Year: 2022

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Revisiting Suicide of the West
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Revisiting Suicide of the West

The philosopher and commentator James Burnham (1905-1987) was one of National Review’s founders and senior editors. Having broken with Trotskyism, he became one of those thinkers in the tradition of Edmund Burke and James Fitzjames Stephen, who, if not enthusiastic about modern democracy, were classic defenders of free institutions. He attained fame for his 1941...

With Friends Like These
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With Friends Like These

British author Douglas Murray recently wrote what he calls a “bit of self-criticism” about the American right in the online magazine UnHerd. Murray builds his argument around what he considers a very serious problem: “Bill Maher, Bari Weiss and a slew of other liberals who have fallen out with their own tribe have chosen not to...

NATO—Strategic Asset or Liability?
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NATO—Strategic Asset or Liability?

Is the territorial integrity of Ukraine a cause worth America’s fighting a war with Russia? No, it is not. And this is why President Joe Biden has declared that the U.S. will not become militarily involved should Russia invade Ukraine. Biden is saying that, no matter our sentiments, our vital interests dictate staying out of...

Biden Voters’ Remorse
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Biden Voters’ Remorse

There seems to be a widespread belief that Joe Biden has exceeded the mandate for which he was elected. It seems we’re supposed to believe that those who voted for the Biden-Harris ticket craved moderation after Trump’s troubled and unsettling presidency. Writer and commentator Scott Jennings repeats this familiar narrative in a recent interview with...

Burnham Remains Relevant to the Right
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Burnham Remains Relevant to the Right

Professor Levine writes knowledgeably about Burnham’s abilities to analyze America during the Cold War and his predications about the American future. Burnham has remained fashionable within the independent American right. The part of Burnham’s oeuvre valued by this segment of the right are his analysis of managerialism as an historical phenomenon and his clear-headed look...

Books in Brief: February 2022
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Books in Brief: February 2022

Christianity and Social Justice, by Jon Harris (Reformation Zion Publishing; 160 pp., $14.99). In this slim discussion of social justice and its relationship, or non-relationship, to Christianity, Jon Harris, a Protestant theologian and Baptist minister, addresses the topic long after he observed the “incursion made by the social justice movement” into the Baptist seminary where he...

Remembering George Santayana
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Remembering George Santayana

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It would not surprise George Santayana (1863-1952) that his most famous aphorism is all he is remembered for, nor that it has become almost a cliché, nor that the Americans, whom he knew so well, would consider that they had heeded his lesson by...

The Madness of Russophobia
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The Madness of Russophobia

“Rule One, on page one of the book of war, is: ‘Do not march on Moscow,’” Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery told the House of Lords in 1962. “Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good.”   The victor of El Alamein made an understatement. Napoleon’s invasion in June 1812 took...

‘Woke’ Evolution
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‘Woke’ Evolution

A Most Interesting Problem: What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution Ed. Jeremy DeSilva Princeton Universtiy Press 288 pp., $27.95 The complex debate about the place of Darwinian theory in discussions about humankind’s nature has been further complicated by an academic left that has taken up trashing Darwin—who is, after...

Doubting Thomas
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Doubting Thomas

Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell by Jason L. Riley  Basic Books 304 pp., $30   It is hardly surprising that an economist and historian of ideas who spent a long career arguing against the conventional wisdom of politicians and policy wonks would have a biography about him titled Maverick. It is much more surprising...

Éric Zemmour, in the Footsteps of de Gaulle
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Éric Zemmour, in the Footsteps of de Gaulle

The Economist contemptuously called him France’s “wannabe Donald Trump.” He’s been accused by The Atlantic of using the “Trump playbook.” Not to be outdone, Britain’s New Statesman dubbed him a “TV-friendly fascist.” French anti-racism and rights groups, including SOS Racisme, have filed complaints against him. Already thrice convicted of inciting racial hatred, he is due...

Reader Letters: Diversity as a Weakness | Professor Janowski replies: | The Feminized Force | Tyrannical Tariffs
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Reader Letters: Diversity as a Weakness | Professor Janowski replies: | The Feminized Force | Tyrannical Tariffs

Professor Zbigniew Janowski, in his essay “Equality’s Third Wave,” (January 2022 Chronicles) has hit the nail on the head. Equality isn’t good enough, but equity and diversity should prevail. Quality and merit are gone; second-rate is now good enough. We have watered down our core values to the lowest common denominator! —Lynn Paskow Savits Aventura,...

