A crucial distinction helps explain why liberalism, not socialism, holds a prominent place in mainstream American thought.
On the Newsstand:Liberalism
How do you make sure your purchases promote your politics? With great difficulty.
This is from George Packer’s The Fight is For Democracy: For the past century, the political philosophy of collective action on behalf of freedom and justice has been liberalism. For most of that time, it was an expansive, self-confident philosophy, and history was on its side. Since around 1968, liberalism has been an active participant in its own decline. A creed that ... Read More
HPR staff writer Eli Martin has a piece in today’s Crimson criticizing European “Islamophobia.” I don’t want to baldly disagree with Eli that “outright discrimination toward Muslims in Europe is becoming a reality.” But I do want to complicate things a bit. Eli implies that burqa bans and the like could only be products of Geert Wilders-esque prejudice, neglecting a ... Read More
Raul Carrillo has a column in today’s Crimson arguing that Democrats need to become better at the “politics of spirituality.” Such exhortations often contain an ambiguity, and Carillo’s is no exception. Is he criticizing liberals on substantive grounds, i.e. for their support for separation of church and state and their “neutral stance on issues of faith”? Or is he just ... Read More
Perhaps inspired by the beauty that is our new blog, the Harvard GOP relaunched their website yesterday, giving harvardgop.org a patriotic, deeply American makeover. The new site makes heavy use of the “Ken Burns effect” with dynamic and engaging photos of Newt Gingrich standing at the front of a table. I learned from a quick browse of the site that ... Read More
For Obama’s first-year anniversary the New York Times rounded up some White House veterans to write about their respective presidents’ first years. This one, especially, surprised me: It was in many other ways a very good year for President Nixon. He called to congratulate the Apollo 11 astronauts on their moon landing. He initiated a huge expansion of the National ... Read More
If you’ve seen Avatar and haven’t yet read Annalee Newitz’s article “When will white people stop making movies like this?” then you’re missing out. Avatar — putatively anti-racist, seemingly simple and beautiful and extraordinarily entertaining — is in fact, she argues, mired with subtle racial biases and white ethnocentrism. She writes: These are movies about white guilt. Our main white ... Read More
One of the constant refrains in articles about David Souter’s retirement is that replacing him with another “liberal” will not change the “basic makeup of the Court.” There are quite a few things wrong with this analysis. As the media often do, they grossly oversimplify and mischaracterize a Supreme Court justice’s philosophy. David Souter is many things, but certainly one ... Read More
I know that Daniel is only trying to soften his blows, but really, I don’t think my argument can be “innocuous” and “unfortunate” at the same time. Come on, tell me what you really think! I can appreciate how it seems that liberals are always in the business of telling people what rights they do and don’t have. But, in ... Read More
The Democratic Party and California's Proposition 8