Author: Alexander Riley (Alexander Riley)

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Marxism Misunderstood
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Marxism Misunderstood

In American Marxism, Mark Levin baldly misunderstands Marxism and tries to link it with woke totalitarianism and anarchism. But the term “Marxist anarchist” is an oxymoron and does nothing to help identify the real enemy.

Man of the West: An Interview with Glenn Loury
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Man of the West: An Interview with Glenn Loury

Glenn Loury has taught economics at numerous universities, including Northwestern, Michigan, Harvard, Boston, and presently Brown, where he has been a professor of economics since 2005. He is the author of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality (2002). The following conversation comes from an interview with Glenn earlier this year. Alex Riley (AR): What are your...

Labor Betrayed by the Progressive Left
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Labor Betrayed by the Progressive Left

The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America by Gabriel Winant Harvard University Press 368 pp., $35.00 Once upon a time, there were academic historians on whom the public could rely for help in accurately understanding the world in which we live. Scholars such as Samuel Eliot...

‘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...

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...

Vive la New Right
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Vive la New Right

Guillaume Faye: Truths and Tributes by Pierre Krebs, Robert Steuckers, and Pierre-Émile Blairon Arktos Media 210 pp., $27.50 La puissance et la foi: Essais de théologie politique by Alain de Benoist PG de Roux 336 pp., EUR$39.00 I stumbled upon the writing of Alain de Benoist more than a quarter century ago as a graduate...

Slavery as a Political Construct
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Slavery as a Political Construct

The New York Times’ 1619 Project and the Racialist Falsification of History by David North and Thomas Mackaman Mehring Books Inc. 378 pp., $24.95 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project by Peter W. Wood Encounter Books 272 pp., $28.99 Imagine a country in which the major newspaper of its most populous city launches...

The Deplorables’ Academics
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The Deplorables’ Academics

Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life   by Jordan B. Peterson  Portfolio  432 pp., Hardcover $29.00   The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas are Killing Common Sense   by Gad Saad  Regnery Publishing  235 pp., $28.99   Walmart is for deplorables, the  left tells us. If that is so, then Jordan Peterson and Gad Saad must...

The Strongmen Straw Man
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The Strongmen Straw Man

Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism by Anne Applebaum Doubleday 224 pp., $25.00 Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat W. W. Norton & Company 384 pp., $28.95 For some among the chattering classes, the electoral defeat of Donald Trump in November must have been a mixed blessing, though they doubtless could...

The Betrayal of the Spirit of Flight 93
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The Betrayal of the Spirit of Flight 93

We told ourselves we would never forget. We put bumper stickers bearing that slogan on our cars, we hung flags in front of our homes, and we repeated the names, deeds, and last words of the day’s heroes. We read books and watched movies about what happened. We gave the impression of a people grimly...

Wrestling With Justice in the Midst of Sorrow and Loss
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Wrestling With Justice in the Midst of Sorrow and Loss

One year ago, I lost a friend, a good man who was driven to his untimely death by the wicked words and deeds of people determined to ruin his life if they could. People who loathed him—without knowing him in any meaningful human way—simply because he disagreed with their beliefs about political, cultural, and philosophical matters. It...

CNN and the Dating Game Killer
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CNN and the Dating Game Killer

On July 24 we learned that Rodney James Alcala, the so-called “The Dating Game Killer,” died at age 77 of natural causes. Alcala was given that name because in 1978 he appeared on The Dating Game television program, just at the same time he was carrying out a killing spree that included at least five known and...

The Christian Roots of WEIRDness
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The Christian Roots of WEIRDness

The WEIRDest People in the World by Joseph Henrich Picador 704 pp., $24.00 Christianity has blessed us with essential elements of the Western world that we should want to preserve, even while it has also produced corrosive pieces of our current cultural predicament. The bizarre political quasi-religion of antiracist wokeism, with its ressentiment-driven obsession with...

Olympic Schadenfreude
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Olympic Schadenfreude

If there are two sports more ferociously woke than NBA basketball and women’s professional soccer, I am unaware of their existence. Unfortunately for athletes in these two sports, their commitment to wokeness and the language of equity is increasingly backfiring, so much so that I have found their recent Olympic adventures delectable. They are so...

What We Are Reading: No Country for Old Men
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What We Are Reading: No Country for Old Men

When students hear me introduce No Country for Old Men as a deeply political novel with a right-wing position on contemporary American society, those who have seen the film adaptation by the Coen brothers perhaps wonder if the movie and the Cormac McCarthy novel are unrelated entities that just happen to bear the same title. What they...

