The Spectator U.S.A
The woke mob has long gunned for Jordan Peterson. The latest would-be censors are weepy Random House Canada employees who want to stop the sequel to Peterson’s wildly successful 12 Rules for Life. Cockburn, writing in Spectator US, wonders why the Wokesters then seem okay with their employer publishing Hitler and Nietzsche.
The Spectator U.S.A
The woke mob has long gunned for Jordan Peterson. The latest would-be censors are weepy Random House Canada employees who want to stop the sequel to Peterson’s wildly successful 12 Rules for Life. Cockburn, writing in Spectator US, wonders why the Wokesters then seem okay with their employer publishing Hitler and Nietzsche.
The Spectator USA
Lenka Vrablikova of Leeds University contends that the ingestion of forest mushrooms causes right-wing populism. In a competing theory, Rod Liddle in the Spectator USA proposes that populism is caused by ingesting the manifest idiocies of third-rate academics and concluding that our universities are being overrun by the clinically insane.
UnHerd
We want pharmaceutical companies to crank out new drugs and sell them cheap. But can we have both? Tom Chivers, writing in Unherd, asserts that paying market prices encourages the R&D that delivers new drugs and, eventually, brings down costs for all, including those in the poorest countries.
Law & Liberty
Western nations’ technocratic approach to Muslim extremism holds that intervention by psychologists and other specialists can achieve “deradicalization”. Yet Kujtim Fejzulai, the terrorist responsible for the recent outrage in Vienna, easily deceived the experts. In Law and Liberty, Theodore Dalrymple argues that 21st century technocrats are no match for a 7th century mindset.
Spiked Online
The American election has exposed elite opinion-makers as an out-of-touch clerisy. The managerialist class of pollsters, media, big tech, and academia grossly underestimated Donald Trump’s popular support. Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill suggests that ordinary people still have their votes despite the scorn of the woke elites.
UnHerd
The world lost a profound moral voice with the death of Jonathan Sacks, Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, theologian, author, and politician. In his prodigious career he argued for a political morality transcending contractual obligations and based on “we” over “I”. Giles Fraser, writing in Unherd, tells why Sacks’ influence spread far beyond the Jewish community.
The Unherd
Western civilization embodies Enlightenment ideals, including France’s version in The Rights of Man. These are held to be universal truths applicable to all people and nations. Tom Holland, writing in Unherd, examines the tensions between the secular ethics of the modern French state and Islam, which melds the religious and secular.
The New Criterion
U.S. law prohibits funding universities that discriminate by race. The federal Department of Education thus grew alarmed when Princeton University’s president confessed that “Racist assumptions…remain embedded in the university structures.” In The New Criterion, Roger Kimball argues that the quest for equality has led to a fanaticism that betrays the university’s mission.
The Critic
Nations everywhere have allocated massive health-care resources to preventing Covid-19 deaths – most of which involve elderly people with significant comorbidities. Writing in The Critic, Ian Kidd and Matthew Radcliffe contend our Covid fixation has eclipsed other, equally fatal and important healthcare issues. They urge us to regain a sense of proportion and context.
The Spectator
Once known for its civility and liveability, Portland has become a harrowing first-world slum, as authorities stepped aside and antifa activists and assorted anarchists amuck. Douglas Murray, writing in the Spectator, wonders why America is allowing one of its major cities to be brought low by a pack of predatory beasts.
The Quadrant
Best known for 1984 and Animal Farm, George Orwell (1903-1950) was also a champion of the working classes, railing against “that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking towards the smell of ‘progress,’ like bluebottles to a dead cat.” A trio of writers in Quadrant attest to Orwell’s lasting influence.
The Claremont Review of Books
Americans can dislike Donald Trump all they want but, Michael Anton warns, Trump’s the only thing standing between the Democratic Party and its project dystopia. In his review of Anton’s brand-new The Stakes, Angelo Codevilla agrees. Writing in The Claremont Review of Books, Codevilla predicts a Democrat victory would trigger changes aimed at keeping conservatives out of power forever.
The Spectator U.S
Hunter Biden, the crack-smoking son of U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, has a penchant for partying and leaving things behind. Yet even in his dissipated state, he can negotiate self-enriching deals with Ukrainian oligarchs and Chinese Communist Party apparatchiks. Such superpowers are given to few. Cockburn, writing in Spectator U.S., is envious.
Unherd
Musicians rely on live performances to earn a living in the age of digital streaming. This revenue source has disappeared and the British state has told musicians to find something else. Writing in Unherd, Ian Birrel thinks this a short-sighted response, noting Britain’s music sector annually generates £5.2bn (Cdn$9 billion) and sustains – or sustained – 210,000 jobs.
American Greatness
Fairness and disinterestedness were ideals of American journalism. Yet in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the liberal media abjured these principles – openly and gleefully. Victor Davis Hanson, writing in American Greatness, argues that the wokester left is utterly disdainful of American democratic norms.
