The Spectator
Covid-19 was initially thought to be extremely virulent and many governments worldwide locked-down their countries. But more complete data suggest the contagion isn’t nearly as lethal as originally predicted. Lionel Shriver, writing in The Spectator U.K., argues the coronavirus has been grossly oversold by a witches’ brew of bad science, a hyperbolic media and cowed politicians.
The Spectator
Covid-19 was initially thought to be extremely virulent and many governments worldwide locked-down their countries. But more complete data suggest the contagion isn’t nearly as lethal as originally predicted. Lionel Shriver, writing in The Spectator U.K., argues the coronavirus has been grossly oversold by a witches’ brew of bad science, a hyperbolic media and cowed politicians.
  • August 2, 2020
National Review
Beijing’s malign actions concerning the coronavirus, Hong Kong, and human-rights abuses against Uighurs (among others) have triggered a backlash in Europe. Writing in National Review, Jimmy Quinn urges European nations to engage in “democratic security” by mobilizing democratic practices to oppose the Chinese Communist Party’s destructiveness.
  • August 2, 2020
Spectator USA
The mob violence in American cities is being spun as “peaceful demonstrations” subverted by thuggish police. Writing in Spectator USA, Daniel McCarthy argues that the corporate media manipulate language and twist the truth, largely to undermine Donald Trump. Ultimately, the violence and mayhem matter mainly for their utility in getting rid of the hated Orange Man.
  • August 2, 2020
RealClear Politics
For Joel Kotkin, class in America can no longer be understood in terms of left and right. Instead, it is marked by the rise of an academic and media elite and an expansive government bureaucracy. Speaking to Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics, Kotkin warns of the coming of a new feudalism.
  • July 25, 2020
Substack
Ever since J.S. Mill dubbed the Conservatives the “stupid party” back in the 1800s, conservatives have been caricatured as anti-intellectual, unsophisticated and inflexible moral busybodies. There’s been an extraordinary turnaround. Matt Taibbi, writing in Substack, points out that the stereotypes once used to slander conservatives now more accurately describe the left.
  • July 25, 2020
The Federalist
Science is mutable. This anodyne truth has nowhere been better exemplified than in today’s Covid crisis. David Marcus, writing in The Federalist, reminds us that science is a tool, not an oracle. In Marcus’ view, the Covid disaster has been worsened by the purblind acceptance of expert opinion.
  • July 25, 2020
Unherd
The lockdown allows us the opportunity to develop passions for hitherto unexplored avenues of pleasure. Writing in Unherd, Giles Fraser recounts his progress from an occasional imbiber of wine to a connoisseur of the grape. Fraser has unearthed an important truth: developing a truly sophisticated palate requires a great deal of practice.
  • July 17, 2020
Foreign Policy
Populist movements are widely castigated as nativist, racist, and xenophobic. Yet Ontario Premier Doug Ford has crafted a brand of politics which is pragmatic, centrist and, well, popular. Writing in Foreign Policy, Simon Lewsen argues that Ford’s rhetoric scrambles the left-right divide and his electoral success offers lessons for politicians elsewhere.
  • July 17, 2020
The Manhattan Institute
After constant bullying by colleagues, New York Times contributing editor and writer Bari Weiss has resigned. In a scathing letter to publisher A. G. Sulzberger, Weiss says Twitter is now the paper’s “ultimate editor.” Writing in City Journal, Judith Miller recounts how a once-great newspaper has capitulated to the woke mob’s intolerant orthodoxy.
  • July 17, 2020
The Atlantic
Robin DiAngelo’s 2018 book White Fragility tops the bestseller lists. It claims white people are inherently racist, inculcated from birth by their “white privilege.” Writing in The Atlantic, John McWhorter finds that White Fragility trades in bizarre claims, calls the book itself “racist” and reproaches the author for her dehumanizing condescension toward black people.
  • July 9, 2020
Harper’s Magazine
A group of prominent writers has signed an open letter to Harper’s Magazine demanding an end to cancel culture and the narrowing of acceptable debate. Restricting free expression, the letter argues, works against society’s vulnerable and creates a repressive and intolerant culture. As George Orwell put it: “Freedom is the ability to tell people what they don’t want to hear.”
  • July 9, 2020
Quilette
Few environmentalists have been more active than Michael Schellenberger. Yet he’s come to believe that climate change alarmism is not driven by science, but scientifically illiterate elites who grossly exaggerated the dangers – and now “exaggerate the exaggerations.” Writing in Quillette, Schellenberger chronicles how ideological journalists and politicians have gotten the science so wrong.
  • July 9, 2020
Unherd
A group at Oxford University has branded Cecil Rhodes a racist and are demanding removal of his statue in Oxford’s High Street. Writing in Unherd, Nigel Biggar recounts the historical truth and shows how the real Rhodes was a man far removed from the caricatured colonialist scorned by the woke mob.
  • June 30, 2020
American Greatness
Societies have always had to negotiate the competing demands of the better-off and the poor. Yet for Aristotle, attributing civil war solely to economic causes is myopic. In Book V of his Politics, the ancient Greek analyzed no fewer than seven long-term causes that can transform peaceful citizens into violent factionalizers. Writing in American Greatness, Steven Skultety wonders how many of these are at play right now in the United States.
  • June 30, 2020
Unherd
Despite her racist Twitter rants that include such gems as “white lives don’t matter” and “abolish whiteness,” Priyamvada Gopal has been promoted to a full professorship at Cambridge University. Writing in Unherd, Douglas Murray wonders how long society will tolerate such privileged 21st century cry-bullies.
  • June 30, 2020
The Spectator USA
Identity politics demands the re-writing of history. The 1969 raid of Stonewall, a New York nightclub, has been distorted into a story of an oppressive NYPD harassing poor gays. Chadwick Moore, writing in The Spectator USA, argues that the LGBT movement is no longer about equal rights, but a push for civilizational transformation.
  • June 21, 2020
The American Mind
The United States, a nation once thought automatically prosperous, is suddenly thrown back on its essentials. Although the current unrest appears to be about race, Joel Kotkin argues in The American Mind they are more rooted in class. America, he says, has produced young, growing and multi-racial class of neo-serfs with few economic prospects and little hope.
  • June 21, 2020
Just the News
Throughout the pandemic politicians and officials have appealed to data and “the science.” But employing the definite article (“the”) misled us into believing that scientific opinion, like mathematics, is certain, unambiguous, and in monolithic agreement. Writing in Just the News, Michael Fumento documents ten ways that public health officials got “the science” seriously wrong.
  • June 21, 2020
Commentary
America is denying its roots. Under the guise of social activism, a lawless and violent mob is on the rampage. The editors of Commentary reject the mob’s radical re-writing of American history along with its newly invented heresies. And they remind us that eventually, if left unchecked, the mob comes for us all.
  • June 14, 2020
Quilette
Rhetoric and slogans have a habit of straying from reality, which is usually more complex. Writing in Quillette, John McWhorter examines American crime statistics. He concludes that the claim the police regularly kill black people under circumstances in which white people would be merely disciplined is a misperception.
  • June 14, 2020
J.K. Rowling
The world-famous Harry Potter author has followed the trans debate closely, so she has observed the abuse heaped upon dissidents. But after she tweeted her support for Maya Forstater, a woman who believes that sex is determined by biology, even Rowling was unprepared for the hatred and vitriol directed at her.
  • June 14, 2020
The Intelligencer
The Black Lives Matter protests have produced a new breed of inquisitors. Like Torquemada, they demand blind allegiance to their orthodoxy and are brutally intolerant of dissenters from the One True Faith. Writing in The Intelligencer, Andrew Sullivan examines this new dispensation, which suppresses contrary arguments and shames and shuns those who make them.
  • June 1, 2020
National Affairs
Since the June 2007 introduction of the iPhone, scientific evidence has been mounting that we are suffering from an attenuated attention span while our ability to comprehend and use abstract reasoning is weakening. Writing in National Affairs, Adam Garfinkle argues that the loss of “deep literacy” has widespread neurophysiological costs.
  • June 1, 2020
The Critic
The Brexit referendum, the election of Donald Trump and the rise of populist parties attest to deeply-rooted challenges to liberalism’s underlying premises. Writing in The Critic, Nick Timothy reviews two new books documenting liberalism’s naïveté and subsequent geopolitical failures. To put things right, argues Timothy, we need to chart a course that is both conservative and pragmatic.
  • June 1, 2020
Spectator USA
The median age of coronavirus death in most countries is 80. The young and middle-aged are at minimal risk. But the media have suppressed this key fact, with many insisting everyone is in equal peril. Heather MacDonald, writing in The Spectator USA, examines how the media abuses language to keep people frightened and prepare the citizenry for any future re-lockdown.
  • May 26, 2020
City Journal
The pandemic has triggered an explosion of “temporary” government programs. The economist Robert Higgs sees little evidence that governments ever relinquish such newly added scale and power. Writing in City Journal, Robert Tierney argues that politicians and hysterical media have created a “crisis of crises.” We need to be wary, he warns, of political leaders who exploit our fears.
  • May 26, 2020
Law & Liberty
Moments of crisis dissolve our ordinary comforts and reveal our true nature. The Greek historian Thucydides documented how the 5th century BC plague of Athens led the Athenians to licentiousness and a hubristic disregard for all law. Pavlos Papadopoulos, writing in Law and Liberty, suggests that like the Athenians, we are forced by our own pandemic to confront our culture’s less savoury aspects.
  • May 26, 2020
The American Conservative
Reading The Rites of Spring, Modris Eksteins’ brilliant account of how the First World War destroyed European civilization, led Rod Dreher to ponder the meaning of 40 million unemployed Americans. Eksteins depicted how the Europeans failed to imagine the civilizational catastrophe that was upon them. Dreher, writing in The American Conservative, wonders if anyone can truly grasp the significance of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • May 17, 2020
Unherd
Officialdom is using the coronavirus to find fresh pretexts to expand its authority. Matthew B. Crawford, writing in Unherd, observes how political and aesthetic preferences have become moralized in safety talk. As some teenaged mountain bikers in California discovered, bureaucrats now claim a bullet-proof halo of public-spiritedness to sweep aside whole domains of human activity.
  • May 17, 2020
National Review
Our schools and universities suffer from an enervating cultural cringe, condemning Western civilization as morally defective while teaching students to praise every culture but their own. Eminent historian Andrew Roberts issues a clarion call in the National Review to restore the teaching of Western achievements and values. Without the West, Roberts argues, the world would resort to a neo-Darwinian free-for-all.
  • May 17, 2020
Substack
Matt Taibbi, writing in Substack, casts a critical eye at the American media’s response to the FBI’s railroading of General Flynn. For Taibbi, the Democratic Party and its media lapdogs have abandoned any pretence at protecting civil liberties. He thinks the media have lost their minds and wonders what happened to the party he grew up with.