Forgiving All Debt Is a Step in the Wrong Direction The Center - “In financial markets, the basic unit of cost is risk.” Jonathan Church 2/5/2021
The Curious History of Tijuana Bibles The Center - “However, dive a little deeper, and one finds a curious form of expression that—for all of its subversion of the law and public morality—was just as vibrant and popular as the subjects being parodied.” Carlos Miguel del Callar 2/5/2021
A Fatal Convergence: What Led to the Storming of the U.S. Capitol  The Center - “They persuaded 138 Republican members of Congress to vote against the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, the most significant demonstration of no confidence in American democracy since the secession of the Confederate states.” Adam Wakeling 2/4/2021
Review: Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay’s “Cynical Theories” The Center - “…it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the authors might have profitably started with an opening chapter dedicated to early American identity politics as well as postmodernism.” Brian Russell Graham 2/4/2021
Immanuel Kant: a Conservative Philosopher as Much as a Liberal One The Center - “This suggests that Kant’s Copernican turn in metaphysics, in both the theoretical and practical spheres, has the potential to be interpreted in both liberal and conservative directions.” Michael Gregory 2/3/2021
Finding Value in Diversity Training: the Case of Microaggressions The Center - “That is why in my work with schools and non-governmental organizations I try to model an open and judicious approach to CSJ orthodoxies, one that sifts through the kooky stuff in order to highlight the important parts.” David Ferrero 1/31/2021
What Is the Intellectual’s Duty to Society? The Center - “In his new book, Hope & Scorn: Eggheads, Experts, and Elites in American Politics, historian Michael J. Brown adeptly probes questions such as these as he delves into ‘the uncertain role of intellectuals in a democracy.'” Thomas Koenig 1/30/2021
Journalism Deserves Better Than Mehdi Hasan The Right - “Without a doubt, journalism of this nature is as irresponsible as it is biased.” J. Edward Britton 1/29/2021
Kant: the Greatest Liberal Philosopher? The Left - “So what, then, makes someone a liberal? In this piece, I am going to argue that the philosophy of Immanuel Kant provides some clues.” Matt McManus 1/29/2021
Francis Fukuyama: Making Identity Politics Work The Center - “One of the core conclusions of Fukuyama’s Identity is that identity politics—the ‘demand for [political] recognition of one’s identity,’ whether that be a racial, ethnic, religious, or national identity—is here to stay.” Thomas Koenig 1/25/2021
Twitter Bans: a Portal into “the Synthetic State” The Right - “Thus, corporate policy at Google, Apple, Amazon, et al. becomes a second set of laws by which Americans must live.” Eddie Ferrara 1/24/2021
How to Honor the Legacy of Michael Brooks The Left - “When it comes to theorizing about cosmopolitan socialism, Michael, unfortunately, passed on before he could spell out the details. However, we can infer much from his criticisms of conservative histories.” Matt McManus 1/21/2021
“After Trump” The Center - “In what ways can we further immunize our governing institutions from the political malaise of today and tomorrow?” Thomas Koenig 1/19/2021
A Brief History of Nothing (Part II): Something for Nothing The Center - “We presumed to be no longer worshipping anything, but were we not actually worshipping Nothing?” Chris Augusta 1/16/2021
Desperately Seeking Consistency The Center - “And, as Michael Lind pointed out in Tablet, Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill was not the only Capitol Hill taken over by extremists thanks to a lax police presence—witness ultra-progressive Seattle.” Michael D. Purzycki 1/15/2021
Transgender Rites: How Trans Activism Manipulates Public Opinion The Center - “The notion that gender identity is a matter of self-identification, separate from biological sex, not only flies in the face of science but also leads to circular reasoning.” Gerfried Ambrosch 1/15/2021
Our First Year without Roger Scruton The Left - “At his best, Scruton was a panoramic thinker of formidable intellect who puts to shame many of the lesser polemicists who have followed in his giant footsteps.” Matt McManus 1/14/2021