The Lure of Integralism
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The Lure of Integralism

Catholics have figured prominently among American conservatives, from Russell Kirk to William F. Buckley, Jr., to Antonin Scalia. Though they differed in many ways, Kirk, Buckley, and Scalia all emphasized the importance of tradition in ordering any decent society and the consistency of America’s constitutional order with Catholic doctrine and tradition. The neoconservative shattering of...

The Guardians of Sterility
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The Guardians of Sterility

Pope Francis addressed concerns about his controversial Traditionis custodes (Guardians of the Tradition)—an apostolic letter issued in July 2021 that placed severe new restrictions on the practice of the Latin Mass in the Roman Catholic Church—in a Responsa ad dubia dated Dec. 4. Both documents make it clear that the traditional Tridentine liturgy (Missale Romanum,...

Real Female Athletes Unite!
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Real Female Athletes Unite!

I played on the European tennis circuit during the late 1950s, ranking number three in Greece. But don’t be too impressed. Unlike today—when Greek players rank fourth internationally in men’s tennis and sixth in women’s—Greece was hardly a tennis power, and I was ranked among the lowest in Europe.   In 1957, the American player...

The New American Genocide
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The New American Genocide

The political hostility of the United States today is directed at no one more than America’s European-descended whites—the group whose ancestors are largely responsible for settling, building, and defending this country. That is not to say others contributed nothing, but that the largest contributions and, indeed, the central elements of America’s political and cultural institutions...

Killing Ourselves
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Killing Ourselves

It has always been the practice of the state to try to undermine or eliminate other bodies and associations that rival it for affection and obedience, primarily the parish, guild, community, and family. The modern unified and ever-present state has developed this power to such an extent that in some cases, we are learning now,...

Driving Miss Racial Activist
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Driving Miss Racial Activist

At first blush, the 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy seems innocuous. Its plot centers around the relationship of an aging Jewish matron, Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), and her black chauffeur Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman). Yet a recent rewatch caused me to notice irksome elements of the plot I missed the first time around. This has...

The Redemption of Saint-Saëns, 100 Years On
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The Redemption of Saint-Saëns, 100 Years On

“I am merely a genius, not a god,” mystery writer Rex Stout’s fictional detective Nero Wolfe said. “A genius may discover the hidden secrets and display them; only a god can create new ones.” Such a genius was French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, who was born in Paris in 1835 and died at age 86 in...

What We Are Reading: February 2022
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What We Are Reading: February 2022

What makes a great novelist? Genius—the ability to see connections hidden from most of us—obviously helps, but if great novels are great commentaries on the human condition, then living in a rich, stimulating, and challenging environment may also be essential.   A.N. Wilson’s brilliantly unorthodox literary biography of Iris Murdoch—perhaps the greatest novelist writing in...

Bibliotheca of the Bizarre
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Bibliotheca of the Bizarre

The Madman’s Library: The Strangest Books, Manuscripts and Other Literary Curiosities From History by Edward Brooke-Hitching Chronicle Books 256 pp., $29.95 Books are the “emblem of civilization,” Edward Brooke-Hitching writes in a new book that explores the strange history of the medium. The earliest books were used to establish and uphold administrative, legal, and taxation...

Texas Gov. Abbott Fumbles on Border Security
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Texas Gov. Abbott Fumbles on Border Security

Two Texas National Guardsmen sat in a “non-tactical” vehicle near the Mexican border and south of Laredo, Texas on the morning of Jan. 18. The Army Times reported that the men got out to assist Border Patrol in stopping a Chrysler 300 after it was seen picking up six migrants. As they approached, the driver, a suspected smuggler,...

Biden Preemptively Questions 2022—But Trump’s a ‘Big Liar’ About 2020
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Biden Preemptively Questions 2022—But Trump’s a ‘Big Liar’ About 2020

Former President Donald Trump questions the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. For half the country, this makes him a “sore loser” who promotes “conspiracy theories” and pushes “The Big Lie.” But when President Joe Biden in his recent press conference preemptively questions the legitimacy of the 2022 midterm elections, nine months before they even...

