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I recently wrote a piece for Erraticus on the more granular-level dynamics of precisely how technology is destroying communities and social life.

As always, given space constraints and the necessity of cutting tangents, I wanted to add a little bit of extra rambling detail because I had to make do with a self-imposed limit of around 2,000 words, and 2,000 words isn’t enough, but it’s a start. In fact, there are many more books to be written on the subject that take the problem more seriously than some combination of “isn’t tech bad,” and “just grayscale your phone.” You probably have to throw out most of the ones published on this subject over the last ten years because, as I noted in the piece itself, they don’t understand how liberalism enables the concentration of human capital for the specific purpose of undermining individual agency to generate a profit. They also don’t understand that the solution to this new frame of the situation is not going to be handled on the individual level in any kind of effective way that scales. …

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I recently recorded a podcast with the show Catholic Culture. Instead of dropping the transcript in the previous post talking a little bit about the show a week later, I thought it would be easier to just make another post for clarity’s sake.

0:01:42 S1: Jonah Bennett, welcome to the Catholic Culture podcast.

0:01:45 Jonah Bennett: I’m a huge fan of engaging with a lot of different communities that I think are important, so, I’m really glad to be on the show.

0:01:52 S1: We’re here to talk about Palladium Magazine, www.palladium... P-A-L-L-A-D-I-U-M mag.com, is that right? When I first started reading a few articles on this site, the thing that kinda jumped out at me is that I couldn’t really detect an ideology, which is kinda rare for any publication. I would describe the tone as, if not… Not pragmatist necessarily, but kind of realist. And it’s not that there’s no sort of theory, but it’s more looking at real states of affairs and kind of trying to allow that to generate a theory. And you described the magazine as being about governance futurism, which is a phrase that I’ve used to tell people about the magazine a few different times and it’s always met with complete incomprehension. [chuckle] And I have to think that that’s sort of deliberate, because you’re trying to not sort of signal to people that you’re any particular ideology, you want the magazine to be more about just the reality rather than a sort of theoretical superstructure. …

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I recently went on the podcast Catholic Culture to discuss Palladium Magazine and some of my stream of consciousness thoughts on political theory, liberalism, geopolitics, right/moral intentionality, Confucianism, and much more. I decided to go on a Catholic podcast because it’s important to me to have pluralistic participation in as many communities as possible.

Podcasts are a good format for thinking out loud. I need to listen to the audio again, as I’m sure in the process I uncovered some belief in some background mental structure in my mind somewhere that I’m not actually sure about. It’s this process of excavation, which often only takes place through extended, stream of consciousness discussion, that is useful for refining one’s thoughts. …

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Human rights have functioned as an important social technology in the 20th century — as an attempt to constrain the behavior of states with respect to their citizens. But the concept of human rights, as I’ve previously noted, suggests a post-Westphalian international order, and according to strict standards of human rights, every modern state is guilty. This leads inevitably to the problem that if every state is guilty, there always exists some pretext for military intervention and abrogation of sovereignty, and it frequently is the case that military interventions on articulated humanitarian grounds often suspiciously line up with the intervening state’s geopolitical interests. …

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In my last post, I suggested a perspective on human rights as a form of social technology designed to prevent the moral catastrophes of World War II from reoccurring.

But I also briefly noted that human rights can function as a way for a hegemon to push the world order towards a post-Westphalian one, in order to abrogate another state’s sovereignty when doing so lines up with its interests. In certain cases of intervention, invoking the powerful, legitimizing language of human rights serves as a way to mask cold statecraft. …

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The modern concept of human rights is historically anomalous and the product of conscious, philosophical and institutional effort.

Human rights emerged prominently in the post-World War II era — and for good reason, given the horrors of mechanized warfare and atrocities inflicted on European populations, Jews, and other minorities. This set of rights, often articulated in the international arena, is said to apply universally, impose moral obligation, and possess real ontological grounding, which carries the suggestion that state sovereignty might be abrogated by egregious human rights violations. …

You may have seen the recent article that both discussed my participation on a hard-right mailing list and alleged a conspiracy to infiltrate conservatism from some years ago. I thought I’d give a longer statement here.

As a new journalist in my early twenties at the time, I was looking for scoops and newsworthy information, so I was hanging around on a mailing list that I had been introduced to, since it was topical. I was young and impulsive, and got caught up in posting vulgar memes. I posted bad jokes, weighed in with some ideas, and traded talking points. Talk occasionally turned to how to influence broader conservative thought. …

About

Jonah Bennett

Jonah Bennett is Editor-in-Chief of Palladium Magazine. Jonah Bennett is also a graduate student in international relations. Site: https://jonahbennett.com

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