Friday, December 7, 2012

BOOK NOTE: “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt

I’ll try to keep things civil at our impending Monday debate at Muchmore’s about this whole “fiscal cliff” situation, but if the panel and the crowd split into hateful factions, each convinced the other wants to hurt the world, it will be perfectly in keeping with basic elements of human psychology described in the book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion.

(My thanks to Paul Taylor, an interesting psychological case in his own right, for recommending it – and my thanks to Tom Palmer for pointing out the poignant hate-and-factionalism-related picture nearby of a baby being raised by Klan members and protected by black cops, while being too young to notice the irony.)  

As psychologist turned NYU business professor Jonathan Haidt writes in this excellent volume, humans plainly evolved to be provokable and self-righteous, and there are certain predictable modules to their ethical thinking – some more active in leftists, some in conservatives, some in libertarians.  Your personality type really does tend to be predictive of the sort of political faction you’ll end up in, and once you’re there, you start thinking that faction’s claims are so patently true that anyone who disagrees must secretly know they’re wrong and be out to vandalize the world. 

Sure, there are a few philosophers and people who scrupulously try to follow the truth wherever it leads, but psychological experiments suggest they are even more likely than ordinary folk to engage in elaborate post hoc rationalizations leading to dogmatism.  Intellectuals are more defensive, so to speak, than your average slob.  And humans really are pretty sloppy in their ethical thinking: One experiment Haidt recounts suggests you can even affect survey respondents’ ethical judgments simply by wafting artificial “fart spray” near them when they give their answers, activating the “disgust response” in their brains. 

Haidt mentions Leon Kass, and I now feel on much more solid intellectual footing about the blog entry two years ago in which I wrote, “I am tempted to ask whether...Leon Kass, the bioethicist who believes we should see disgust reactions as a moral guide (leading many people away from gays and biotech, for example), could be duped by an extremely rank act of flatulence into thinking he was in the presence of pure evil.”  Science suggests some people can be, anyway. 

Disgust isn’t the only thing that matters, though.  Haidt identifies six rough areas of moral cognition that tend to enter in most people’s moral judgments (with different areas stressed to greater or lesser degrees depending on temperament, culture, and political faction), listed here with the opposite of each in parentheses: fairness (cheating), care (harm), liberty (oppression), loyalty (betrayal), authority (subversion), and sanctity (degradation). 


Interestingly, Haidt suggests that conservatives have a built-in rhetorical advantage, since they have a near-monopoly on evoking those last three: loyalty, authority, and sanctity.  Since (I confess) I had forgotten Haidt’s earlier accomplishments while reading the book, I was a bit taken aback when, in the middle, he recounts trying to convince failed presidential candidate John Kerry to make appeals to all of the moral modules instead of just the first three. 

Haidt is not just saying there’s something wrong with either liberal or conservative brains, though.  I believe him when he describes himself as a moderate looking for ways to get people to stop talking past each other – and vilifying each other.  As he learned from time in India, where sanctity (and the closely-related idea of purity) is taken more seriously than in more Western and secular cultures, there tends to be an internal coherence to a moral system that people fail to appreciate looking in from the outside.  (It may not be coincidence that an ex of mine from a Hindu family was the most fanatical person I’ve known about keeping track of dirt and contamination and things-tracked-indoors, even though, having grown up in the U.S. and studied philosophy, she framed it all in terms of mostly-legit health concerns.)

I dare say I’ve long been more aware of this need to think about the internal coherence of seemingly-foreign systems than most people are, with one manifestation
being the internal wincing I do almost every time I hear a fellow atheist oversimplify a religious belief, a Rand-style libertarian dismiss centuries of non-egoist ethical philosophy instead of grappling with it, or a rich Republican politician try to sound cozy with the common man.  I know how it’s going to sound to the other side, and that both sides will take a dimmer (and less accurate) view of each other each time miscommunication occurs. 

(I’ll argue against belief in God, knowing full well it will upset some people, for example, but I contend you won’t find me reveling in opportunities for petty blasphemy the way plenty of users of irreverent humor might.  That seems too dismissive to me – and thus in some sense degrading to both sides.  Firm, forcefully argued opposition to Saint Anselm’s “proof”?  Yes.  Crude jokes about nuns?  Not from me, or at least not without some very compelling reason or really good comedic payoff.)