Is Biden Right? Does the Left Own the Future?
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Is Biden Right? Does the Left Own the Future?

Before he appeared at his first solo news conference of 2022, President Joe Biden knew he had a communications problem he had to deal with. Namely, how to get off the defensive. How to avoid spending his time with the White House press corps defending his decisions and explaining his actions as allegations of failure,...

U.S-Russia Tensions May Abate After Geneva Meeting
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U.S-Russia Tensions May Abate After Geneva Meeting

Amid the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, multiple U.S. and defense officials have told the press that the Biden administration is in the final stages of selecting military units for deployment to Eastern Europe. The U.S. accuses Russia of planning to invade Ukraine, despite threats of heavy reprisals, while Moscow insists on guarantees that there would be...

By the Numbers, a Failing President
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By the Numbers, a Failing President

If the left believed that draping the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021, around the neck of former President Donald Trump and the party that refused to repudiate him would sink the GOP, it appears to have miscalculated. For, as the left painted the Capitol riot as an “armed insurrection,” “domestic terrorism,” “attempted coup,” and...

Stop Calling These People ‘Conservative’
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Stop Calling These People ‘Conservative’

Two years ago, Gracy Olmstead, a journalist who writes on farming and farming communities, partnered with Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) to compose a list of those whom she and the Institute view as “conservatives.” Of the now deceased figures who appear on Olmstead’s list, very few of them have any connection to anything identifiably conservative....

Biden Should Declare NATO Membership Closed
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Biden Should Declare NATO Membership Closed

In 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to a U.S.-backed coup that ousted a pro-Russian regime in Kyiv by occupying Crimea, President Barack Obama did nothing. When Putin aided secessionists in the Donbass in seizing Luhansk and Donetsk, once again, Obama did nothing. Why did we not come to the military assistance of Ukraine?...

The Sordid Legacy of Dr. King
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The Sordid Legacy of Dr. King

After he left the Church of Scientology, Hollywood screenwriter Paul Haggis recalled a discussion he had had with his fellow Scientologists. If great leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. can err, Haggis suggested to his zealous peers, so too can the cult’s leader, David Miscavige. “How dare you compare a great man like David Miscavige...

Biden: Bull Connor’s GOP Imperils Democracy
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Biden: Bull Connor’s GOP Imperils Democracy

“The next few days … will mark a turning point in this nation’s history,” said President Joe Biden in his Atlanta speech to reframe the debate in Congress on voting rights legislation and the filibuster. He went on: “Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadows, justice over injustice? … I know where I...

Mussolini’s Unnatural Alliance
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Mussolini’s Unnatural Alliance

“Although I deal with the Italian attempt to build a fascist state,” Chronicles editor Paul Gottfried wrote in response to an obtuse critic of his latest book, Antifascism: Course of a Crusade, “I am also quite critical of Mussolini’s career, especially his involvement with Hitler’s Third Reich and the unfortunate anti-Semitic laws that Il Duce...

Where Does NATO Enlargement End?
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Where Does NATO Enlargement End?

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the breakup of the USSR began. But the dissolution did not stop with the 14 Soviet “republics” declaring their independence of Moscow. Decomposition had only just begun. Transnistria broke away from Moldova. South Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded from Georgia. Chechnya broke free of...

That Old Anti-Semitism Smear
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That Old Anti-Semitism Smear

Chronicles Associate Editor Pedro Gonzalez was accused of being an anti-Semite by The Spectator Associate Editor Douglas Murray on Wednesday of last week. In an article entitled “When the Right Plays With Jew-Hate” in the Substack newsletter of former New York Times op-ed editor Bari Weiss, Murray wrote that Gonzalez “unmasked himself boringly and yet still wretchedly, as an antisemite.”...

Why the Left Cannot Let Go of Jan. 6
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Why the Left Cannot Let Go of Jan. 6

“Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now.” That was the headline over the editorial of 1,000 words in The New York Times of Sunday last. On first read, I thought the Times was conceding its obsession and describing its mission. For the editorial began by bewailing yet anew the “horrifying” event, “the very real bloodshed of...

Russia Is Not the Great Rival; China Is
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Russia Is Not the Great Rival; China Is

While all facts are true, not all facts are relevant. And what are the relevant facts in this crisis where 100,000 Russian troops are now stationed along the Ukrainian border? Fact one: There is not now and never has been a vital U.S. interest in Ukraine to justify risking a war with Russia. History tells...

