Happy 2022. This newsletter’s been rather quiet lately, but I have a reasonable excuse. I’m very nearly done with the Free Market Buddhist book. I have final revisions to do, and then it’s off into the long publishing process of copyediting, typesetting, proofing, printing, binding, and distributing. Look for it in stores in September.
Just after Christmas, I published an essay at Reason titled “Mindfulness Is What’s Missing From the Political Arena,” in which I set out a Buddhist method for approaching political engagement. I argue that,
A virtuous person will be ethical, mindful, and wise. Yet our political sphere tells us to be precisely the opposite, provides us with strong incentives to do so, and then celebrates and rewards those among us who stray the furthest from that virtuous ideal.
The essay goes on to show how political participation, and living within a political environment, drive us away from the very characteristics Buddhism encourages us to cultivate, and how the solution is to apply a method analogous to the Four Noble Truths to our political action.
My current plan is to expand this essay into my next book, after The Free Market Buddhist. So I’d love to hear what you think of it.
My Other Newsletter
Last in this quick update, at my other newsletter, Dialectical Etherealism, I just published an essay about the dire state of conservatism in America, and why the rise of integralism, national conservatism, and the New Right, while still fringe, represent not deviations from what was establishment conservatism prior to Trump, but instead conservatism recognizing what it was already about all along.
As rapid technological and economic change drives cultural dynamism and cosmopolitanism, and as “traditional” social, gender, racial, and religious structures and relationships give way to liberty-enabled evolving preferences, conservatives committed to “conserving” will feel more pressured to kick off the fusionist consensus and instead support the Vermeule/Hawley/populist constellation of anti-liberalisms.
If you enjoy my Buddhist writings, and want to get short essay from me on politics, theory, ideology, and culture, sign up for Dialectical Etherealism, too.