​​A Millennial Technologist’s View on Jaron Lanier’s “Who Owns the Future?” The Center - “Lanier draws a straight line from the idealism and optimism that ‘information wants to be free’ to the dystopian problems facing today’s world, including but not limited to a declining middle class, filter bubbles, and dysfunctional politics.” Miles Lubin 3/26/2022
A Response to Cathy Young: Let’s Be More Dispassionate When Discussing Ukraine The Center - “Young knows all too well what a chilly climate for dissent can devolve into, regardless of good intentions. This can undermine the West’s moral high ground more than any Russia-backed stooge could.” Carlos Miguel del Callar 3/22/2022
Neither Putin Nor Russia Are “Based” The Right - “For a start, American conservatives are either unaware of or ignore that Russia has the highest abortion rate in the world and the third highest divorce rate.” Henry George 3/20/2022
Drivel’s Advocate: Why Nonsense Is Necessary The Center - “To us it should be plain that bad information accompanies the good: that it is (as death is to life) the necessary dark background against which one might see any light at all. “ Vahaken Mouradian 3/17/2022
Gods and Beasts: An Aristotelian View of the “Corona-Years” The Center - “Yet, today, what seems most poignant about this story of just a few years ago is not so much that the young man had the opportunity to meet his friend in person as that meeting face-to-face was still considered an essential requirement by either him or his community—the consummation, if you like, of their friendship.” Katerina Apostolides 3/15/2022
Children of Men: Are Birth Rates Declining Due to Anti-natalism or Economics? The Right - “For the first time ever, more than half of women aged 30 in England and Wales are childless. This is not a normative condemnation but a descriptive statement.” Henry George 3/8/2022
Ukraine: Reality Bites The Right - “Now, we face a second reminder of reality. First plague, now war has come to Europe, the biggest since 1945.” Henry George 2/28/2022
Bring Back “Bums”…and Then Kick the Bums Out The Center - “And we very much do need to start telling ourselves and these street people the hard (but ultimately more humanizing and compassionate) truth again: We need to call the bums by their rightful name.” Alexander Zubatov 2/20/2022
Right-Liberalism Won’t Cut It The Right - “Given the potential for a more populist conservatism that appeals to those seeking to reweave America’s weakened bonds of social and economic mutual loyalty, the right-liberalism of Murray and others is exactly the opposite of what is needed and wanted.” Henry George 2/11/2022
Dr. Fauci and Our Pandemic of Distrust The Center - “To challenge Dr. Fauci is, thus, to challenge a kind of revealed truth. Those who question Dr. Fauci are not merely expressing differing opinions; rather, they are apostates, ‘science deniers,’ ‘anti-vaxxers’ spreading dangerous ‘misinformation,’ and they are worthy of ridicule, censorship, and, of course, cancellation.” Chris Augusta 2/8/2022
In Reply to “Jesus Mythicism Is About to Go Mainstream” The Center - “As a former graduate student in religious studies and writer of the classics, it is deeply regrettable that the scholarship of the academy does not reach further and that century-old myths no longer of any substantial prominence in academic study still hold public sway.” Paul Krause 1/18/2022
The Great American Disconnect The Center - “A disconnect ensues: Even as the American public has indeed polarized, our elected representatives have fled to the extremes to an even greater degree.” Thomas Koenig 1/17/2022
Jesus Mythicism Is About to Go Mainstream The Center - “So, yes—my friend has a point: To someone who has never given a moment’s thought to whether Jesus was a real person or not, he does seem like an entirely fictional character.” Peter Clarke 1/14/2022
Remembering Sir Roger Scruton, Two Years On The Center - “At the time, I would not have guessed my encounters with Roger through YouTube and a handful of books would lead me to studying with him just prior to his death.” Paul Krause 1/12/2022
Against David Brooksism The Right - “The only thing Brooks’s ‘true conservatism’ is ‘responsible’ for, however, is progressivism’s thoroughgoing dominance of our culture. For Brooks, a ‘responsible’ conservatism must concede the moral legitimacy of every progressive ‘advance.'” Daniel Addison 1/5/2022
The Failed Attempt to Rescue Marx’s Labor Theory of Value The Center - “Without the notion of socially necessary labor time, nothing in Marx’s value form or overall theory of exploitation makes sense.” Jonathan Church 1/1/2022
