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Election Suspense
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Election Suspense

Where then shall Hope and Fear their Objects find?  Must dull Suspence corrupt the stagnant Mind? —Samuel Johnson, “The Vanity of Human Wishes”   At the time of writing in late August, the coming U.S. election is hard to call, so that dull Suspence must indeed prevail for a few more weeks. One need not let...

Death of a Propositional Nation
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Death of a Propositional Nation

The mythical nation dedicated to a proposition is dying, and rioters, looters, and social justice warriors are playing Dr. Kevorkian. Because the United States has not reached their construct of the purest Platonic form of equality, it must be euthanized to make room for a new empire to rise in its place. It’s fitting that activists,...

Catholics in America: An Uneasy Alliance
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Catholics in America: An Uneasy Alliance

At first, it may seem Catholicism contributed little to the American founding. The Founding Fathers were Protestants or deists and had themselves mostly arrived from the formerly Catholic kingdoms of England and Scotland, many as dissenters from the initial dissent of King Henry VIII. They had little obvious sympathy for Catholic doctrine or political thought. Among...

The Puritan Legacy Birthed the American Creed
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The Puritan Legacy Birthed the American Creed

Right-wing critics of Christianity often quote from The Hour of Decision, the last work of a once widely read German historian of philosophy, Oswald Spengler. This short, graphically composed book was published in 1933, the year Adolf Hitler took power in Germany. Although it has never been proven, there is a suspicion that the Nazi government disposed...

The 1620 Project
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The 1620 Project

In a speech commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth, the great orator Daniel Webster lauded these refugees as the authors of American “civil and religious liberty.” A few decades later, French diplomat and writer Alexis de Tocqueville observed that “Puritanism was not only a religious doctrine, but also at several points it...

The Tragedy of the Atomic Bomb
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The Tragedy of the Atomic Bomb

Marching toward imperialism On Oct. 5, 1946, just over one year after the deployment of two atomic bombs in Japan, Senator Robert A. Taft stood in front of an audience at Kenyon College and excoriated his country for dropping the bombs. In doing so, he issued a devastating critique of the developing disconnect between the pursuit...

Dropping the Ball on the Bomb
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Dropping the Ball on the Bomb

Unraveling modern confusion about the decision to drop the atomic bomb. There is still a remarkable amount of confusion about one of the last acts of World War II: the use of the atomic bomb. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was horrible, but not more so than many other episodes of the war. To keep...

The Triumph of the Atomic Bomb
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The Triumph of the Atomic Bomb

Overwhelming force is war’s only mercy Alan J. Levine must be praised for his courage in discussing the United States’ atomic bombings of Japan without the tears, whining, and pleas for international forgiveness that are now requisite. The “confusion” discussed by the author was, of course, present in 1945, but it is now a largely artificial,...

The Myth of the Atomic Bomb
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The Myth of the Atomic Bomb

Japan feared the Soviets, not the bomb For a generation after the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed on Sept. 2, 1945, the standard narrative remained fairly straightforward. By deciding to use nuclear weapons—against Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and on Nagasaki three days later—President Harry Truman enabled the realists in Tokyo, also called the peace faction,...

The Case for Christian Distributism
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The Case for Christian Distributism

Christian distributism celebrates the small and the human. It rests on strong home economies and demands the widest possible distribution and ownership of productive property. It favors worker ownership through cooperatives of necessarily larger machines and enterprises. It seeks and reinforces local communities, bound together by ties of kinship, faith, and trade. It welcomes lifelong,...

The Case for Laissez-Faire Capitalism
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The Case for Laissez-Faire Capitalism

Under laissez-faire capitalism, government is limited to armies, which keep foreign bad guys from attacking us; police, to quell local criminals; and courts, to determine guilt and innocence. This is roughly the position of minimal-government libertarians, or minarchists. The foundation of law in this system is the non-aggression principle (NAP). The NAP provides that anyone...

The Right on Economic Reform
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The Right on Economic Reform

The United States unemployment rate reached nearly 15 percent in April, with more than 40 million people out of work. Despite signs that the economy is getting ready to reopen after its long battering by the coronavirus, more than 20 million people have lost their jobs due to the virus as of the last week...

