War and Peace at 150 Years

The New Criterion
August 24, 2019

This year marks the 150<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the publication of Count Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, arguably the greatest of all novels. Among the book’s central motifs is the fragility and contingency of human knowledge, and the subsequent futility of trying to create a social science. In an eternal warning to central planners everywhere, Tolstoy portrayed human beings as existing in a world of contingency and immediacy, continually forced to answer to events entirely unheralded and unexpected. Ultimately, humans need to be guided by something deeper than what can be found through an examination of the empirical world. Gary Saul Morson, writing in The New Criterion, shows how Tolstoy used his literary gifts to show the absurdity of what would become known as scientism, or any other reductionist account of the human.

Love C2C Journal? Here's how you can help us grow.

More for you

A Rational Pandemic Scenario

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.

Debunking Myths in the Climate Debate

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.

Ontario, Genocide and the Politics of India

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 Demise of the Global Left?

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.

A Rational Pandemic Scenario

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.

Debunking Myths in the Climate Debate

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.

Ontario, Genocide and the Politics of India

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 Demise of the Global Left?

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.

Share This Story

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print

Donate

Subscribe to the C2C Weekly
It's Free!

* indicates required