Moral Laziness

by Thomas Wells Middle age brings sometimes uncomfortable self-reflection. One thing I have realized is that I am not a particularly good person. Not evil, just mediocre. Lots of people are much better at morality than me, including many of my students. On the other hand, I am quite good at the academic subject of ethics.…

Liberalism’s Minsky Moment: How decades of peace, justice and prosperity sowed the seeds for populist revolt

by Thomas R. Wells The end of history will be a very sad time. The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one's life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns,…

What is the point of elections and what do they have to do with democracy?

by Thomas R. Wells The relationship between our electoral institutions and our democratic ideals is surprisingly obscure. Many systems rely on counting votes, but only in such a way that each vote does not count equally towards the final outcome (as in America's electoral college or in parliamentary constituency systems such as Britain's). But even…