Do We Need Economic Reform at All?
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Do We Need Economic Reform at All?

If there is anything that we should have learned from the 20th century, it is that socialism turned out to be a colossal failure. That was not, however, obvious to large numbers of Americans at the time. Though they might not have bought into full-blown socialism, many 20th-century American intellectuals, economists, and politicians insisted that...

The Case for Economic Nationalism
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The Case for Economic Nationalism

The current moment poses a range of social, political, and economic threats. As the institutions of globalism become exhausted, the time is ripe to marry immigration restriction, economic nationalism, and populism into a potent America First program. Globalism is the ideological superstructure and linchpin of ruling class power. In practical terms, it depends upon the...

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...

Learning From Our Hard Corona Days
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Learning From Our Hard Corona Days

The world has reached a new level of boredom, it seems. Lately, since the NBA has suspended its season, ESPN has been televising a different sort of basketball game: NBA players playing the basketball video game NBA 2K. In their oppressive boredom, people tune in to watch and, I suppose, to comment on and argue...

Virginia’s Creeping Authoritarianism
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Virginia’s Creeping Authoritarianism

The scene before our eyes resembled something from a disaster film. Roadblocks, fencing, sanitized police checkpoints, sniper’s nests, vehicles loaded with heavy-duty surveillance equipment darting through the streets as an armored vehicle called The Rook lurched onto the field. An armored track vehicle built on a Caterpillar chassis, The Rook is armed with a hydraulic...

Coins of the Realm
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Coins of the Realm

When he was president, Theodore Roosevelt, a patron of arts and letters, commissioned the redesign of American coins, especially the small denominations in common circulation, from the penny to the dollar. He was right to complain about the existing designs; at least about the nickel, the dime, the quarter, and the half. However, the Indian...

The Myth of Nazi Inevitability
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The Myth of Nazi Inevitability

Lately, I’ve been studying a segment of German history about which I knew little as compared with the period before World War I or the great German cultural awakening between 1770 and 1820, sometimes characterized as die Goethezeit. Germany’s failure to stave off a Nazi takeover, which was well on its way to happening when...

Bad Intel
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Bad Intel

A pair of recent news items unintentionally demonstrated the ways the Intelligence Community is a primary source of our confused foreign policy in the Middle East, while also undermining President Trump here at home. First, substantial doubts have arisen regarding the source and even the actuality of the 2018 gas attacks in Syria. These attacks...

Deconstructing the 1619 Project
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Deconstructing the 1619 Project

Several years ago, I purchased a used copy of Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974), one of the five most important books on American slavery that have appeared in the last 50 years. The previous owner had inserted a series of newspaper clippings of book...

The Unbearable Burden of Being
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The Unbearable Burden of Being

What has brought upon us the madness of the “transgender,” with all its sad denial of the beauty and particularity of male and female? To see the cause, we must diagnose the malady. It is boredom: an irritable impatience with the things that are. Having lost a strong sense of creation and of nature as...

Remembering M. E. Bradford
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Remembering M. E. Bradford

Anyone who met M. E. Bradford was unlikely to forget him. There was his imposing bulk and his Stetson cowboy hat, but that was just the trimming. This Oklahoman, long a fixture at the University of Dallas, radiated vast erudition, lightly worn and easily shared, often in colloquial language. He emitted goodwill and sparkling humor,...

Remembering the Right
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Remembering the Right

The featured theme of this month’s magazine is focused on a particular task, namely retrieving conservativism and conservative thinkers from the past and explaining their continued relevance to the present. The current conservative movement, as a form of media entertainment and as a partisan PR machine, has undergone sweeping change in just about every respect...

Remembering R. L. Dabney
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Remembering R. L. Dabney

Robert Lewis Dabney was an American theologian and seminary professor. He was also a philosopher who wrote extensively on cultural and political issues of the second half of the 19th century. In our own day, when there is much confusion over what defines conservative political theory, we would do well to look to the writings...