At a bar in Midtown on the night of the election, by the way, I was witness not only to the vote results from a divided nation but to an angry, drunken post-hurricane clean-up worker learning the hard way that an anarchist female from my circle of friends was completely unmoved (some might think rudely so, depending I suppose on their notions of the sacred) by his sentimental barroom tale of retrieving an American flag from rubble on Long Island. 

My brief, feeble effort to smooth over the impasse was in vain, and instead of witnessing a new era of mutual understanding, I watched the guy exit the bar after angrily shouting and sticking both his middle fingers up at a whole pack of laughing, mostly-pitiless young anarchists.  He really didn’t know what he was getting into.  Let’s hope I am more effective moderating the debate on Monday.


As another member of that same anarcho-capitalist cabal has observed, there’s a difference between sympathy – in the sense of wanting to help people – and the trickier feat of real empathy, that is, being able to imagine how the other person thinks and feels even if, ultimately, it is not your way of thinking and feeling (and one should beware of people who can’t tell the difference between the two or who lack one of these capacities). 

The scary thing is that the people we rely on to elucidate these matters, intellectuals, may be the most abnormal and stunted in some of the key moral dimensions.  Haidt notes an amusing study suggesting that philosophy books on ethics are slightly more likely to be stolen than books on other philosophy subject areas, for instance.  And, for good or ill, liberal intellectuals have little interest (most of the time) in promoting reverence for authority or ritualized sanctity. 

My own stick-to-the-facts attitude, and a New England upbringing, no doubt lands me in the psychologically-liberal camp by some measures (I probably sound thoroughly right-wing to some of my leftist acquaintances, but little things like my tendency to be a bit creeped out at some point by too much fuzzy romantic talk of patriotism or the military mark me as one of them in some sense).  I am conservative enough, though, that I am often quietly, prudishly aghast at how little your average New York liberal seems to worry about ancient-seeming problems such as degradation or dishonor. 

That no doubt shows me to have some typically-conservative psychological leanings – or at least to be an uptight, puritanical New Englander, which may be a freaky left/right hybrid case (and thus, I long hoped, a psychological type that could be more frequently molded into neither-right-nor-left libertarians, if the right buttons were pressed, perhaps by invoking imagery from the Boston Tea Party – an idea I clearly should have patented many years ago). 

Although the book is largely about right/left differences, Haidt confirms the suspicions of half the people I know by suggesting that utilitarians and libertarians really are a breed apart.  He was discussed in a widely-cited Wall Street Journal piece about libertarians tending to be more cold and calculating in their moral judgments than most people.  Crucially, he’s not saying this necessarily leads them to the wrong answers.  Obviously, I would argue it makes them the only faction that’s really getting the correct answers – but in one of the greatest ironies in all of history, it may be that rather sociopathic, heartless, mathematician-like character traits are what it takes to appreciate the “felicific calculus” of utilitarianism or the strict rules of libertarianism.


I’m technically a rule-utilitarian, in fact, so he might want to run some experiments on me to understand both the utility-calculating and rule-abiding types.  As an imaginative child, turned science buff, turned stoic, turned skeptic, turned philosophy major, turned adherent of an unpopular political philosophy, turned media-maker, turned debate host, I am (I would humbly submit) probably more keenly aware than most people of how easily reasoning goes awry, but I don’t pretend all that makes me ideally suited to think like the average Joe or intuit his concerns (many of which seem to revolve around God, fashion, children, and sports teams, none of which I care about). 

Haidt even notes some historical evidence that important Enlightenment philosophical figures (crucial to the history of liberalism as well, I should note) may have had Asperger’s syndrome, a sort of hyper-nerdy mental type prone to find emotions and intuition very confusing but lists, data, and systematizing very appealing.  More than one friend has assured me that I have some almost “anti-Asperger’s” empathic tendencies, but like countless nerds, I know there are ways in which I resemble the Aspies (and, at my best, the Enlightenment philosophers!) as well. 

But then, over the past few years, I have come to think that countless academics and ideologues may qualify or come close to qualifying as Asperger’s cases, and since they are in some ways in charge of all of our most-respected research into human nature, history, science, and philosophy, that raises interesting, troubling (yet rather amusing) questions about just how nerdy the lens is through which we are perceiving our whole culture, and whether that creates any false impressions.  (Even the hipsters now think and act more like nerds, as observers of Williamsburg over the past decade will attest.)

