Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Shock and Honor

That would best describe my feeling when I noticed this site listed on Steven Den Beste's "Rising Stars." The man is an intellectual giant, one of the heavyweights of the blogosphere. To have impressed anything upon him is quite an honor, especially considering some of the standards. (For the why and what of the list go here.)

Steven, I don't know how you happened upon my site, but I can't thank you enough for this. At times, blogging can stressful and even discouraging. A chance to share a small part of the Den Beste spotlight though, only inspires me to do more and do better.

Though I read Steven's work regularly (he's got a permanent place on my favorites list to the right), I rarely link to any of his articles, and there's a good reason for that. I tend to link only to pieces that I have at least a few comments on, but Den Beste is so unremittingly thorough I rarely have anything to add. That's why I love reading his work. Who else's uses physics, engineering, geometry, philosophy, and history to provide insight into current events?

In his January 5 column Den Beste identifies and traces the ideological origins of three major forces of contention in the current global struggle. It's a bold undertaking, and I'm sure high society philosophy majors and other members of the intelligentsia could come up with a 1001 semantic arguments of why he's all wrong. But the essence of his arguments is right on and provides useful structure for discourse of such complexities. The irony is though, that given the semantic imperfections of the piece, only realists are likely to find it useful. But that's just a guess.

One more thing, though not directly related, this thought from Thomas Sowell ran through my mind while reading Den Beste's characterization of the idealists:

"Much of what are called "social problems" consists of the fact that intellectuals have theories that do not fit the real world. From this they conclude that it is the real world which is wrong and needs changing."

Read Den Beste's whole piece here.

The brand new follow up piece, which I have not yet read, is here.

Thanks again Steven, and please keep up the great work.


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