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From Work to Text and Back

Around 1980, those of us coming up in literary studies learned that we could no longer refer to a work of art. The term had become obsolete. If you uttered it even in passing, you appeared behind the times, not up-to-date. You had to use another word: text. Roland Barthes announced . . . . Continue Reading »

We’re Not Listening — Lilla and Levin

I read two articles yesterday about how little the Left and Right listen to each other.  One is thoughtful, by Yuval Levin in The Weekly Standard , ” The Real Debate “, Each party is pulled into this debate by what it sees as the deeply misguided views of the other. Democrats . . . . Continue Reading »

Splitting Lincolnian Hairs

I’ve had the opportunity recently to do some extra-careful thinking about Lincoln, the founding, and the Union. I’m pretty sure I’ve decided that many nettlesome and momentous theoretical issues came to a head in one relatively small practical question. What degree of peril did . . . . Continue Reading »

Dutch Courage

A brief item of self-promotion: PoMoCon readers who happen to understand Dutch may be interested in a new volume, Conservatieve Vooruitgang recently published by Prometheus. It’s a greatest-hits tour of 20th century conservative thought, with an emphasis on libertarian, pluralist, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Obama’s Legal Vision

And now, my conclusion about where Obamacare falls into the law-versus-politics schema I mentioned, below, in the context of marriage and divorce. There was one real highlight and moment of clarity for me in Obama’s now-infamous Baier interview: the sequence where the President insisted that, . . . . Continue Reading »

How Technology Really Threatens Liberalism

Courtesy of Alan Jacobs , I see some academics are starting to grapple with the issue. But how successfully? Danah Boyd tackles Google Buzz: “Nothing that the Buzz team did was technologically wrong,” Ms. Boyd said. “Yet the service resulted in complete disaster.” Google got . . . . Continue Reading »

On Avatar

Peter’s review of Avatar is a must-read: Avatar isn’t much a movie: Instead, Cameron’s cooked up a derivative, overlong pastiche of anti-corporate clichés and quasi-mystical eco-nonsense. It’s not that the film’s politics make it bad, it’s that . . . . Continue Reading »

Murder, He Lied

Ross is right to come down on Ezra for reckless and irresponsible hyperventilating on health care. But let me dot the i here. Ezra Klein kicked up a hornet’s nest of controversy by accusing Lieberman of being “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to . . . . Continue Reading »

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