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Late-Night Musings on Nationalism

Pondering the endless glut of books on the virtues of nationalism and the failures of political liberalism, I sat up late the other night, reading around (yet again) in Augustine’s City of God before dozing off in my chair. Waking suddenly—or, at least, half-awake—my mind was . . . . Continue Reading »

Clashing Rights

About halfway through his new book, ­Christopher Caldwell quotes John Stuart Mill on the relationship between diversity and democracy: “Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities.” This sentiment haunts The Age of Entitlement. Ostensibly about . . . . Continue Reading »

Why I Am Not a Liberal

I never called myself a liberal. For a long time, however, I ­considered liberalism a sound theory that, whatever its weaknesses, was committed to freedom of discussion, pluralism, and a general attitude of respect for the beliefs of one’s fellow citizens, even when they are wrongheaded. But I . . . . Continue Reading »

For and Against Integralism

Modernity does not just refer to the time in which we happen to live, the era that follows the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Those who first recognized themselves as modern defined themselves self-consciously over against the ages that preceded them, though few probably grasped in its fullness . . . . Continue Reading »

Back to the Future

When Boeing introduced its flagship 707 jet airliner in 1958, the power to cruise at 977 kilometers per hour did more than enable routine transcontinental commercial flights. It fed the optimistic self-understanding of a society proud to have entered the Jet Age. More than sixty years . . . . Continue Reading »

Inherited Merit

The system hasn’t failed; it has succeeded too well. Patrick Deneen said this about liberalism. Now Daniel Markovits is saying it about meritocracy. Markovits, a professor of law at Yale, argues that a system that once promoted social mobility has created a self-perpetuating class of elites. His . . . . Continue Reading »

Identity as Ideology

Like many persons possessing limited insight into the future, I had supposed that, with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, utopianism would die out in the Western world. I was mistaken. Identity politics in the West is veering in the direction of totalitarianism. A book I read . . . . Continue Reading »

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