Similarly, while I am not a Rand Objectivist, the reaction many normal readers have to her, which is that she sounds sociopathic, may not be entirely unfair – and yet that still doesn’t clearly give us sufficient reason to dismiss her (not even the fact that her unpublished first novel was inspired by a serial killer).  Indeed, if we knew for certain that her approach to libertarian philosophy were the most likely to create better policies for humanity, perhaps even empathic utilitarians should be encouraging the kind of anti-altruistic egoism that she touts. 

I’m not ready to give up on warm-heartedness, but suppose we actually knew that it almost always leads to economic stagnation and totalitarianism – while being a callous narcissist more often led to freedom and prosperity?  Unlike Rand and her socialist critics, I don’t think that’s actually the choice we face, but it’s not obvious we should pick warm-heartedness if it were.

Haidt’s section on how the Enlightenment perhaps went too far in the rationalist direction is called “Attack of the Systematizers,” and it should perhaps come as no surprise that the first words are “Autism has bedeviled psychiatric classifiers for decades...”  There may be more truth than previously suspected to the term jokingly coined by my friend Evan Isaac, “Aspergo-capitalists.”


I now realize Haidt is not only the guy who wrote about libertarians tending to be calculators (and, interestingly, male or male-like in their thinking) but is also the guy who caused a ruckus a couple years ago by saying that there are so few conservatives in academia, it‘s odd the academics themselves do not worry that discrimination might be the explanation, given that that’s their explanation for most other disparities.  A liberal-leaning moderate himself, he was fascinated by the alternative explanations academics came up with for their skewed politics – and by the fact that all these explanations were (surprise!) quite flattering to academics and insulting to conservatives. 

(Haidt has been accused of insufficient empathy himself, though, as when he predicted in a radio interview that Occupy Wall Street would be hampered by its commitment to listening to all points of view, even those of the “mentally ill.”  He’s right, of course.)

The upshot of The Righteous Mind is not that we should all strive to be a certain psychological type or political faction, though, simply that we should be more aware of the different ways our fellow humans are thinking – and how we engage in our own versions of their self-justifying errors, even while convincing ourselves those other people are nuts.

With Hanukkah, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and no doubt more discouraging news from the Middle East just around the corner, I’m reminded of two cartoons I saw online recently, both reactions to the fighting in Gaza, that summed up how confident people can be that their opponents are seeing things incorrectly.  One cartoon depicted one side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lobbing endless projectiles at the other side – and then the press only freaking out in the final panel when the victims finally mounted a feeble counter-strike. 

The other cartoon, which looked almost identical, depicted the same thing – except in one cartoon, it was the Israelis who were the patient sufferers getting no sympathy from the press, and in the other it was the Palestinians who were the patient sufferers getting no sympathy from the press.  So even a cartoonist’s keen sense of irony won’t resolve that difference in perspectives, apparently.  (Likewise, I once organized a debate on the Palestinian/Israeli issue and was at one point accused by both sides of wording the debate question in a way that skewed things in favor of the other side – which is the sort of experience that can turn one into a non-interventionist of some sort, I suppose.)  

On a less-relevant and still more absurd note, I noticed an argument on Facebook recently between conspiracy theorists.  One, who accused Israel of having a hand in 9/11, was condemned as an anti-Semite by another commenter – who went on to say that if one were not an anti-Semite, one would plainly see that Christians in the U.S. government were the real masterminds of 9/11.  A non-conspiracy theorist who’d unwittingly started the thread weighed back in at one point merely to say that he was going to pretend this whole argument wasn’t happening.


On a still more pessimistic note, despite Haidt’s desire for us to understand our brains better – and the similar desire by Critical Review editor Jeffrey Friedman to avoid ad hominem attacks in political argumentation, given everyone’s cognitive and epistemological limitations (as I blogged about Wednesday) – I think we do see an emerging consensus that people’s political views, more often than not, tell us something about their personalities. 

And if that’s true...isn’t there some sense in which we would actually be obliged to consider some people jerks (crudely put) if we determined with far greater confidence than we now know that it’s their personality types that lead to horrible policies?  If we really turned political psychology into such a refined tool that we could spot the fascist personality types, shouldn’t we tell those people to stop being, well, assholes before they get another 50 million or so people killed?

