It's Time to Sort the University
Sortition can make the university system more egalitarian.
Sortition can make the university system more egalitarian.
Samuel Moyn argues that Cold War liberals abandoned liberalism's revolutionary promise.
Western liberals have not extended the same solidarity to the Palestinian people that they did to the Ukrainians.
Joe Biden started his political career blasé about the Vietnam War. He is ending it blasé about Palestinian genocide. In 1972, while campaigning for his first term in the senate, Joe Biden couldn’t muster up the moral outrage needed to condemn the Vietnam War. Despite the twenty-fold increase in
Identity politics is vital for liberalism precisely because oppression is never neutral, color-blind, or universal.
From Russia to China, from Azerbaijan to Israel and Palestine, fascist political projects are gaining strength.
To be a liberal is to be for the party of humanity: For human rights and human dignity for all persons regardless of nation, color, or creed. Last Saturday, Hamas perpetrated a horrific attack on civilians, in violation of these universal rights. Hamas should immediately free its hostages without condition.
Liberal institutions straightway cease from being liberal, the moment they are soundly established: once this is attained no more grievous and more thorough enemies of freedom exist than liberal institutions! One knows, of course, what they bring about: they undermine the Will to Power, they are the levelling of mountain
“How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” This question, asked by English writer Samuel Johnson in 1775, still touches a nerve today. Americans on the one hand carry the pride of one of the oldest sets of representative institutions in the
It is not easy to leave your home and move elsewhere. It’s harder when you are moving to another country, leaving behind your old home and neighborhood, and harder still when you are fleeing persecution and violence because of who you are. These difficulties are only compounded when the
In the context of castigating authors’ servile dedications to superiors, and dedicating his own (1757) Four Dissertations to his cousin the playwright John Home, David Hume offers ‘liberty of thought’ as an example of ‘true liberty.’ When I first read it, I thought he meant to discuss what we now
In 2016, the Washington Post ran a remarkable piece of journalism. Derek Black, a pedigreed, up-and-coming white nationalist leader had experienced an ideological transformation while a student at the New College of Florida. After he was outed by another student as a white nationalist, the school reviewed Black’s academic
In his bestselling new book, America’s Cultural Revolution: How The Radical Left Conquered Everything, Christopher F. Rufo describes a pivotal moment in the history of critical theory: the 1969 break between two of its leading thinkers: Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno. The men were early members, and for decades,
The latest person touted as national conservatism’s trendy intellectual is more than a little sympathetic to fascism—quelle surprise. Former DeSantis staffer Nate Hochman has joined Pedro Gonzalez as another DeSantis orbiter unable to stay off the third rail of modern conservative politics: being an (open) fascist. Gonzalez, an
…We may reject the contention that the ordering of institutions is always defective because the distribution of natural talents and the contingencies of social circumstance are unjust, and this injustice must inevitably carry over to human arrangements. Occasionally this reflection is offered as an excuse for ignoring injustice, as if
In 1774, Thomas Paine arrived in America having left a string of odd jobs, a twice-failed career as an Excise officer, and the remnants of two marriages back in England. The pamphlets he penned in America served as the spark (Common Sense) and the fuel (the Crisis series) for a
Many liberal theorists have an implied distaste for politics. One prominent type of this liberal anti-politics presupposes a harmony of interests. This is visible, for example, in the following passage in Rawls: “Assume further that expectations are close-knit: that is, it is impossible to raise or lower the expectation of
Sex and Gender. These are the terms at the heart of the latest right-wing moral panic, used to explain why trans people are who they say they are—or why they aren’t. In common parlance, ‘sex’ usually refers to the physical attributes of an individual’s body, while ‘gender’
The entrance of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. into the Democratic Primary and announcement that Cornel West will be seeking the nomination for the Green Party in 2024 have both sought to turn what is usually the automatic re-nomination of a presidential incumbent into a heated contest between rival factions like
Those who live in the West have the tendency to view history, and their societies in particular, as getting more progressive with time. It certainly does make sense in many instances. Same-sex relations were criminal in the past, now they are completely legal, with Western countries increasingly allowing gay marriage.
Thomas Nipperdey began his magisterial history of modern Germany proclaiming, “in the beginning there was Napoleon.” In the popular conception of G. W. F. Hegel as a political philosopher, Nipperdey’s notion can be inverted: “In the end, there was Napoleon.” So many accounts of Hegel’s political philosophy begin
There’s a new program of anti–trans and increasingly anti-queer simpliciter politics sweeping across America. After they lost on gay marriage in courts of public opinion and Supreme, Republicans went looking for a new bogeyman. They found it in trans people. Their new hate campaign is focused on the
This essay is cross-published on Substack for the author’s paying subscribers. In the Smithian version of its origin story, liberalism takes the modern (Mercantile) state for granted and understands itself from the start as a reformist and ameliorative project of the many violent tendencies in it. The key conceptual-political
Conservatives recently had an apoplectic fit over Bud Light’s product placement making some sort of partnership with transgender TikTok personality Dylan Mulvaney. There have also been conservative freakouts at Mulvaney partnering with Nike, a man screaming obscenities over a Lego pride set, and around one stupidly outraged viral tweet
For friends of liberalism, to be liberal-minded means possessing a broad curiosity about all things unbridled by prejudice or contempt. As the Roman playwright Terence once put it: “I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me.” For critics of liberalism this self-ascribed broadmindedness is either or
Since 1980, the average price of tuition has risen over 1000%, far outpacing the rate of inflation. This presents a challenge for teenagers who are graduating high school and planning their next steps. While college has historically led to an outsized increase in wages over time, students are now re-evaluating
I am a child of the 90s. America had emerged from the long twilight struggle of the Cold War victorious, materially and ideologically: liberal capitalism was, it was said, the end of history. As such it was hoped that free trade and free exchange would slowly see the People’s
Liberals have an environmental problem. Many, if not most, liberals understand that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions and associated environmental problems require a concerted political response. Yet as a political movement fundamentally committed to the value of the individual, liberalism hasn’t always had much to say about
It may be difficult to believe today, but Congress was once a force to be reckoned with. The pinnacle of this, of course, was Reconstruction, during which Congress regularly overrode the president’s veto and even impeached one for the first time. Most significantly, the Reconstruction Congress regularly put the
Recent decades have been kind to liberal and Marxist attempts at dialogue. But old animosities are like Henry Kissinger; they die slowly. Of course there are still considerable disagreements between liberals and Marxists on a wide variety of issues. This is especially true of classical liberals and libertarians, who still
The discourse about the structure of the world political order has come to turn increasingly around the question of ‘poles’ of geopolitical power—centers of influence and control, usually assumed to be particularly influential nation states, around which others orbit. Most recently, France’s president Emmanuel Macron declared, after discussions
Editor’s Note: Eden Knight (2000–2023) was a Saudi Arabian trans woman studying computer science in the United States. After her visa expired, she began the process of seeking asylum. During this time, she was contacted by Michael Pocalyko and Ellen Cole, who promised to help her with her