What Ails Us? The Center - “The loss of faith in America, its promises, and its constitutional and democratic ideals augurs not only American decline, but American collapse.” Thomas Koenig 1/12/2021
Ludwig Wittgenstein: a Post-Modern Philosopher? The Left - “Struck by this realization, Wittgenstein insisted that the best thing now was simply to stop doing philosophy and to try and find in life what could not be said with certainty.” Matt McManus 1/10/2021
The Historic Unifying Potential of the U.S. Constitution The Center - “Professor McConnell’s extensive study of the substance and scope of presidential power under the Constitution has convinced me that the unifying capacity of the Constitution could perhaps be revived.” Thomas Koenig 1/6/2021
Book Announcement: “The Emergence of Post-Modernity” The Left - “This is one of the reasons for the remarkable loneliness and alienation from others many have detected in the post-modern landscape.” Matt McManus 1/5/2021
From Pornography to Agriculture: Challenging Hierarchy The Left - “At the core of this analysis is a claim that, at first glance, may seem to be a stretch: The erosion of human dignity in our broken world starts with the erosion of the planet’s soils.” Robert Jensen 1/4/2021
Yoram Hazony’s “NatConTalk”: Enlarging the Conservative Conversation The Right - “NatConTalk is a recent entrant into the conservative conversation, or what remains of such under the hegemony of social media, our contemporary digital coliseum.” Henry George 1/3/2021
Fitter and Happier? Work after the Coronavirus The Left - “Of all changes that have already been made to mitigate the threat of the deadly virus, the way we work has arguably undergone the biggest transformation.” Al Binns 1/1/2021
Editor’s Choice: the Best Interviews of 2020 The Center - As has become something of a tradition each year at Merion West, here are our editor’s choices for his favorite interviews of this past year. Erich J. Prince 12/31/2020
Walter Lippmann and the Dilemma of Democracy The Center - “In his 1922 book, Public Opinion, Lippmann notes that in a representative democracy, members of the public are expected to form opinions regarding public affairs with which they have no direct contact.” Thomas Koenig 12/29/2020
Editor’s Choice: the Best Articles of 2020 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 12/26/2020
An Experiment in (Lefty) Roleplaying? The Left - “Sadly, for past the 40 years, this yearning for an impossible yet fantastical other is one that has become increasingly shared by those on the Left.” Al Binns 12/21/2020
An Enchanted Christmas with John Wesley The Center - “Wesley’s hymns remind us of all that is good in the world and all that is true about the human condition.” Paul Krause 12/20/2020
Kristof and WuDunn’s “Tightrope”: an Essential Book The Center - “Whether one agrees with none, some, or all of their policy prescriptions, Tightrope approaches the status of a must-read.“ Thomas Koenig 12/19/2020
Slavoj Žižek, Leszek Kołakowski, and the Ontological Gap The Center - “I would argue that we must vigilantly guard against viewing ourselves as gods or otherwise infusing and inflating our fallible natures and politics with a divine authority.” Nick Opyrchal 12/17/2020
Escaping Tumblr The Center - “I was also on Tumblr with an agenda. Over the past ten months, I had stumbled deeper and deeper into the neurodiversity movement, which frames autism as an identity as well as a disability and blames society for ‘oppressing’ autistics.” Lucy Kross Wallace 12/17/2020
A Brief History of Nothing The Center - “Historically, human beings worshipped gods or God; modern secular man worships Nothing.” Chris Augusta 12/16/2020
Blowing Up “The Big White Ghetto” The Center - “Williamson puts his finger on a certain, pervasive resignation that hobbles so many lower-class Americans—a resignation that must be explicitly attacked if our nation is to live up to its promises…” Thomas Koenig 12/15/2020
Four Ways Freedom Has Been Understood The Left - “In this brief article, my final for the year, I will discuss four different ways freedom has been conceived of in the European philosophical tradition.” Matt McManus 12/14/2020