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Prince of Diplomats

In the midst of a Haydn concert in London in June 1794, the young Clemens von Metternich spotted his one-time teacher, Andreas Hofmann, in the audience. Rather than renewing old acquaintance, the future Prince of Diplomats immediately denounced Hofmann to the authorities as a dangerous subversive. . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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