The Hijacking of Nationalist Conservativism
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The Hijacking of Nationalist Conservativism

The 2016 election planted a nationalistic, populist battle standard reminiscent of the one that the pitchfork-wielding legions of the Old Right had once marched beneath. Now it appears at risk of being diluted and neutralized, as populist right-wing movements have been in the past. Consider the fate of Michelle Malkin. Malkin, a conservative columnist and...

Remembering Murray Rothbard
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Remembering Murray Rothbard

Murray Rothbard, the principal founder of post-World War II American libertarianism, died 24 years ago. Lew Rockwell, one of Rothbard’s closest friends and the founder of the Mises Institute and LewRockwell.com, offers this description of his core ideas: If you want to understand Murray Rothbard, you need to keep one principle in mind…Murray believed in a...

Impeachment, Just and Unjust
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Impeachment, Just and Unjust

What exactly did the framers mean by putting in the Constitution Article II, Section 4? This is the section that reads, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Treason is clearly...

The Spanish Civil War and the Battle for Western Civilization
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The Spanish Civil War and the Battle for Western Civilization

After a lengthy legal battle concluded in September, Spain’s Supreme Court gave its approval to the socialist government’s plans to exhume and remove the remains of General Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen, where they have lain since his death in 1975. The controversial general led Spain’s Nationalist forces to victory over their...

Our Culture of Narcissism
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Our Culture of Narcissism

Most Chronicles readers will no doubt recall the sordid Jussie Smollett hoax, which played out over the course of almost three months early this year in a scenario that might have been scripted for reality TV. Given the media’s saturation coverage of the fiasco, I will forego a reprise of the details. Instead, I wish...

The Broken Promise of American Cities
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The Broken Promise of American Cities

It was my penultimate summer in California when two friends from Germany crossed the pond to visit. They rented a room in San Diego not far from the beach, nestled in a palm-tree lined suburb. At some point between setting their bags on the curb and checking in to their summer digs, a man was...

How Online Censorship Works
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How Online Censorship Works

The first level of online censorship happens without the victims even knowing it’s happening. Tweets, posts, articles, videos, comments, and websites of political content are all uploaded without resistance. But they aren’t seen, aren’t suggested, and are swiftly buried under a pile of competing content. After the 2016 election delivered a result that shocked Silicon...

Revisiting Suffrage
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Revisiting Suffrage

One hundred years have now passed since both houses of Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. For a long time, both major parties were ready to grant the suffrage, should American women clearly ask it of them.  The question was never whether women were worthy of...

Cuba: What’s Next?
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Cuba: What’s Next?

The limited economic changes introduced by Gen. Raúl Castro in Cuba following the decades-long rule of his brother, the revolutionary communist Fidel Castro, encouraged some observers to proclaim the end of communism and the dismantling of the totalitarian system in the island. Notwithstanding Raúl Castro’s own statements that he was not elected to restore capitalism,...

Protectionism as a Path to Piety
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Protectionism as a Path to Piety

Frédéric Bastiat’s Candlestick Makers’ Petition, an open letter to the French Parliament written in 1845, gets trotted out by free-trade fundamentalists every time anyone says the word tariff.  Bastiat’s goal was to take the protectionist’s position to its logical extreme in order to mock protectionism via satire.  He distinguishes between free-traders who seek low prices...

Poet Against Empire
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Poet Against Empire

When I mention that I am reading Robinson Jeffers, even cultivated and well-read people look bemused; the name seems obscure.  By way of explanation, I borrow the closing words of the classic gangster film The Roaring Twenties: “He used to be a big shot.”  Just how big Jeffers had once been is hard to convey...

Ireland’s Anti-Christian Revolution
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Ireland’s Anti-Christian Revolution

Secular anti-Catholicism can fairly be described as the ruling ideology of the modern Republic of Ireland.  In no other country do politicians and the media so openly, persistently, and savagely attack the Catholic Church.  In no other country do leading politicians seek to score political points by launching virulent attacks on the Church and all...

The Fatherland and the Nation
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The Fatherland and the Nation

Embracing both, and rejecting the United States of Now. Allen Tate, in 1952, argued that the first duty of the man of letters in the postwar world was to purify the language from the corruptions introduced by ideology and the destruction, more than physical, wrought by the recent world war.  He was not the only...

