From Joel Kotkin-‘The Truce That Could Save American Cities’ And A Few Thoughts

Full post here.

First, on a bit of a tangent:

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is notably free-enterprise, having created a very successful business model and highly profitable chain of grocery stores.  Is he simply a particularly savvy businessman, having married 60’s idealism with free-market principles?  Is he a particularly savvy businessman whose secret is tapping into the deep impulse his employees have for meaning, group-membership, identity, and purpose which they find through organic produce, mild collectivism, and healthy living?

Mackey, Milton Friedman, and Cypress Semiconductors’ T.J. Rodgers have a debate about free-market principles here at Reason: ‘Rethinking the Social Responsibility Of Business.’   Worth a read as Rodgers and Mackey have a back and forth.


Culturally, we can see similar changes in our cities as well.  It’s easy to mock the Stuff-White-People Like-Crowd, the post-beat, post-hippie hipsters, environmentalists, postmoderns, true-believing multiculturalists, new urbanists and collectivists of all stripes.   I suspect this is partly why the NY Times reads the way it reads to me nowadays, and why Kotkin, writing from L.A. is so familiar with this dynamic.


‘In the coming years count on the emergence of an increasingly dire conflict between urban boosters — who long for everything from improved schools to more bike lanes and better transit — and their traditional allies among the public-sector workforce. Essentially this will be not so much a war between conservatives and free-spending liberals, but what Walter Russell Mead has described as “blue on blue” conflict’

People tend to fight more over the less there is.  It will be worth watching to see if/how the blue-collar, public-sector Democratic base and gentry liberals keep it together.  It will also be interesting to see if the Obama youth vote stays together once the true costs of Obamacare are revealed.  As I’ve heard it described, it feels like 1968 now, with the old Civil Rights crowd in charge of our national politics for a few more years.

It will also be worth watching to see how rural, social, and religious conservatives interact with Washington, and how much steam the Tea Party has, and whether or not the libertarian/civil liberties push will interact with mainstream Republicanism.

Related On This Site: From Via Media: ‘Detroit’s Failure and the Blue Model’s Shame’

Why Do People Move To Cities? From Falkenblog: ‘The Perennial Urban Allure’

David Sloan Wilson At The Huffington Post: Atheism As a Stealth Religion

Jerry Pournelle’s chart with statism is on the -x-axis, and rationalism on the -y-.  Reason enthroned hasn’t exactly worked out so well.

Recently, British thinker Alain De Botton floated the idea of building an ‘atheist temple’ in the heart of London.  He recommends combing through religious practices for useful organizing principles in response to the New Atheists.  You can read more about it here, which includes a radio interview/podcast.

A postmodernist temple without the materialist core?  The Rothko chapel, in Houston, Texas.

Are there two kinds of cities forming?   Virginia Postrel At Bloomberg: ‘How The Elites Built America’s Economic Wall’

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