Liberal Ressentiment

Age of Anger: A History of the Presentby pankaj mishrafarrar, straus and giroux, 320 pages, $26 Despite the subtitle of his book, Pankaj Mishra is not interested in understanding the past or the present. His aim, instead, is to dispose of those who voted for Trump, Brexit, Netanyahu, or Modi, . . . . Continue Reading »

Return of the Strong Gods

A young writer in Australia recently sent me an essay that ended with an arresting sentence: “I am twenty-seven years old and hope to live to see the end of the twentieth century.” I sympathize. We have reached a series of dead ends in the West. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Americans . . . . Continue Reading »

The Party Theorist

Russia has annexed part of Crimea, has usurped America’s role as arbiter of winners and losers in the Middle East, and makes trouble in Ukraine. Putin is increasingly popular as the patron of anti-E.U. populism in Europe, and Moscow tried to influence the recent American presidential election. . . . . Continue Reading »

Islam and America

A preview of The Public Square, forthcoming in the March issue of First Things.There is an understanding of liberal pluralism that is compatible with Islam. Sherman Jackson, a black American Muslim, argued the case well. Continue Reading »

Liturgy of Liberalism

The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societiesby ryszard legutko encounter, 200 pages, $23.99 In The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville described the French Revolution as a religious movement: The ideal the French Revolution set before it was not merely a change . . . . Continue Reading »

Gnostic Liberalism

The idea that human beings are non-bodily persons inhabiting non-personal bodies never quite goes away. Although the mainstreams of Christianity and Judaism long ago rejected it, what is sometimes described as “body-self dualism” is back with a vengeance, and its followers are legion. Whether in . . . . Continue Reading »