Transgenderism is the Latest Woke Insult to Sports Fans
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Transgenderism is the Latest Woke Insult to Sports Fans

The effort to make sports unwatchable for most fans continues at light-speed. What started as a handful of radical NFL players kneeling during the national anthem transformed in the blink of an eye into an organized NFL-wide ceremonial genuflection to BLM. The woke virus quickly infected the NBA, too. Only the threat of revenue loss pushed owners...

Defiling the Sacred Dead of Gettysburg
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Defiling the Sacred Dead of Gettysburg

Just two hours from where I sit writing this lies a battlefield where 50,000 American men and boys were wounded, killed, captured, or went missing over the course of three days roughly 160 years ago. Several months later, that field became a cemetery dedicated by President Abraham Lincoln in his famous Gettysburg Address, and a federally...

The White-Guilt Grifters
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The White-Guilt Grifters

The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto by Charles Blow Harper Collins 256 pp., $26.99 Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson Random House 496 pp., $32.00 The verbal tics of the orthodox Marxist vocabulary in mid-20th century Europe made it virtually impossible for communists to camouflage themselves. Ex-communist author Arthur Koestler...

The Darker Side of the Celebrated Stonewall Riots
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The Darker Side of the Celebrated Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 were a great, good thing that signaled the beginning of the LGBTQ social and cultural movement, and only positive things flow from them—or so the narrative goes. The “gay liberation” rioters are our heroes and heroines, and  police, government, and traditional public opinion, on the other hand, are...

Angela Davis for Aunt Jemima: A Plan for Woke Product Packaging
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Angela Davis for Aunt Jemima: A Plan for Woke Product Packaging

Quaker’s “Aunt Jemima” has been replaced by the Pearl Milling Company. “Mrs. Butterworth” and “Uncle Ben” have followed her into the dustbin of history, all because these venerable product images ran afoul of current ideological purity tests. Woke ideology is rolling like an avalanche through corporate America, and removing these objectionable products is one of the chief ways these...

What We Are Reading: On Divorce
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What We Are Reading: On Divorce

Marriage and divorce. Is there any topic on which it is easier to find self-professed conservatives who somehow cannot bring themselves even to seriously contemplate the truly conservative position than this one? Louis de Bonald’s On Divorce remains, more than 200 years after its first publication, the most profound and philosophically sound argument for the indissolubility of marriage...

The Case Against Divorce
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The Case Against Divorce

In the opening pages of The Future of Christian Marriage, Mark Regnerus notes a troubling truth well known to anyone who has set foot in an institution of higher education in the last several decades. “To talk seriously about marriage today in the scholarly sphere is to speak a foreign language: you tempt annoyance, confusion,...

What We Are Reading: June 2021
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What We Are Reading: June 2021

Marriage and divorce. Is there any topic on which it is easier to find self-professed conservatives who somehow cannot bring themselves even to seriously contemplate the truly conservative position than this one? Louis de Bonald’s On Divorce remains, more than 200 years after its first publication, the most profound and philosophically sound argument for the...

A Memo From Privilege University’s Diversity Offices
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A Memo From Privilege University’s Diversity Offices

Dear Colleagues, A Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable day to you! The leadership team here at PU’s Diversity/Inclusion/Equity (DIE) Office is pleased that so many of you have adopted the practice of land acknowledgment in your email signatures, as demonstrated by the following model statement from a colleague: In community and solidarity, Dr. Margaret “Marge” N. Alisación, Ph. D....

The Chauvin Verdict and Life Lessons on Police Stops
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The Chauvin Verdict and Life Lessons on Police Stops

The jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of all the charges. No surprise. Many others are now writing about the intimidation of the court and the jury by the politicians, media, and rioters who have been enforcing their distorted view of justice on the country for at least the last year. The thing that has occupied...

Silencing the Dead
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Silencing the Dead

Tears sprang to my eyes in the fall of 2014 when I read of the short life and impending death of Lauren Hill. You may remember the story, too, though much in our culture works against the retention of stories like Lauren’s for more than a few news cycles. This ill-fated young woman was set...

What the Editors Are Reading: The French Revolution
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What the Editors Are Reading: The French Revolution

The values of the French Revolution are those of every radical revolutionary movement that succeeded it, including the one currently dismantling the basic institutions of American society and culture. But there are few historians of the Revolution who can be trusted to avoid propagandizing for it as they write about it. Pierre Gaxotte’s splendidly literate account,...

Pizza Shop Guy, Donut Shop Guy, and Little Old Me
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Pizza Shop Guy, Donut Shop Guy, and Little Old Me

Eating takeout food frequently is not a good thing to do, experts agree.  Fine, I won’t quibble too much with this. But that doesn’t prevent takeout from being an excellent source of research on the culture of work and the staying power of bourgeois values in America. I offer to you, then, Pizza Shop Guy...

