Poem of the Week: England in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,--mud from a muddy spring, ...
[read the rest here]
My staunchly liberal (I think) lawyer-opera singer friend Jason Rylander passed along this "dissection" by Judge Posner, who I think is this country's foremost judge and one of its best legal and philosophical writers.
It could very easily form the creed for a new pragmatic, progressive conservative party. And yet, I also agree with just about all the commenters on the post, who sound extremely smart and insightful -- even the left-liberals who say, look, it'll take more than words, and it may in fact be way too late, to "disassociate" conservatism from haters and know-nothings, and the moderate libertarians who point out that the financial crisis had very little to do with market failure--that there has not been much banking deregulation that is relevant to the crisis, and that it's government policies and institutions that encouraged all the subprime mortgage lending. (Libertarianism has never denied, and in fact predicts, that government interference in the market will spur private greed and irresponsibility that will in turn cause disorder and crises.)
Posner's blogging partner, economist Gary Becker, responded with a more nuanced version of Posner's argument about markets, etc.