The Return of the Scarlet Letter

Illustrations by Nicolas Ortega “It was no great distance, in those days, from the prison-door to the market-place. Measured by the prisoner’s experience, however, it might be reckoned a journey of some length.” So begins the tale of Hester Prynne, as recounted in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter. As readers of this …

The Return of the Scarlet Letter Read More »

Liberal Democracy Is Worth a Fight

Moises Saman / Magnum Of all the empty, pointless statements that are periodically repeated by Western politicians, none is more empty and pointless than this one: “There can be no military solution to this conflict.” That was what Ban Ki-moon, then the UN secretary-general, said back in 2013: “There is no military solution to the …

Liberal Democracy Is Worth a Fight Read More »

Tucker Carlson’s Self-Loathing International Tourism

Tucker Carlson is spending a week in Budapest in order to annoy Americans and everybody else who believes in the ideals of America: the rule of law, a free press, free elections, the conviction that democracy is preferable to autocracy. Showing how much he despises the United States, its Constitution, and its heritage, the Fox …

Tucker Carlson’s Self-Loathing International Tourism Read More »

The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy

When you contemplate the end of democracy in America, what kind of person do you think will bring it about? Maybe you picture a sinister billionaire in a bespoke suit, slipping brown envelopes to politicians. Maybe your nightmare is a rogue general, hijacking the nuclear football. Maybe you think of a jackbooted thug leading a …

The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy Read More »

What Marxism and ‘Critical Race Theory’ Have in Common

“I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a Communist.” — General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking to the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday “He’s not just a pig—he’s stupid.” — Tucker Carlson, Fox News television host, describing Milley Back in the 1980s, comparative-literature majors at …

What Marxism and ‘Critical Race Theory’ Have in Common Read More »

The Oligarchs Who Turn Democracy Into Something Else

In 2015, Daniel Obajtek was the county commissioner of Pcim, a tiny district south of Kraków and north of the Polish-Slovak border. “County commissioner” is perhaps a grand-sounding title, but I can’t find a better one. In Polish, the term for the job he held is wójt, an old-fashioned word that means something like “village …

The Oligarchs Who Turn Democracy Into Something Else Read More »

If Belarus Gets Away With It, Other Dictators Will Follow

Even when our most basic civilizational values are in dispute, there are a few sets of rules and regulations that we nevertheless manage to share. The laws of the sea, for example, or the norms governing the conduct of air-traffic controllers. Pilots of any nationality, even when flying to Caracas, Havana, or Pyongyang, have no …

If Belarus Gets Away With It, Other Dictators Will Follow Read More »

What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

Mass Vaccination Is a Show of American Might

Every so often, an emerging technology changes the global balance of power, alters alliances, and shifts the relationships among nations. After World War II, nuclear weapons overthrew all of the existing geopolitical paradigms. The countries that got the bomb were considered global powers; countries that did not have it sought it, so that they could …

Mass Vaccination Is a Show of American Might Read More »

Scroll to Top