Tag Archives | Liberalism

Salon of the Refused, Episode 15

Episode 15 of my video and podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with David French, lawyer and writer for National Review, about “David French-ism” and the debate between liberal and illiberal conservatives. The conversation includes: life as an “ism,” how Donald Trump gives people permission to be bad, how liberalism defends […]

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Conservatives Lose Their Word

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. The Death of the Tea Party The Tea Party movement of ten years ago is now comprehensively dead. How do we know that? Because Republicans and Democrats in Congress just got together on a budget deal that approves deficits in excess of $1 trillion forever—at a time […]

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Declaring Independence from Independence

The big question about the impact of Donald Trump on the Republican Party is: will he be an aberration, a temporary departure from the normal rhetorical style and ideological composite of late-20th-Century conservatism—or will he usher in a “new normal,” a new baseline for what the party stands for and what it will tolerate? We’re […]

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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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Salon of the Refused, Episode 9

Episode 9 of my video and podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Bob Garmong, former lecturer at Dongbei University of Finance and Economics and author of a forthcoming study on the political thought of John Stuart Mill, about Mill and the history of political “liberalism.” The conversation includes: Locke […]

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Making the “Miracle”

Several recent books on the Enlightenment have sought to celebrate its legacy but have been strangely cursory in their examination of actual Enlightenment thinkers, their ideas, and their influence, sometimes treating the embrace of reason, individual rights, and political freedom as a “miracle” that seemingly came out of nowhere. If you’re interested in the question […]

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Progressives Against Enlightenment

One of my concerns about the Trump era is that it signals a wave of anti-intellectualism on the right, a collapse in concern for basic ideas. It has also triggered something of an anti-intellectual response on the left, because Trump is the bogeyman who justifies blind, frenetic “resistance” in place of thoughtful criticism and reasoned […]

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Is Google Landru?

Last week, I wrote about how those of us on the right can be Star Trek fans despite its supposedly “Progressive” politics. Partly, this is because good art is about a lot more than a didactic political message. But it also struck me how much of the message of Star Trek is consistent with the […]

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The Enlightenment Is Not the Enemy

Jonah Goldberg has a new book out defending the “liberal”—i.e., pro-freedom—legacy of the Enlightenment, the philosophical awakening of the 18th Century. Such a defense is certainly needed in light of the Enlightenment’s wholesale rejection by today’s mainstream intellectuals. Yet this has required many others on the right to come to terms with their views of […]

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“The American Notion of Free Speech”

Five Things You Need to Read Today Here is your second update of the week, for subscribers only, recommending five stories that are worth catching. Today, the main theme is the parlous state of “the American notion of free speech.” 1. The Freedom to Annoy I mentioned recently that the big social media companies are […]

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