Daily Clips: March 22nd, 2016

Trump backs tougher border security, waterboarding after Brussel’s attacks: This is how an authoritarian slowly strips away your rights all in the name of “protection.”

Stop associating Adam Smith with free market economics: In my final year at St Andrews University I spent the majority of my time studying Smith and his moral philosophy. My dissertation focused on his virtue of “prudence,” and I came to discover that Smith went at great pains to propose a moral philosophy which was not based solely upon self-interest.

Yet here we are hundreds of years later and Adam Smith is far too often held up as a beacon of free-market ideology. And that’s simply based upon a bastardization of his work. Either his advocates didn’t read his Theory of Moral Sentiments (a work he thought superior to his more famous, The Wealth of Nations) or they’re just cherry-picking points they like. Either way, his free market advocates are wrong to invoke him.

Nixon official confirms that drug was was created in order to criminalize black people:

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. ‘You want to know what this was really all about?’ he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. ‘The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.’

Tweet of the day:

Nick Cassella

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