Tag Archives | Liberalism

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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Who Punches the Nazi-Punchers?

Top Stories of the Year: #4 Yesterday, I started counting down the top five stories of 2017. Today we continue with number four. This year, an old evil that we thought was defeated began its resurrection. An ideology that killed millions in the 20th Century gained a band of fanatical young adherents who bellowed their […]

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The Suicide of Liberalism

The far left, under the banner of Black Lives Matter, is protesting a campus speaker again. Who is it this time? Some neo-Nazi like Richard Spencer? An unscrupulous provocateur like Milo Yiannopoulos? Just a garden variety scary conservative like Ben Shapiro? Nope, it’s the ACLU as represented by Claire Gastañaga, Executive Director of the ACLU […]

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Five Things You Need to Read Today

I’m experimenting today with a return to an older format: aggregating a few particularly interesting news stories that I want to recommend to you today. For a long time, I moved away from “news aggregation” because I was doing that kind of work for RealClearPolitics. Alas, I’m not doing that any more, so it makes […]

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