Of course, I don’t think we have a strong enough consensus on subtle political questions to go that route anytime soon, but in the meantime we might at least argue that the right/left model of politics, which so many people would like to transcend (including countless libertarians and moderates I adore), is in fact a pretty good model of psychology, if not of the full range of policy possibilities.  For good or ill, there is something deeper than policy positions about right-wing-tribe identity and left-wing-tribe identity, though perhaps we’re safest if people strive to overcome these tribal allegiances instead of intensifying them. 

If right/left exists in the primitive parts of the brain, though, it may be a very steep uphill battle trying to get people to drop that dualism and replace it with, say, three forms of communitarianism and an independent variable indicating degree of interest in ecology.  The two dominant tribes may map onto our psyches so well that they won’t easily be displaced even if they lead to outmoded and destructive policy fights.  (But they haven’t always been with us, so it’s also possible they will soon be forgotten in favor of other models that will seem as “natural.”)  I’ve long noticed that many libertarians, for instance, retain a lifelong loyalty to the camp (right or left) that they came from before becoming libertarians. 

Even someone who hasn’t voted Democrat in two decades and who quotes Hayek every day may just sound a bit more like a hippie than does the cattle-rancher and gun aficionado who sits next to him at the Libertarian Party convention – and take a subtly different approach to their shared philosophy as a result. 

You may notice me subtly drifting toward a more anarchist rhetorical orientation despite still pushing the same policy positions as ever, by the way, and I suspect this is in some sense an improvement, in much the same way that being Jewish or a Canadian is said to increase the odds of you having comedic perspective on the U.S.  One fringe benefit (no pun intended) is that anarchically-inclined libertarians seem to retain very little detectable trace of their Republican or Democratic points of origin, which is, well, liberating.  They have other tribalistic impulses, but not quite the same left/right ones that cause most of our woes. 

Further complicating matters, it is interesting that some people are resistant to the insights of Righteous Mind itself, while others such as me (perhaps of a predictable psychological type!) consider it confirmation (or at least systematic description) of everything we’d long suspected.  Still further complicating matters, Righteous Mind itself, like all political data, gets read through our existing philosophical lenses, with the result that even the people who think its warnings about dogmatism are accurate will tend to end up seeing it as further confirmation of their own views. 

Paul Taylor told me he sees it as reason to think conservatism is the smartest horse to bet on, Jeffrey Friedman no doubt sees it as powerful evidence in favor of his own ever-increasing political agnosticism, and I can’t help seeing it as further reason to be a stoic-yet-utilitarian political hybrid who tries to defy the usual tribal political boundaries.  You will not be surprised to hear that we all would have held pretty much these same positions even if we had not read Righteous Mind. 

At the very least, I will assert that the book’s insights (and Haidt’s strategies in advising Kerry) confirm my long-held view that even if libertarians do not ultimately think that, say, tradition and an innate sense of honor are moral trump cards that should be weighed alongside property considerations, they are at the very least examples of the kind of psychological forces that ought to be harnessed in any effort to persuade and mobilize people. 

There is something profoundly tone-deaf, as it were, about the libertarian who sees Americans revering the Constitution and merely responds by saying, “Well, I’m an anarchist rather than a constitutionalist, so let’s ignore those Tea Party activists turning out by the hundreds of thousands and waving pro-Constitution signs.”  Likewise, and more disturbingly by my standards, liberals would have to be tone-deaf not to have noticed that the masses’ tendency toward fascistic celebrity/hero-worship aided them in getting Obama elected twice.  I fear that lesson will have consequences in the future, not necessarily ones Haidt or I will like.


One of many surprising things Haidt learned about the masses in his research – which consisted mostly of asking people psych-survey questions about their moral reactions to various hypotheticals – is that surprisingly few people even seem to realize that ethical questions are debatable.  Average, relatively uneducated people would sometimes laugh at the very idea that they should explain why they thought something was wrong.  It was just wrong. 

I am reminded of a friend of mine – like me, a New England-raised, Ivy League-educated atheist libertarian – who told a perfectly nice-seeming older woman in the pottery class he was taking that he was also taking a class on ethics.  She laughed and asked how one could study ethics.  Things just are right or wrong, and you can tell just by thinking about them for a moment, she insisted.  I’d bet she’s a nice, reliable person and don’t really want to turn everyone into a philosopher – but it is a little weird that people can notice ethical arguments going on all the time and not think that this indicates underlying disputes worth studying and debating.  No wonder they usually just think the other side’s being obtuse (even willfully obtuse). 

