In the latest EconTalk, Russ Roberts interviews Chris Coyne about his book After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy. Along with the few relative successes like post-WW2 Germany and Japan, it goes over numerous failures and explains why best laid plans went awry (a paper of his taking a public-choice perspective on the bureaucracies of reconstruction can be found here). Chris is a contributor to the Austrian Economists blog and Russ manages Cafe Hayek with Don Boudreaux. A list of foreign interventions by the United States starting with Wounded Knee and ending in 2001 from ZMag is here.
Steve Sailer points out Stanley Kurtz’s “I and My Brother against My Cousin” in NRO on the importance of tribalism in the Middle East, as opposed to Islam. It has plenty of bashing of post-modernist/post-colonialist and Marxist academics as well. Steve previously highlighted Stanley’s anthropological perspective on the Middle East here and here. I’m sure this will lead to another complaint from Lawrence Auster on “non-Islamic theories of islamic extremism”, a complaint I don’t think much of for reasons explained here. The classic article on the distinction between old tribal codes and the orthodox tenets of Islam is Pushtunwali: Honor Among Them.
I just learned from this post at The Daily Burkeman1 that the cause of the recent trouble at TakiMag was Prozium (UPDATE: Prozium states that he had already left Taki’s before the trouble started and Alex Linder from VNN was responsible). I’ve come to have a low opinion of the average commenter on the internet (at least for relatively large/popular sites like TakiMag) and so registration seems like a reasonable solution to the problem. I haven’t had any problems here with my few readers and for the moment intend to let people post whatever they want as long as it isn’t spam. Savrola at TDB1 has plenty of mockery for the Zmiraks of the world (and Kevin Carson) that seems to blend into a cynical take on the paleo movement more generally (although displaying anything but pessimism about the prospects of conservatism might be grounds for expulsion from paleoland). Prozium is strangely optimistic, as he believes that paleos will ultimately achieve their goals despite their utter failure to accomplish anything themselves. Plenty of other reactions elsewhere. On a somewhat related note, James Poulos claims that deconstructionism is more a threat to postmodern bourgeois liberalism than postmodern conservatism in a post that reminds why I generally don’t bother reading postmodernism of any sort.