A Fascist System with Communist Slogans

The Search for Sanity, Part 2 How far out of hand has the Democratic Party’s nomination contest gotten? I think The Onion pretty much sums it up: “Media Urged Not to Release Names of Any More Presidential Candidates in Effort to Prevent Copycats.” “When a person launches a bid for president and then receives widespread […]

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Tanker War II

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. Tanker War II Back in the late 1980s, the US got dragged into the Tanker War, an offshoot of the Iran-Iraq War in which Saddam Hussein foolishly declared war on Iranian shipping, only to discover Iraq is way more vulnerable to a naval blockade. The war on […]

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“A One-Man Smoot-Hawley”

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. A One-Man Smoot-Hawley President Trump’s trade war combines the three things he likes best: fear of foreigners, posturing about being “tough,” and the capricious exercise of unilateral power. So there is no reason to think he is ever going to end it. That’s the big takeaway from […]

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The God That Failed First

On Friday, I sent out an overview of Sohrab Ahmari’s attack on conservative “liberalism”–a word he is using in its correct sense, unfortunately. That piece is now up at The Bulwark. But there is another aspect of that story that I wanted to delve into a little more deeply, which is the brief but dramatic […]

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The Futile Rage of the Illiberal Conservatives

The right-of-center Internet has been lit up for the last few days by an assault by Sohrab Ahmari on David French and something Ahmari improbably calls “David French-ism.” Supposedly, this is about French, a lawyer and contributor to National Review, being too weak-kneed and polite because he is interested in using persuasion to try to […]

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The Grand Unified Theory of Deplorability

President Trump looks to be set on the idea of pardoning war criminals as a perverse sort of Memorial Day gift. He recently issued a pardon for a soldier convicted of the unlawful execution of a suspected al Qaeda fighter in Iraq, and he now seems to be gearing up for a pre-emptive pardon of […]

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The Green Leap Forward

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. The People Does Not Know What It Wills I’ve been loosely following the odd failure of Brexit–Britain’s exit from the European Union. Here’s the best political cartoon summing this up, which anyone who has ever owned a cat will understand. I am in favor of Europe having […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 14

Episode 14 of my video and podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, about the legacy of the Enlightenment. The conversation includes: exactly how good the state of the world is, “thick” versus “thin” philosophy, the […]

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Viva la Revolución

A few weeks ago, the simmering conflict in Venezuela reached a crisis point when Interim President Juan Guaido called for the Venezuelan military to join him in overthrowing socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. The prospect of an immediate uprising fizzled, so the conflict has settled in for the long haul. It’s not over, and just this […]

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Today in Platonism

Do ideas refer to facts in reality, or do they have an existence and meaning independent of reality? This is an old question that goes back to the birth of philosophy in Ancient Greece, and if it seems like an arcane intellectual issue for the eggheads to argue about, think again. It’s an issue you […]

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