In a speech at The Federalist Society last week, Bari Weiss points out the many similarities between what happened in Israel on October 7, and what happened in New York City and Washington DC. on September 11, 2001.
Wyatt Mason writes about the new book by the Afghan American writer Jamil Jan Kochai’s, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak. The absurd incursions of the real into the intelligent life of the imagination are central to the Afghan American writer Jamil Jan Kochai’s fiction, a small body of work that has been charting a path not merely to how one might write about his native country, but also to how fiction might perform a reckoning with the idiotic now.
When students at Bard first hatched the idea to bring unpopular speakers to campus under the auspices of the Arendt Center, one of the first speakers they chose was Suzanne Venker. Venker’s talk caused quite a stir. I was reminded of Venker’s arguments this week amid the hoopla around Louise Perry’s new book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution.
Jonathan Rauch tells the story of Stephen Richer, the Republican Maricopa County recorder in Arizona. As country recorder, Richer is responsible for registering voters and counting votes. This has put him in the crosshairs of the MAGA movement.
One big lie today is that intent does not matter. Another is that context doesn’t matter. Harvey Silverglate, during a lecture on free speech, spoke about his colleague’s Randall Kennedy’s book Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, published in 2002 and recently updated. I have taught Kennedy’s book, which is excellent, but the students at Silvergate’s lecture were unnerved at his use of the word. And the Public Issues Board at Milton Academy sent out an email to the entire student body, apologizing for Silverglate’s purported infraction.
N.S. Lyons shows why the claim that “it is hypocrisy” doesn’t work.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock gave a major foreign policy speech last week in which she began and ended her speech by referencing Hannah Arendt’s idea of “thinking without a banister.”
Hungarian President Viktor Orbán has advocated illiberal democracy. In a recent speech, however, he has gone further and explicitly embraced what is called the “great replacement” theory, the idea that ethnic Europeans are being replaced by non-whites and explicitly Arabs and Jews. An article in Politico showed that European leaders, and even some of Orbán's supporters, are worried that the Hungarian President has gone too far.