When Power Triumphed Over IdealsRoger Berkowitz
On the 20th anniversary of America’s war in Iraq, there is a whole lot of taking stock. James Bennet argues that the War in Iraq helped undermine the American consensus at home and around the world. It is the cynicism that the Iraq war unleashed that opened the door for the rise of Donald Trump at home and other demagogues abroad.
Waking UpRoger Berkowitz
Vincent Lloyd was teaching a seminar at the Telluride Association on “Race and the Limits of Law in America.” By the end of the seminar, his students had either been expelled for being racists or had accused him of being racist and walked out of the class. Lloyd, who says he has been suspicious of the critique of woke movements, came to see the behavior of the students not as a religion, but rather as a cult.
The Friendship RecessionAddie Page describes her search for new friends amidst what is increasingly being seen as a crisis of friendship.
Our Friend/Enemy PoliticsRoger Berkowitz
In my seminar on “Truth and Politics” this semester we are grappling with the pure weaponization of claims to truthfulness and lying. And this this weekend I’m at colloquium on federalism where one theme is how federalism is embraced by whichever party or group doesn’t control political power. Principled ideas of governance and politics are fully sacrificed to the overriding goal of winning. These ideas are grounded in a larger nihilist worldview, and one thinker who understood the full implications of nihilist politics was Carl Schmitt.
Theory Has Deconstructed ObjectivityMark Goldblatt argues that academia is heading for a showdown between the STEM fields that believe in objectivity and the social sciences and the humanities that do not. But Goldblatt’s real concern should be the loss of impartiality in the humanities and social sciences, not the loss of objectivity.
Impartiality and ObjectivityRoger Berkowitz
Hannah Arendt reminded us of the importance of impartiality in history, journalism, and scholarship. For Arendt, every selection of facts is, as a selection, partial. Bret Stephens writes about the crisis of confidence in journalism.
The Stranglehold of RelevanceRoger Berkowitz
Robert Boyers interviews Jed Perl about the place of freedom and authority in art.
Making the Empire More ColorfulRoger Berkowitz
In Harpers last week, Christopher Beah talks to Patrick J. Deneen, Francis Fukuyama, Deirdre Nansen McClosky, and Cornell West about Liberalism and whether it is worth saving.
Doubters and SkepticsRoger Berkowitz
Sebastian Veg, who writes about China, has published his introduction to the Thai translation of Hannah Arendt’s “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship.”
The Attack on Academic ThinkingRoger Berkowitz
Len Gutkin tells of the egregious abrogation of academic freedom and intellectual integrity at Hamline University, where a art-history professor was fired for teaching about a medieval image of the prophet Muhammad.