With these obstacles in mind, the wisest path forward might be to frame libertarian arguments in ways that touch on all six of the areas of moral cognition Haidt outlined – but, crucially, I don’t think one should ever alter moral conclusions just for the sake of appealing to those sensibilities.  That way lies crowd-pleasing demagoguery and bland focus-group-tested appeals. 

Indeed, I think Haidt may himself be so focused on his mission of teaching people to appeal to all those moral modes that he may forget there will still be objective, non-psychological political questions, out there in the world as it were, that need to be answered, such as whether taxes help or hurt and whether central planning is as efficient as market-set price signals.  No warm glowy story about Aslan or inspiring song by the Clash is actually going to change the truth about those things. 

He bridges the gap between psychology and policy-recommendation somewhat, though, by adopting the view that we are each likely deluded to some degree as individuals and thus that the fighting we all do with each other over these issues is in fact a necessary part of politics, much the same way that there must be opposing lawyers, competing scientific analyses, and multiple press perspectives to increase the odds of getting at the truth despite our individual biases (like Jonathan Rauch, I would add competition on the free market to the list of institutional means of sorting out what works from what doesn’t and checking each other’s excesses and bad ideas).

At the same time, he’s very interested (too interested?) in using the natural tribalism of humans (and it’s indeed innate, cropping up in very familiar ways in even the smallest bands of the youngest humans) to find a balance between individual selfishness and our equally real instinctual tendency to fight and make sacrifices on behalf of the group, if we think of it as our own (an attitude that requires certain community-enhancing institutions and stores of “moral capital”).  I may not believe as readily as Haidt that we need all that many collective endeavors to thrive – but I recognize more than some rationalists the value in people’s capacity to treat such institutions and groundrules as we do need as though they really are in some sense sacred.  (Thou shalt not steal.)


If I have been any better than the average Joe at avoiding dogmatic mistakes (and of course, we all tend to think we are), I think I ultimately owe it not to politics or even philosophy per se but to the fact that even before being interested in those things I was a devotee of the so-called skeptics movement.  For good or ill, I have never quite been the sort of person to say things like “I am passionate about my beliefs and will defend them to the last,” even if some might say I appear to be such a person.  The real foundation, prior to any interest in politics, has been (since about age fourteen) the realization that people can dupe themselves about almost anything, from the efficacy of medicine to the existence of Bigfoot.  Politics is even more complicated than those phenomena (though even some in the skeptics movement fail to realize that, often skewing all too predictably leftward – or treating the scientific establishment with slightly more reverence than it deserves, but that’s a complex topic for another time). 

I can tell a simple enough story about how my beliefs developed over the decades that critics and well-wishers alike might think I’ve undergone only very predictable changes, never really adopting any beliefs that threatened the worldview toward which my personality inclined me (Haidt might well agree).  On the other hand, though the world might not think I appear much transformed over the years (and certain basics have undeniably stayed the same since childhood), some of the philosophical changes I’ve undergone would be considered seismic by certain audiences – and if they were paying close enough attention, they might discover that many of my beliefs really were adopted in spite of what I was psychologically inclined to believe (and I deserve some credit for that).

Consider the long (and incomplete) list of things I once believed but no longer do:

•I believed in God and the supernatural as a child, basically as an outgrowth of being imaginative and creative.  

•I was drawn toward Platonist absolutes on topics like art and morals in my late teens, mainly due to an inclination to place objectivity before emotionalism. 

•I was (I swear to you) more feminist than the feminists by some measures until about halfway through college, convinced by my own rationalism that hormones and evolution couldn’t matter all that much to who we are and how we think (and I assumed there could be no rational component to ethnic generalizations, either). 

•Rationalist optimism once made me more sympathetic to act utilitarianism than to rule utilitarianism (that is, prone to think we should constantly judge which individual acts will cause happiness rather than adhering to a few simplistic, conventional rules about what people should do). 

•I initially thought free will seemed more in keeping with common sense and everyday experience than determinism. 

•Not wanting to be a frothing radical, I was in some ways drawn more to minarchism than to anarchism when I first became a libertarian. 

