The Bad Guys Are Winning

The Bad Guys Are Winning

Illustrations by Michael Houtz     The future of democracy may well be decided in a drab office building on the outskirts of Vilnius, alongside a highway crammed with impatient drivers heading out of town. I met Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya there this spring, in a room that held a conference table, a whiteboard, and not much …

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The Manufactured Migrant Crisis on Europe’s Doorstep

The Manufactured Migrant Crisis on Europe’s Doorstep

Wojtek Radwanski / AFP / Getty A small Kurdish boy is sitting on the ground in a damp Polish forest, a few miles from the eastern border with Belarus. The air is heavy with cold and fog. The boy is crying. Around the boy, sitting in a circle, are his parents, uncles, and cousins, all …

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Tucker Carlson Is Stirring Up Hatred of America

Tucker Carlson’s Sinister New Documentary

Selcuk Acar / NurPhoto / Getty; Chip Somodevilla / Getty; The Atlantic All around you are swirling scenes of violence-explosions in Baghdad, ISIS operatives slitting the throat of an infidel, the chaos around the U.S. Capitol on January 6. You see jarring images of blood and brutality; you hear the grating sound of screaming; you …

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Bernard-Henri Lévy Doesn’t Care If You Snicker at Him

Bernard-Henri Lévy Doesn’t Care If You Snicker at Him

Marc Roussel Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher who wears elegant suits, cites Hegel, and visits war zones. The first part of his new book, The Will to See, references conversations with Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze, among other French postmodernists; the latter part describes horrific scenes of violence in Somalia, …

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The Return of the Scarlet Letter

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 …

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Liberal Democracy Is Worth a Fight

Liberal Democracy Is Worth a Fight

Afghan National Army at the border of Pakistan. / 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 …

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Tucker Carlson’s Self-Loathing International Tourism

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 …

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The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy

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 …

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What Marxism and 'Critical Race Theory' Have in Common

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 …

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‘Stop the Steal’ Goes Global

‘Stop the Steal’ Goes Global

Here’s a quiz: Which world leader made the following statements? “We are witnessing the greatest election fraud in the history of the country, in my opinion in the history of any democracy.” “This may be the most important speech I’ve ever made. I want to provide an update on our ongoing efforts to expose … …

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The Oligarchs Who Turn Democracy Into Something Else

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 …

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If Belarus Gets Away With It, Other Dictators Will Follow

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 …

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