Virtually shutting down the economy to stop the spread of the coronavirus has been widely accepted as harsh but necessary in many countries. But poverty too is a disease: once it infects, it spreads and it devastates lives. Heather MacDonald, writing in Spectator USA, assesses the costs of the metastasizing economic shutdown.
G.K. Chesterton famously remarked, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” Brendan O’Neill, writing in Spiked, observes that for some environmentalists, COVID-19 is the handiwork of a sentient nature exacting vengeance on a civilization that’s a pox on the planet.
The politics of left and right are rooted in two very different accounts of human nature. Conservatives adopt a tragic view of existence, while it is axiomatic for progressives that we are born intrinsically good and corrupted by society. David Starkey, writing in The Critic, argues that the principle of humankind’s inherent goodness is unsupported by the empirical facts.
There’s an avalanche of apocalyptic predictions regarding the global march of the Wuhan coronavirus. Nor are conspiracy theories hard to find. Richard Epstein charts a stubbornly independent but intellectually rigorous middle path in arguing that the dire predictions ignore key aspects of viral epidemiology. Writing on the Hoover Institution’s website, Epstein’s pandemic scenario is serious – but hopeful.
A hallmark of a scientific theory is its predictive power. Despite numerous failed predictions of climate catastrophe, dissent from the orthodoxy that humanity drives climate change remains off-limits. Mark Mendlovitz, writing in The Pipeline, coolly sets out the case that the main threat to climate hysteria is dispassionate analysis of the actual scientific data.
In Ontario Gurratan Singh, brother of federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, has introduced legislation condemning the government of India for acts of “genocide” against the Sikhs. Concordia Professor Frank Chalk argues that while what happened to Sikhs was tragic, it fails to meet the definition of genocide. Tom Blackwell reports in The Observer.
The political appeal of left-wing parties historically was the promise of a more equitable distribution of wealth. But the left’s obsession with multiculturalism and identity politics has caused it to abandon the working class. Law and Liberty’s Eric Kaufmann suggests why the left is unlikely to adapt to new electoral realities.
Why does modernist architecture produce so many soulless, ugly buildings? The answer lies with the early 20th-century rejection of objective truth and beauty, and the related dismissal of Greek and Roman traditions. President Donald Trump is considering an executive order favouring classical designs in all federal buildings. As Sumantra Maitha reports in The Federalist, this has drawn fierce opposition.
We humans are rarely the best judge of our own affairs, which is why we have lawyers represent us in courts and seek other counsel in our personal lives. Distance brings perspective, and the same holds for nations. Writing in The Washington Post, J.J. McCullough wonders why Canada, one of the most successful nations in history, appears intent on dissolving itself.
Britain’s EU-exit succeeded despite the near-unanimous opposition of the chattering classes. To Brendan O’Neill, writing in Spiked, one of our age’s peculiarities is that a small and unrepresentative elite dictates a self-serving moral and intellectual narrative. For O’Neill, Brexit is a heartening victory in the war against the managerialism that defines our times.