Other articles


  1. Robert Gilpin on the difficulty of retreat

    Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (1981), on the difficulty of retreat:

    The fundamental problem with a policy of appeasement and accommodation is to find a way to pursue it that does not lead to continuing deterioration in a state's prestige and international position. Retrenchment by its very …

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  2. Robert Gilpin on equilibrium and decline

    Robert Gilpin, War and Change in International Politics (1981), describes the relationship between economic growth and power, like Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict, 1500-2000. Compared to Kennedy, Gilpin's book is considerably more abstract and concise.

    Gilpin describes the dynamics of …

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  3. ELI5 - the pipeline situation

    Back in August, someone on Reddit asked:

    Please excuse my ignorance on this topic (I only arrived in Canada recently) - but can someone explain like I'm five the whole pipeline situation?

    I think of it as an irresistible force (there's $15 billion/year at stake) meeting an immovable object (the …

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  4. Discouraging teenage marijuana use

    Parents are concerned about the legalization of marijuana in Canada. How can we protect our teenage children from using marijuana?

    The basic problem is that people don't believe marijuana is dangerous. If they don't believe it's dangerous, even making it illegal doesn't help.

    Consider cigarettes. Smoking has been steadily declining …

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  5. Hobbes on starvation

    Hobbes argues that a government is responsible to keep its destitute citizens from starving to death. From Richard Tuck, Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction (1989).

    ... if the distribution of property works in such a way that people are physically endangered by it, and members of the commonwealth do not have …

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  6. Michael Ignatieff on the range of moral responsibility

    Michael Ignatieff observes in The Warrior's Honor (1998) that we have a range of moral obligations. They're strongest to those closest to us.

    In practice, the claims of ethical universalism came to be strongly limited in Christian teaching and then in European natural law by the injunction that a rich …

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  7. George Washington on self-interest

    Hans Morgenthau quotes George Washington on the primacy of self-interest:

    A small knowledge of human nature will convince us, that, with far the greatest part of mankind, interest is the governing principle; and that, almost, every man is more or less, under its influence. Motives of public virtue may for …

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  8. The rogue in English literary tradition

    From the introduction to a 1968 edition of Thackeray's Vanity Fair (1848), by J. I. M. Stewart:

    It is not, of course, that [Becky Sharp] exists in a moral vacuum. We are moral beings as we regard her, and from the first we feel a play of sympathy and repulsion …

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