In 1981, philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre opened his book “After Virtue” with a passage that is now famous. Imagine if we lost the theoretical coherence of science. Imagine if we still used scientific words like neutrino and atomic weight, but had no overall framework to explain how they fit together. That’s the state of our moral […]
If your social circles are like mine, you spent election night swapping miserable texts. Not all, but many of my friends and family members were outraged, stunned, disgusted and devastated. This is victory for white supremacy, people wrote, for misogyny, nativism and authoritarianism. Those emotional reactions were a fitting first-night response to the greatest political […]
Donald Trump has found aa way to save the Democratic Party. He’s abandoned great patriotic themes that used to fire up the GOP and he’s allowed the Democrats to seize that ground. If you visited the two conventions this year, you would have come away thinking Democrats are the more patriotic of the two parties—and […]
Donald Trump has done something politically smart and substantively revolutionary. He is a Republican presidential candidate running against free trade and, effectively, free markets. By putting trade at the top of the conversation Trump elevates the issue on which Hillary Clinton is the most squirrelly, where her position reinforces the message that she will say […]
Today we live in a world of isolation and atomization, where people distrust their own institutions. In such circumstances many people respond to powerlessness with pointless acts of self-destruction. The American election has been perverted by these feelings of powerlessness.
On the surface, the millennial generation, having endured the financial crash and stagnant wages, looks ready to lead a big leftward push. But if you look at how millennials actually live, you certainly don’t see a progressive counterculture.
I’ve been confused about this Paris climate conference and how the world should move forward to ameliorate climate change, so I seanced up my hero Alexander Hamilton to see what he thought. I was sad to be reminded that he doesn’t actually talk in hip-hop, but he still had some interesting things to say.
If you’re reading this, you are probably not buffeted by daily waves of physical terror. You may fear job loss or emotional loss, but you probably don’t fear that somebody is going to slash your throat or that a gang will invade your house come dinnertime, carrying away your kin and property. We take a basic level of order for granted.
A half-century ago, 14 percent of college degrees were awarded to people who majored in the humanities. Today, only 7 percent of graduates in the country are humanities majors. Even over the past decade alone, the number of incoming students at Harvard who express interest in becoming humanities majors has dropped by a third.
One of the features of the Obama years is that we get to witness an enormous race between meritocracy and government. On the one side, meritocracy widens inequality. On the other side, there is President Barack Obama’s team of progressives, who are trying to mitigate inequality. The big question is: Which side is winning?
It will be interesting, over the course of this campaign, to see what’s underneath the cageyness.