Spiked
Trump-bashing commentators were delighted when their nemesis was stricken with Covid-19. Writing in Spiked, Brendan O’Neill thinks many in the media hold a pre-modern view of disease, imbuing the virus with political and moral authority. Some pundits, suggests O’Neill, write as if Covid-19 has deliberately targeted the doubter-in-chief in a bid for “Karmic Justice.”
The Spectator U.S
As G.K. Chesterton alleged, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” Damien Thompson, writing in Spectator U.S., wonders if the neo-Puritanism of Kamala Harris isn’t a modern iteration of the anti-Catholicism of the Godly Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The American Mind
A current narrative posits that disparities in the life outcomes of blacks and whites can only be explained by systemic racism. In The American Mind, David Azerrad warns that if Americans accept that their society is steeped in racism, then any presumed solution would only intensify the demands of the aggrieved. 
Quillette
Simon Leys (1935 – 2014) was a distinguished scholar of classical Chinese art and literature, and one of the first westerners to recognize the appalling toll of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. David Adler, writing in Quillette, recounts Leys’ analysis of the totalitarian dynamics of China under Mao, and the ultimate fragility of civilization.
The Spectator USA
Two defining sensibilities of conservatism are an acceptance of a tragic view of existence and rejection of the perfectibility of man. Writing in The Spectator USA, Chadwick Moore explains how the chaos in the streets, the corruption of American institutions, and the pronouncements of Antifa led him to attend church and re-evaluate religion.
SHARYL ATTKISSON
The anti-Trump media delights in delivering bombshell after bombshell against the president. But as the Roman poet Juvenal once asked, “Who watches the watchmen?” Fortunately, independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson is on the job. Her blog lists 145 mistakes made by the major media in reporting on U.S. President Donald Trump.
The American Conservative
As the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century convincingly established, the conflation of politics and science is disastrous. Writing in The American Conservative, Brian Jones worries that Scientific American’s endorsement of Joe Biden is a betrayal of the spirit of scientific enquiry. Politicizing science doesn’t lead to truth or discovery, but to the absolutization of politics itself.
Law & Liberty
It is fashionable these days to view addiction as a disease and the addict as a victim, no more responsible for his or her condition than, say, one who has developed Parkinson’s. Writing in Law and Liberty, Theodore Dalrymple argues that conceptualizing addiction as merely another disease denies human volition, and ultimately de-humanizes the addict.
The Spectator US
The topsy-turvy world of Trump’s America has scrambled traditional political allegiances. For while the President’s character flaws are well known, the Democrats can be equally crazy. Bridget Phetasy, writing in The Spectator US, observes that the choices on offer in November have driven many Americans to despair, leading to an upsurge in political homelessness.
The Critic
Is COVID a once-in-a-century apocalypse that justifies shutting down the economy? UK statistics show that over the past 26 years, 2019-2020 is merely the eighth-worst season for flu deaths. Laura Dodsworth, writing in The Critic, argues imprecise metrics have led to grossly exaggerated fears and destructive policies. Ultimately we need a better way of counting the dead.
American Greatness
Truth is both an intellectual objective and a cultural value. Yet to defeat the Bad Orange Man, many in the American media have abdicated their commitment to truthfulness. Writing in American Greatness, Roger Kimball argues that the deceitfulness of the mainstream media has seriously damaged the “horizon of shared assumptions” that makes public life possible.
Quilette
To judge by the flurry of recent books and articles, liberalism is either dead or in the ICU. Writing in Quillette, Cathy Young advises that we delude ourselves if we believe classical liberal values are approaching their end days. Every attempt to build a utopian post-liberal future, she reminds us, has invariably ended in a regression to barbarism.
Spiked
Civilizations have always understood that looters were criminals and looting a sign of civil decay. A chorus of commentators has sought to justify looting since the riots precipitated by the death of George Floyd, however. Frank Furedi, writing in Spiked, argues that adopting the philosophy of violence must eventually overwhelm democracy itself.
The New Criterion
A current orthodoxy is that racism, prejudice and discrimination are exclusively the domain of white people. Anthony Daniels, writing in The New Criterion, reviews two recent best-selling books about racism. Daniels finds both volumes are poorly written, intellectually nugatory and self-indulgent.
City Journal
France’s penchant for translating abstract ideas into practical policies often has disastrous consequences. According to Pascal Bruckner, this tendency has reached new heights during the current lockdown. Writing in City Journal, Bruckner reminds us we’re never done with history’s uncertainty, and hyper-ratiocination only means we risk being deluded by a fantasy of omnipotence.
National Review
We don’t need to look far to find Gwyn Morgan’s “magically imagined world” (above). For decades, California pursued environmental policies “tethered to reality by the slenderest of threads,” to channel P.G. Wodehouse. Victor Davis Hanson, writing in National Review, recounts how a once-innovative and prosperous state has devolved into a civilization in near ruins.