Davos Man and Open Borders
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Davos Man and Open Borders

You could say Parag Khanna is the quintessential “Davos Man.” This silver spoon globe-trotter, a specialist in globalization, wants to change the world forever, openly advocating a mix-and-match “Civilization 3.0” under a decentralized world government. And he couldn’t care less how you feel about it. The term “Davos Man” was coined by Harvard political scientist...

Real Men Missing
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Real Men Missing

Conservative leadership today lacks strong men of courage who will, using solid first principles, face down the radical left. In other words, conservatism today has been emasculated. There is no better word for it.    In a recent interview with Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson described the present Republican leadership:   They’re weak. There’s something in...

Books in Brief: January 2022
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Books in Brief: January 2022

Should We Stay or Should We Go: A Novel, by Lionel Shriver (HarperCollins; 288 pp., $26.99). Who but the clinically insane would complain about the extended life expectancies in the Western world? We now expect modern science will teleport us to an earthly utopia, and the more time we spend there, the better. The global economy...

Fundamentalism on the Left
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Fundamentalism on the Left

Minds Wide Shut: How the New Fundamentalisms Divide Us by Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro  Princeton University Press 336 pp., $29.95   Fundamentalism has long been considered a religious phenomenon, a narrowmindedness that only afflicts Bible-thumping extremists. Yet fundamentalist thinking is everywhere today, and leads naturally to the authoritarian mind and the one-party state....

The Making of a Gay Saint
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The Making of a Gay Saint

The U.S. Navy launched a new ship, an oiler christened the USNS Harvey Milk, on Nov. 6, 2021, at Naval Base San Diego, home port of the Pacific Fleet. Younger readers of this magazine may be forgiven if the significance of the name eludes them. Yet it is no exaggeration to say that Harvey Milk...

The Strange Origin of the Word ‘Nazi’
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The Strange Origin of the Word ‘Nazi’

It is commonly assumed that the word “Nazi” is the contraction of Adolf Hitler’s political party, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), or the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. But if that were true, then why did the Nazis hate being called “Nazi?” When the Nazis came to power, William Shirer notes in his Berlin Diary,...

The Tyranny of Violence
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The Tyranny of Violence

Much has been said and written about the growing divide in American society between left and right, including in the pages of this magazine. But there is another growing divide in this country that is arguably more urgent, one that transcends ideological differences. It is a fight between those who seek to preserve order and...

Equality’s Third Wave
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Equality’s Third Wave

Equality is a fussy concept. Outside the realm of the legal system, which demands that law be applied the same way regardless of sex, race, or religion, the area of equality’s application has always been controversial. Essential questions remain unanswered: In what circumstances should we limit inequality? Can or should it be abolished?   In...

The Political Hijacking of Science
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The Political Hijacking of Science

Science Under Fire: Challenges to Scientific Authority in Modern America by Andrew Jewett  Harvard University Press 368 pp., $41.00   I came of age intellectually during the academic science wars of the 1990s. I was just beginning my dissertation when physicist Alan Sokal created a scandal for leftist postmodernist enemies of science by getting his...

Democracy, Real and Imagined
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Democracy, Real and Imagined

Revisionist-historian and anarchist anthropologist David Graeber insisted in a book he co-wrote before his death last year that agriculture was to blame for the sorry state of humanity. According to the departed scholar, hunter-gatherers lived happily in bands until agriculture was invented, which led to surpluses, population growth, private property, tribes, cities, chiefs, tyrants, bureaucrats,...

The Admiral of American Movies
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The Admiral of American Movies

When the brilliant Orson Welles was asked to name his three favorite directors, he replied, “The Old Masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.” John Ford was arguably Hollywood’s greatest director, churning out 140 movies and documentaries and winning the Academy Award for Best Director a record four times. Nine...

The Road to Gettysburg
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The Road to Gettysburg

Chaining Down Leviathan: The American Dream of Self-Government 1776–1865   by Luigi Marco Bassani  Abbeville Institute Press  380 pp., $19.95   European observers of the American scene have often offered valuable insights into American culture and politics. Marco Bassani has long been a student of American history and the European nation-state’s rise since the 17th century....