Africa: The Wind of Change
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Africa: The Wind of Change

“A Manifesto for Renewing Liberalism” is the title of a recent issue (September 13, 2018) of the house journal of liberalism, The Economist.  I read this confessional admission with amazement.  Can the editors mean that liberalism needs to renew its vows?  It is not like liberalism to be crippled by self-doubt.  What went wrong?  Of...

Meet the Tiger
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Meet the Tiger

“When I was young and stupid,” said George W. Bush, and we have no reason to doubt him on it, “I was young and stupid.”  It is a double tautology.  He might as well have said, “When I was young,” and left it at that. When I was young, back around 1989, I believed that...

Age of the F-Bomb
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Age of the F-Bomb

The suppression of manners and the power of the halfwit elite Sometime during the 1920’s, at an exclusive party at Count Boni de Castellane’s, a great French lady felt herself beginning to die at the dinner table.  “Quick, bring the dessert,” she whispered to the waiter. She was not overcome by greed.  She simply wished...

The Angry Summer
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The Angry Summer

Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight . . . —Psalm 144:1 According to the Washington Post, McAllen, Texas is an “all-American city,” albeit one “that speaks Spanish.”  So it’s small wonder that “immigration isn’t a problem for this Texas town—it’s a way of life.” ...

Fascism, Real and Imagined
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Fascism, Real and Imagined

A personal and national narrative of resistance to globalism Twenty years ago I somehow managed to get my act together and get out of Paris, where I had haunted a cheap hotel for a year in the wake of the death of Princess Diana like the ghost of the Marlon Brando character in Last Tango...

The Children of Eden
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The Children of Eden

All of us, I imagine, are granted from time to time moments of uninvited insight that will, for years to come, provide a basis for reflection and a more penetrating glimpse of the forces that shape the realms in which we live and labor.  Such a moment was granted to me back in the early...

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Conservative Clinic
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Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Conservative Clinic

If you wanted to imagine a British Donald J. Trump, Jacob William Rees-Mogg would not spring to mind.  Mogg is younger than Trump (49 to Trump’s 71), thinner, and pale instead of orange.  If they were cheeses, Mogg would be Stilton, and Trump would be Jack.  Mogg has excellent manners—not something the 45th American President...

Impossible Dreams: The West’s Undying Love Affair With Marx
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Impossible Dreams: The West’s Undying Love Affair With Marx

Is Marxism Dead? If the average citizen of a Western society were asked that question, it seems to me he would readily answer that Marxism is indeed a very dead idea surviving only in improbable boondocks like North Korea or Cuba, and even there losing ground, as has been happening in the last great country...

The Center Doesn’t Hold Here
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The Center Doesn’t Hold Here

How do you make sense of New York? There’s lots of intelligence, talent, and ambition here. There’s also a lot of insanity. When Barack Obama won his first presidential election people in my neighborhood partied in the streets all night. The world had evidently been made new. When Donald Trump won there were public meetings in...

Anniversary of the Modern West
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Anniversary of the Modern West

Some of the greatest events in human history simply fail to register in popular consciousness. Last year, we rightly heard a terrific amount about the Reformation, or at least, about its early Lutheran phase. But the spring of 2018 actually marks the 400th anniversary of the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, another critical event...

Muslim Migrants and the Religious Left
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Muslim Migrants and the Religious Left

Why are so many Western Christians either silent about, or actually complicit in, the Muslim hegira to the West?  One would think Christians would be at the forefront of opposition.  Some are, but most are not, and these latter include Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, mainline “Protestants,” and evangelicals in America.  These churches have made four...

Beyond Imagination: Uranium One
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Beyond Imagination: Uranium One

The multilayered story surrounding Uranium One—the former South African, then Canadian, and now Russian company, of which both Bill and Hillary Clinton and their family foundation are the enriched beneficiaries—has all the usual elements of a typical Clinton scandal. A talented con man, Bill Clinton perfected his game in Arkansas.  Through his control over state...