The Woke Revolution’s Memo on Mass Shootings
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The Woke Revolution’s Memo on Mass Shootings

Memo in light of recent events, for the immediate attention of all political and media leaders aligned with the Woke Revolution, which is to say, just about all of them: Mass shootings like those that just took place in Atlanta and Boulder are a tragedy, of course. But they are also one of the best...

Figuring Out Your 1960s Stance in One Question
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Figuring Out Your 1960s Stance in One Question

The 1960s, according to Carl Oglesby, a former president of Students for a Democratic Society, “will never level out.” “It’s a corkscrew, it’s a tailspin, it’s a joyride on a roller coaster, it’s a never-ending mystery,” he continues. “Who won? Who lost? What were the terms of victory and defeat? We’ll always be discussing that.” I...

The Creative Expert Invention of ‘Far Right Terror’
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The Creative Expert Invention of ‘Far Right Terror’

In case you have been lost in the woods and have managed not to hear the news, the United States is facing a blood-chillingly scary white supremacist terrorist threat. The “stunning violence” of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol is perhaps only a prelude of what’s to come, for all experts agree that the biggest...

Transitional Failures
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Transitional Failures

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters; by Abigail Shrier; Regnery Publishing; 276 pp., $28.99 You’ve seen the yard signs. “We believe…Black Lives Matter; No Human is Illegal; Love is Love…” The tone is pure emotive posturing, until you get to this statement: “Science is real.” This is the foundational rhetorical trick of the contemporary...

What the Editors Are Reading: The Unheavenly City
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What the Editors Are Reading: The Unheavenly City

From the vantage point of a neighborhood in a midsized Midwestern city where I grew up, I witnessed a curious sociological phenomenon. On the south side of my house was a street filled with decay and depravity: broken-down dwellings, yards littered with auto carcasses, drunken men sitting on porches leering at teen girls and cursing at one...

Teaching About Riots and Democracy
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Teaching About Riots and Democracy

[The setting: a classroom on a liberal arts campus somewhere in the American northeast. A young, very enlightened professor addresses students in her course “Getting Woke, Bashing the Fash: Intro to Critical Studies” following a screening of the 13-minute video of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot shown at the opening of the latest impeachment trial...

The Trauma of Her Moral Highness, AOC
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The Trauma of Her Moral Highness, AOC

The insufferable Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) was in the news again, having discoursed at length on social media about her experience during the bizarre events in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The video showcases what she does best: talk lugubriously about herself and all the things that are causing her pain and suffering. Here’s some of...

MLK and a Modest Proposal for Real Resistance
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MLK and a Modest Proposal for Real Resistance

No day in the American civil calendar is better calibrated to the kind of virtue signaling that is the favored activity of much of our elite class than Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Showing your full-blooded commitment to MLK Day events is a great way to demonstrate to everyone that you are on the right...

Ivory Towers Only Come in Blue
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Ivory Towers Only Come in Blue

While attempting a fruitless, year-end clearing of my inbox, I came upon an email sent out to the faculty at Bucknell University, where I am employed, in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. The letter took a stark partisan stance on the election results, seeking signatories to a letter for the campus newspaper. Four...

The Disillusionment of Diversity
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The Disillusionment of Diversity

Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class; by Charles Murray; Twelve Books; 528 pp., $35.00 When I was a graduate student in the 1990s, the following joke elicited knowing grins even from those sympathetic to the impenetrable French postmodernist theory that was then making the rounds: Q: Have you read the new Derrida? A: Read it? I...

The Church of Money-Grubbing Toil
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The Church of Money-Grubbing Toil

The Enchantment of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity; by Eugene McCarraher; Belknap Press; 816 pp., $39.95   When the German thinker Max Weber visited the United States in 1904, he was intrigued by the marked tendency of Americans to think about economic activity against a backdrop of religious morality. He tells of an encounter with a salesman of...

Remembering 9/11
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Remembering 9/11

How much do you remember about 9/11? Almost certainly—unless you are quite young—you know the basics: Islamic terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into targets in New York City and Washington, D.C. But do you remember how many American victims were murdered that day? In Mitchell Zuckoff’s book published last year, Fall and Rise: The...

My Debt to Mike Adams
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My Debt to Mike Adams

The outspoken, courageous conservative criminologist and prolific writer Mike Adams has died at age 55. Tragically, he took his own life, struggling under an unbelievable burden he has borne for years now as a result of the fact that he stood up so fearlessly to the bullying of the increasingly irrational leftist orthodoxy that dominates...

Black Power and the 1619 Project
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Black Power and the 1619 Project

Radically recasting America’s formative years would be damaging enough, but The New York Times’ “1619 Project” is applying that same radical intellectual perspective on American history to contemporary social issues and problems. That intellectual perspective has its own history. It developed in earnest during the tumult and chaos of the Black Power radicalism of the...