•As a fan of the rationalistic Enlightenment, I had very little use for this messy, knotted, dopey, ancient thing called tradition until well after college. 

•I was thoroughly repulsed, not sadistically delighted, upon first hearing some of the psychological insights of the so-called Pick Up Artist community (who catalogue ways of using reverse psychology, hard-to-get strategies, and the like) and still wouldn’t want to operate like them even if their descriptions of psychology are somewhat more accurate than we might like. 

•Well-behaved fellow that I am, I’m naturally inclined to regard the military and police with a certain amount of respect, but their actual track record raises serious questions about how much they deserve – and whether that initial assumption of respect is such a good thing. 

•And, though you might think I’m eager to dismiss my foes as crazy, I have been truly dismayed and disappointed by my mounting realization of how much insanity is actually out there. 

I would honestly prefer to just have rational debates (that’s my thing), but there are only so many angry rape survivors turned obsessive feminists, paranoiacs turned conspiracy theorists, depressives turned religious fanatics, misanthropes turned environmentalists, belligerent testosterone O.D. cases turned Wall Streeters, or assorted Aspergo-capitalists and Aspergo-socialists you can meet before thinking that, alas, psychology matters in politics. 


As for me, I think I really am temperamentally moderate.  Hey, I’d love to just be a political moderate who also believed in some watered-down version of Christianity that no one would ever be offended by.  But the truth has to come first.  Skepticism before attitude, always.  I’m not an extremist at heart, I’ve just been quietly persuaded of some positions currently considered radical – not too many!

Perhaps Haidt should study whether explicit “movement” skeptics in the James Randi sense of the word are better at avoiding the biases and rationalizations he’s comabting.  I’m cautiously going to guess they actually are (despite their aforementioned flaws such as the tendency to be almost science-idolaters).  Ending up a smart, once-stoic determinist also probably helped keep me at least a tiny bit tolerant: I always patiently told myself that no one consciously chooses to be wrong, no matter how pigheaded and frustrating they may be.

By contrast, as TV’s Greg Gutfeld laments in this Reason interview (from 4min 50sec in through 8min in), some people are so partisan, they’ll even declare former Velvet Underground member Mo Tucker uncool if she strays from leftist orthodoxy – but if you think the Tea Partiers are a bunch of mindless haters, watch the clip of her here and tell me if she (or Gutfeld) sounds evil.  You don’t really think so, do you?  And you won’t catch me saying the Occupy people just want to ruin the world.  Almost no one is like that. 

As with religion, though, even after you’ve mapped consciousness and decided how much to cater to intuition and emotion and how to avoid bigotry, there are still the hard, external facts of reality.  Admirable as Haidt is for exploring these issues and nudging us all toward greater objectivity, he’s still basically a psychologist, and he almost seems to forget at times that there will still be a universe to describe correctly or incorrectly at the end of the day.  Our goal should be to use psychology to diminish and understand errors – but not simply to shape a new aesthetic that displaces the more important struggle to describe how the universe (including economics) works. 

Still, his warnings about partisanship can surely help us to do one of the things I’ve always regarded as most valuable in politics: unashamedly acknowledging good points and insights from the other team without feeling the need to suffer a “crisis of philosophical faith” as a result.  Even Ayn Rand liked Christmas, for instance – and yet we need not conclude (as, say, a typical National Review reader might), “A-ha!  This proves Rand’s worldview was bankrupt!”  After all, a moment’s honest reflection suggests we might also conclude almost the exact opposite, namely, “So maybe Christmas is performing a function that doesn’t rely on belief in God?” 

(Of course, the brainier religious folk – writers and priests – will insist that without actual belief in God, the whole enterprise is meaningless.  But are we so sure they really speak for most of the congregation when they say this?  Might it not be the case that most of the congregation thinks something more like what most religious people say if I ask them about their faith, which is, roughly: “Well, I really enjoy belonging to a church, and it’s nice to go, so let’s not get into a debate about whether it's true”?)

With all the above in mind (to the extent one even can keep it in mind while functioning as a normal human player in a partisan world), I’ll try examining John Tomasi’s hybrid libertarian/liberal olive-branch-extending book Free Market Fairness in my next blog entry.  (Chat with me about that and Righteous Mind in person on Monday at Muchmore’s if you care to attend our big 8pm “fiscal cliff” debate, despite there being people there with whom you disagree.)

No comments: