Walter Moss: In a fitting irony for our mixed-up, topsy-turvey political season, the Jewish Bernie Sanders praises the Catholic papal positions on capitalism, while the Republican Speaker of the House, the Catholic Paul Ryan, is much more influenced by the free-market philosophy of Friedman and Hayek. Bernie Sanders Moral Economy
Walter Moss: Political campaigns often produce sloppy rhetoric, but the present confusion over capitalism, socialism, and progressivism also springs from the absence or skewing of historical perspective.
Walter Moss: Both were devoted socialists in their youth who later came to embrace the Democratic Party.
Walter Moss: When I hear mention of any Trump tower and hear strident political-campaign accusations, I think rather of a different tower, the Tower of Babel, whose building the Bible says led God to confound the builders’ language so that they could no longer understand one another.
Walter Moss: Is it any wonder that I remember fondly a time when our problems seemed more fixable and the Kennedy brothers offered us more hope?
Walter Moss: Like many Europeans, we could work less; we could choose less frantic lifestyles. But only at the cost of spending less.
Walter Moss: Reading We Are Not Ourselves, I experienced some of the same feelings I have when seeing or reading one of Chekhov’s great works, like his plays Uncle Vanya and The Seagull.
Walter Moss: The challenge for us twenty-first century individuals acting politically is somehow to steer an appropriate middle course between these two extremes. Like Don Quixote acting in behalf of justice and truth, but also like Hamlet in being thoughtful, fair-minded, and open to doubts, especially about our own righteousness.
Walter Moss: Little mentioned in the Paris Agreement, but a major cause of global warming is another deeply ingrained habit that will be difficult to change, and that is present-day meat-producing and meat-eating practices.
Walter Moss: Unmentioned by conservatives is the fact that the greatest critic of appeasement, Winston Churchill, advocated an alliance with Soviet Russia in order to deal with the greater threat of Nazism.
Walter Moss: Is a macho leader really what we need? Or is such a desire too simplistic, a primitive throwback, perhaps appropriate in pre-modern times, but not today?
Walter Moss: Cowspiracy’s central message, one that seems inescapably true: The single most important contribution people can make to lessen global warming and environmental degradation is to stop eating meat.
Walter Moss: Putin distrusts democracy and believes that Russia and many other countries require a strong state government.