says elites run the bureaucracies for their own benefit. Elites have turned to regulatory bureaucracies to run society, because it is a more powerful and permanent form of governmental power than electoral political power. This would seem an especially useful theory to explain the relationship between the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and "private" banks of Wall Street.
But what is the engine of expansion? Why would elites in charge of regulatory bureaucracies want more and more regulatory power?
3. Regarding atheism. In recent years, we have had a spate of anti-religion critiques from advocates of atheism. Most of the intellectual content of the critiques rely upon classical historical criticism, which dates from Galileo. I haven't seen any (and tell me in comments if you know of any) atheistic critiques that deal with Heidegger's refutation of that historical criticism in Being and Time. I would say Heidegger's refutation is irrefutable within the framework of his phenomenological ontology. Heidegger privately in correspondence said he thought he had protected Catholicism from anti-religious modernism, and I would agree. But no advocates of atheism have taken on Heidegger. Why?
4. Regarding gun control. Can we depend upon Congress to protect the bill of rights? Given the enthusiasm with which the establishment parties write laws to limit political organization and expression, why should we expect Congress to respect the second amendment?
5. Regarding Islam. I think there are plenty of grounds for arguing that Islam is a false religion. I understand the reluctance of Western intellectuals to make such an argument, and I understand why and how Islamist apologists object to it and refute it.
But why would Western intellectuals as a class be unwilling to enter into such a discussion? Cowardice is not a fully satisfactory answer.
I would say, no religion, no intellectual philosophy, that contains anti-semitism as an intrinsic pillar of its beliefs can be true.
7. Regarding Judaism and anti-semitism. What would the world look like if anti-semitism suddenly disappeared? There is a whole political, religious, and intellectual apparatus erected on anti-semitic premises, much disguised as anti-Zionism. This apparatus has taken on a validity that is unchallenged from within and intellectually disreputable. Why have intellectuals forsaken their responsibility to truth and ideas and not dissected this anti-semitic apparatus? Perhaps because it serves their intellectual power - whatever that means?
8. Regarding sex. In naturalistic terms, within Darwinian theory, human sexuality is clearly mostly a biochemical affair, of which consciousness is largely unaware and will is foreign and ineffective. The biochemistry of sexual relations is greatly worked out, but the social impact of that knowledge in religion, law, and social mores, is largely ignored or resisted. Why? Is it enough to say that religion, law, and social mores have too much invested in the concepts of consciousness and will to give them up, or adjust them?
But is not also the debate over sexual freedom and abortion partly to blame? It is clear to me that defense of sexual freedom and abortion is central to the political task of masking, in other areas of sexual, social and political life, the soft totalitarianism of the regulatory state (see # 9). We endorse and protect one aspect of sexual behavior in order to control, and mask that control, of many other areas of sex.
Isn't politics partly, perhaps mostly, the problem? Brave New World long ago explained the problem.
9. Regarding totalitarianism. I distinguish between two kinds of totalitarianism.
There is hard totalitarianism, in which the absolute control of government and by government of social life, by a monopolistic political party, is enforced by police and secret police. Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, and East Germany under Soviet rule are examples of hard totalitarianism.
But there is also soft totalitarianism. In the softly totalitarian state, regulation and state management obliterate the line between state and private life, property ownership, private economy, religion, and social relationships. While being told by politicians that "you are free, you are free", persons are progressively being deprived by regulation, taxation, and licensing from a huge variety of activities, from selling their labor, to purchasing labor, to forming economic partnerships and social organizations, to how they behave in private and in public.
That secret police are not spying and reporting on you, that secret courts do not exist, don't make total control of your beliefs and life any less real and effective?
Are not political correctness codes and expectations, hate speech laws, and anti-discrimination laws as pervasive in their effect of suppressing behavior and free expression as a secret police?