United States
The Poor Rich

The Poor Rich

Liberalism has always retained its own authoritarian option, the right to defend itself, if necessary with violence, both against outside enemies and the enemy within. It has also always been tinged with fear of instability and paranoia. As soon as the strict boundaries protecting the “sphere of property” from government intrusion are understood to have been transgressed, property owners have become victims of oppression. More»

Fearful Fantasies

Fearful Fantasies

After the latest spate of mass shootings in the United States, I tried to engage NRA supporters in reasonable debate. But I struggled to comprehend their way of thinking about risk. Defending easy access to assault weapons, one of them argued that, “If I put one in front of you when your family is under attack by a mob, you wouldn’t blink an eye.” I wasn’t so sure. More»

Vigilante Liberalism

Vigilante Liberalism

If there’s there’s one thing about Donald Trump that everybody agrees on, it’s that he’s gone too far. After all, even taboo breaking has its limits. But to what end? A recent article in Jacobin contends that the billionaire made the jump from liberalism to fascism. It’s an interesting hypothesis, but oversimplifies the problem. More»

F-Word Revival

F-Word Revival

Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the word “fascism” has made periodic appearances in American political discourse. Critics of the Patriot Act invoked it as a way of warning against the dangers of prioritizing security over liberty. President George W. Bush later described the nation’s primary enemy in the War on Terror as “Islamic fascists”. And conservatives even labeled Barack Obama a fascist. More»

Christian Intelligence Agency

Christian Intelligence Agency

“[A]gency recruiters jump at the chance to snare a Mormon,” Newsweek claimed in a 1992 story about the CIA’s post-Cold War restructuring. “Young Mormons,” the report went on, “tend to have squeaky-clean backgrounds and, thanks to their work as Third World missionaries, they often have a skill the CIA desperately needs these days: knowledge of a foreign language.” More»

South of Heaven

South of Heaven

The old maxim, that “Knowledge is power,” is a true one, but there is still a greater truth: “KNOWLEDGE IS SAFETY.” Safety amid physical ills that beset mankind, and safety amid the moral pitfalls that surround so many young people, is the great crying demand of the age. More»

Segregation in Theory and Practice

Segregation in Theory and Practice

By 1948, black troops, for so long limited to a few job categories, could be found in a majority of military occupational fields. The officer corps was open to all without the restrictions of a racial quota, and while a quota for enlisted men still existed, all racial distinctions in standards of enlistment were gone. More»

Taking Trump Seriously

Taking Trump Seriously

In a few short months, Donald Trump has metamorphosed from a carnival sideshow in the American political circus into the headline act under its big top. With polls now showing this master showman, not only with a comfortable lead over his many Republican rivals, but also every leading Democrat, he is terrifying political insiders on both the Right and Left. More»

The New World and the Old

The New World and the Old

The young American was soon ready for the expedition, but De Catinat lingered until the last possible minute. When at last he was able to tear himself away, he adjusted his cravat, brushed his brilliant coat, and looked very critically over the sombre suit of his companion. More»

What Comes After the After Party?

What Comes After the After Party?

From the moment Barack Obama moved into the White House, conservatives have been turning to him for sustenance. They know they can rely on him to recharge their ideological batteries. In the suburban and rural enclaves where the right is strongest, particularly in the South and Southwest, trying not to find public expressions of hated towards the President is almost impossible. More»

Race Without Class

Race Without Class

Although the fighting among prospective Republican candidates for President in 2016 has been receiving the majority of the media’s attention recently, thanks to Donald Trump, the conflict in Democratic circles may be nastier. Hillary and Bill Clinton may have stored up a lot of goodwill over the years, but a decent-sized percentage of their party still resents them for dragging it rightward in the 1990s. More»

No Exit

No Exit

On our first trip to Forest Haven Asylum, the trail dumped us in front of an imposing brick and cement block building. Ugly. Institutional. Lacking the gothic mystery of early 20th century asylum architecture. We decided to pass it by. Later, though, I discovered that the vast cement monstrosity epitomizes the systematic warehousing of humans in the United States. More»