The Power of Facing: A Review of “Christopher Hitchens” by Ben Burgis The Center - “One of the causes of tension with Noam Chomsky, for example, Burgis observes, was Hitchens’ recognition that the forces of anti-imperialism today are dissimilar to ‘Ho Chi Minh or the Sandinistas.'” Vahaken Mouradian 12/31/2021
Who Will Guard the Guardians: Dilemmas of Policing The Left - “Policing needs to be seen as a profession to whose ranks people of every class might plausibly aspire.” Tom Farer 12/30/2021
What Karl Marx Got Wrong About Value The Center - “As a matter of economics, scarcity is the source of all value, even if it is a combination of ‘manufactured’ scarcity via monopoly control and relative scarcity due to the costliness of extraction and the preferences of consumers.” Jonathan Church 12/27/2021
Editor’s Choice: The Best Interviews of 2021 The Center - Here are our editor’s choices for his favorite interviews of this past year. Erich J. Prince 12/21/2021
Editor’s Choice: The Best Articles of 2021 The Center - “As is tradition at Merion West, here are our editor’s choices for his favorite Merion West articles of this past year.” Erich J. Prince 12/15/2021
The Material Roots of Wokeness The Right - “So, the fact that what is now called wokeness is a minority persuasion, believed by a small group of elite left-liberals and pursued through the instruments of the managerial state and corporate oligarchies, should not be surprising.” Henry George 12/12/2021
From Libertarianism to National Conservatism The Right - “National Conservatism, one strand of a broader emergent post-Cold War fusionist conservative movement, has the potential for both capturing youthful energy and enthusiasm while grounding and directing it with prudence and realism.” Henry George 11/24/2021
Keeping Wounds Green The Left - “In the aftermath of the fiasco that was the Fall of Kabul, it was predictable that American commentators would detect a mirroring effect of the Afghan loss on political crises in the United States.” Eric Rauth 11/22/2021
Excerpt: “Setting the Bar” The Center - “I pedal away with an all-too-familiar question bouncing around my head: ‘What are we doing to these kids?'” Shane Trotter 11/15/2021
Excerpt: “Screen Captures: Film in the Age of Emergency” The Left - “The End of Suburbia lays out the argument that with oil production peaking somewhere around 2027–28, and from then on heading into a steep decline, the living standards of those in suburbia will decline also.” Stephen Lee Naish 11/12/2021
The Queens on the Throne of Kings The Left - “Presiding over a declining empire is more arduous than presiding over one that is rising.” Vishwas Gaitonde 11/8/2021
“Is Nothing Sacred?” The Center - “And this is exacerbated by a situatedness in a contemporary culture that has removed the sort of guardrails that would tell a would-be troublemaker that to defile something like a grave or a tribute to those lost in a mass casualty terrorist attack is unacceptable…” Erich J. Prince 10/28/2021
Libya, Syria, and the Future of Intervention The Center - “No country, even the most powerful, can save lives in every conflict, but if it judges itself to be able to and its conscience is sufficiently moved by the killing, it should step in.” Michael D. Purzycki 10/22/2021
My Generation Is Afraid to Live The Center - “We are inheritors of incredible cultures, yet we have no appreciation or understanding of them. We have more informational resources than any generation prior, yet we are as ignorant as ever.” Jordan Stout 10/20/2021
What Punk Rock Has Taught Me about the Radical Left The Center - “The question, of course, is why an underground counterculture known for its outspoken, contrarian, and anti-authoritarian attitude would toe the woke party line, disavow empiricism, and do the bidding of elite ideologues rather than admit that the emperor is naked.” Gerfried Ambrosch 10/14/2021
“Heroism” and the “World Soul” at Jena The Center - “The flattering portrait Hegel wrote of Napoleon to his friend has subsequently spiraled into mythic legend. Why did Hegel have this seemingly lofty view of Napoleon?” Paul Krause 10/13/2021
Roberto Calasso: A Man Possessed The Center - “Roberto Calasso passed away this year at the age of 80. There is no one quite like Roberto Calasso; perhaps there is no one remotely like Roberto Calasso.” Chris Augusta 10/12/2021
The Mirage of Media Objectivity The Center - “Writing becomes a contest between mutually incompatible conceptions of public life. We do not simply have varying prescriptions for social ills; the afflictions we observe are fundamentally different.” Vahaken Mouradian 10/11/2021
Review: “The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality” The Left - “Now, given that genetics matters for these things, which, in turn, drive inequality, we should take genetics seriously if we are truly committed to egalitarianism.” Néstor de Buen 10/7/2021