Excerpt Author
Excerpt Author
is-america-a-shitty-country-excerpt Since I'm on the road today, I'm going to try something a little bit different—a more fractious accounting of what has been on my mind. I love this country, but I am clear-eyed enough to know that it also kinda sucks. What do they say about families? "Every unhappy
October 08, 2021
polarization-at-home-and-the-fight-abroad-excerpt Are new alliances among populists on the left and right possible after Trump—and after January 6? Is a realignment looming, or are we doomed to repeat the foreign policy fights of the past? And why does Carl Schmitt keep coming up so often? Shadi and Damir continue their conversation
October 08, 2021
a-democracy-if-you-can-keep-it-excerpt What is a democratic state? There are two ways to talk about it. In one telling it is a set of institutions that, through the mechanism of regular elections, manages the task of governing a polity with its consent. It is legitimate because its citizenry consent to be governed while
October 01, 2021
snap-out-of-it-excerpt Shadi and Damir continue discussing today's solipsistic politics, and talk about how a focus on first principles can help strip away the kinds of received wisdom that lead to complacency.
September 30, 2021
the-founders-didnt-believe-in-democracy-excerpt The founders didn’t like democracy. Few things have received as much attention as this, at least with the benefit of hindsight. But it is still striking to be reminded of it. As John Adams put it in somewhat overwrought fashion, “There never was a democracy that did not commit
September 24, 2021
the-missionary-position-excerpt In 1995, Christopher Hitchens published a provocatively-titled book called The Missionary Position, training his acid prose on none other than Mother Teresa. The vivid unpleasantness of the title is owed not only to the fact that it juxtaposes a revered celibate woman with the sex act, but that it associates
September 17, 2021
when-we-were-young-excerpt I've been in a reflective mood lately. Or maybe I always think I'm in a reflective mood. It could have been so much better. The counterfactual world where the United States never invaded Iraq is one I would have preferred to live in, for instance. But to have had such
September 10, 2021
a-more-repressive-world-excerpt Shadi and Damir debate to what extent American rhetoric and action on human rights actually deters bad actors around the world. Damir talks about becoming a malign agent of influence in Russia, and Shadi explains how only top-level leadership can unblock bureaucratic impediments to a more activist and engaged foreign
September 07, 2021
America’s Maximalist Phase is Over. There May Not Be Another One
America’s Maximalist Phase is Over. There May Not Be Another One Afghanistan has dealt a fatal blow to our entire way of thinking about the world.
September 07, 2021
afghanistan-and-the-end-of-maximalism-excerpt “Why do you think there has been such a furious focus on the pullout from Afghanistan?” a friend asked me the other day. “Yes, the images were horrific, the withdrawal has been ham-fisted, and the rhetoric has been callous. But all of this has been a long time coming.” It’
September 03, 2021