Spiritual Freedom

On the outskirts of Moscow, there is an Orthodox Christian memorial. The site, known as Butovo, once belonged to a private estate. The Soviets expropriated the land after the revolution and turned it into a firing range. It was there during Stalin’s purges that more than 20,000 “enemies of the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fantasy of Addiction

I never meant to start an argument about addiction. I had carried my private doubts on the subject around in my head for years, in the “heresy” section where I keep my really risky thoughts. And I don’t recommend disagreeing in public with Hollywood royalty, either, which is how it happened. . . . . Continue Reading »

Cocktails with the Existentialists

More than seven decades have passed since philosophy held court on the world-historic stage, in the cafes and jazz halls of wartime Paris. For those who lament the decline of the “public intellectual,” this period richly serves the needs of nostalgia, conjuring chic melancholy, debates conducted in a tobacco haze, and the evergreen romance of La Résistance. Continue Reading »

“No Core Identity”?

Canadians cherish the contributions made by their immigrants, whom they have generally welcomed. But immigrants have come here not because Canada has no core political identity, but precisely because of Canada's core political identity. Continue Reading »

My Orange Juice Came from Brazil

I was taught in school that free trade was inherently good, because it provided the most efficient method of producing material goods and services, taking advantage of each country’s comparative advantage. But, what if our modern global economy has erased any notion that a comparative advantage exists today? Continue Reading »