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03 April, 2013

March Round-Up

©Dave Walker, image from weblogcartoons.com

After a two year hiatus the Scholar's Stage opened up its doors to discussion once again.  All significant essays published since the re-boot began in February are posted below. I thank all of the readers and commentators that make posting here a rewarding experience.

THE REPUBLIC

Ominous Parallels: What Antebellum America Can Teach Us About Our Modern Political Regime

T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 26 February 2013.

"Many people point to the hyper-partisanship of national Democratic and Republican parties as the greatest challenge facing 21st century America. When seen through the lens of another vapidly partisan political system - that of Jacksonian America - we see that the real danger is not noisy partisanship, but the iniquity it hides: for them it was slavery; for us, plutarchy. "

The Rule of Law and the Ruling Class in American History
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 4 March 2013.

"From the very beginning American society has seen many of its citizens break the law, get away with it, and at times even be celebrated for doing so. However, both the laws which were broken and those who were allowed to break them have varied greatly one generation to another. Understanding who feared the law and who flouted it is essential to understanding who has held the seat of power across America's history...."

Changing a Political System That Is Rigged Against You

T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 11 March 2013

What the Civil Rights movement can teach us about reforming America.

The Recovery That Never Was: Energy, Debt, and the U.S. GDP
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 10 March 2013

"A casual glance at the United State's GDP or the stock market's upward swing suggests that America's economy is picking up steam. Sadly, this recovery is artificial; a look at American energy consumption and debt shows that it is more illusion than reality."

THE LEGISLATURE

Separation of Powers is Dead
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 14 March 2013

The constitutional balance so carefully framed by the members of the Constitutional Convention is dead. Nowhere is this sad fact clearer to see than in the creation of America's foreign policy.

What Senator Paul Accomplished
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 7 March 2013

There was once a time when Senators and Representatives were expected to plead their case before the American people on the House and Senate floors. Rand Paul has done just that. He "may be an unprincipled scalawag, but his filibuster proved that an American politician a rising politician can publicly declare his opposition to the establishment consensus and not be marginalized by doing so...."

C. Wright Mills Explains the Decline of the American Congress
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 26 March 2013

"It is not difficult to show that the [legislative branch has been corrupted] has happened; more interesting is why it happened, and when. One of the best descriptions is provided by the noted sociologist C. Wright Mills."

HISTORY

A Flawed Comparison: Inequality, Ancient and Modern
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 2 March 2013

"Comparing our times with those gone by can be useful - but only if we remember what made those days different than our own. When we forget those differences then our analysis is fruitless. Attempts to understand economic inequality in 21st century America by comparing it with its ancient precedents inevitably runs befoul this truth."

The Power of Ideas in History: An Example From Antiquity
T. Greer.The Scholar's Stage. 6 March 2013

Do ideas change the course of history? A comparison of the Roman Empire and Han China suggests that they can - and have. 

Troubles With The Chinese Military Tradition
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 23 March 2013

We live in an age of a resurgent China. There is a great need for soldiers, statesmen, and scholars to become familiar with the Chinese military tradition.This is easier said than done. The central problem is that there is a great gap between the state of Western scholarship on the Chinese and Western military traditions.

STRATEGY

Grand Strategy Absent Grand Ends
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 18 March 2013

"How can America craft a new grand strategy? The example of Jia Yi - a famous Chinese statesman and thinker who failed to convince his dynasty to adopt the strategy he proposed - can help us understand the central role that culture and a sense of national mission play in the creation of national strategy."

Strategy is Who You Are
T. Greer.The Scholar's Stage. 27 February 2013

"A lesson from the business strategists: an organization's strategy is a reflection of its culture, not grand plans made by its leaders. An example from Ancient China shows how this truth applies to crafting strategies of war and peace."

MISCELLANY

West and East and How We Think
T. Greer.The Scholar's Stage. 2 April 2013

What impact does culture have on cognition? Psychologist Richard Nisbett has conducted dozens of studies to find out the answer to this question. Presented in The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently, the results of his study are fascinating - and their implications far reaching.

Institutions, Instruments, and the Innovator's Dilemma 
T. Greer. The Scholar's Stage. 1 March 2013.

"In environments of real competition, institutions lose out to instruments. If we want to free our society from the burden of rent-seeking institutions and fill it with instruments useful to humanity, then we must do everything that we can to ensure that the environments in which organizations do their work are competitive."

Energy Use and Economic Growth: Some Basic Facts
T. Greer.The Scholar's Stage. 13 March 2013

Examining the connection between energy consumption and economic growth - it is closer than you might think.

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