Hannah Arendt is a thinker who insists that we make distinctions. One of Arendt’s most controversial distinctions is that between racism and what she alternatively will call “race thinking” in The Origins of Totalitarianism, and then "prejudice" in many of her later essays. In the wake of the shooting in Buffalo last week, John McWhorter made his own distinctions while trying to understand the place of racism in U.S. society. McWhorter argues that we use the word racism today to mean too many things. He states that we need to distinguish between different aspects of what we call racism in order to think more clearly about the problems and prevent such tragedies as the shooting in Buffalo.
Peter Minowitz writes about how teaching Socrates’ Apology can push us past the binaries of our culture wars.
Matt Beard reflects on the academic politics of the early 20th century- and the ideas of Weber and Arendt- in order to draw lessons for our own time, in which politics is infringing on questions of academic integrity.
Jonathan Rauch and Peter Wehner argue that the real danger to American Constitutional democracy comes from the failure of conservatives to stand up to former President Donald Trump’s attempt to undermine a presidential election.
Nicolas Tenzer looks at attempts to destroy “Memorial,” a group founded by the dissident scientist Andrei Sakharov that sought to expose Stalin’s crimes.
Melinda Cooper argues that the Trump Republican Party represents the "insurrection of one form of capitalism against another: the private, unincorporated, and family-based versus the corporate, publicly traded, and shareholder-owned.”
When Roosevelt Montas immigrated to the Bronx from the Dominican Republic, he found a copy of Plato’s Dialogues in a garbage dump and took it home. It changed his life. Thomas Chatterton Williams writes on the importance of the classics for the underprivileged.
Adam Shatz, who has taught with me at Bard and spoken at Arendt Center Conferences and events, writes about his being assaulted, beaten up, and mugged in New York last month.
The voting reform agenda seems dead in Congress. One can argue about the quality of the two bills being proposed. And one can argue about the filibuster. Lawrence Lessig reminds us that the real problem is the untethered pursuit of partisan political power that has taken over our political system.