Babel and Brexit

Why did God disperse the men who built the Tower of Babel? The ancient rabbinic texts uncovered several vices that justified their punishment: A tower intended to reach heaven manifests the ambition to challenge God, the desire to “make for ourselves a name” expresses the sin of pride, and so . . . . Continue Reading »

Restraining Populism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote Donald Trump a public letter the day after his election. “Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political . . . . Continue Reading »

​Getting Augustine Wrong

Injustices are done; imprudent, ill-considered policies are pursued. Brutal, cynical men posture as noble leaders. There’s a great deal about public life that arouses our passions. It is easy to become angry, bitter, fearful, and despairing. There’s another side as well. We can harbor great . . . . Continue Reading »

A Dissolving Age

We live in a dissolving age. Institutions, social forms, and traditional authorities recede. To the extent that they endure, they do so under the sign of choice, often reconfigured as economic or therapeutic projects. Man the entrepreneur and consumer is ascendant—or man the wounded, the victim of . . . . Continue Reading »

A Modest Defense of the “Liberal World Order”

The political and economic system created by the United States and its allies after World War II—a system built around common defense measures and free trade—rescued Europe from the self-inflicted catastrophe of 1914-1945, prevented nuclear war, preserved the peace until the collapse of the Soviet empire, and allowed once-captive nations to reclaim their liberties. Continue Reading »