Category Archives: America Incognita

The fringes, the factions and the disintegrating center of these United States.

Claremont Review of Books Episode XXV: Nathan Pinkoski on Revolutionary Socialism – Arming the people against revolution

Nathan Pinkoski, research fellow and director of academic programs at the Zephyr Institute, joins Spencer to discuss the Spanish Civil War and its implications for modern America. Contrary to the simple morality tale most people learn in school, the history of Spain’s Civil war was a complex demonstration of how a republic can die from self-inflicted wounds. Americans would do well to take note.

Source: The Close Read: Nathan Pinkoski on Revolutionary Socialism – Claremont Review of Books

*Dishcast w/Andrew Sullivan: David French On Religious Liberty, CRT, Grace

David is a political writer and former attorney who took on high-profile cases for religious liberty. He was also a major in the Army Reserve who served in Iraq, and before that he served as president of FIRE, the campus free-speech group. David now writes for The Dispatch and The Atlantic, and his latest book is Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation.

Source: David French On Religious Liberty, CRT, Grace

What Is Healthy Masculinity? | Institute for Family Studies

Healthy masculinity is when men flourish first for themselves, then for their families, posterity, and communities. A man embodying healthy masculinity knows who he is. He is physically healthy and strong. He is pursuing and developing his skills and capabilities to make him more competent and able to take action. He has a sense of agency, drive, and desire to make his mark on the world, not just have the world make its mark on him. He is someone who exists in a world where it is realistically possible for him to develop his potential, fulfill his own ambitions, and leave a posterity and a legacy for the future.

Source: What Is Healthy Masculinity? | Institute for Family Studies

The Ideology of Magic Words

The modern West has come under the sway of a credulous, intellectually-underdeveloped superstition that threatens its continued development and prosperity. This is, of course, woke progressivism. And like most primitive belief systems, progressivism has faith in the power and ability of magic words and fetishes to change or control reality. By fixating upon certain symbols which represent their ideological framework, the modern Left hopes to invest these symbols with the power to alter even the sensible world itself.

Source: The Ideology of Magic Words – The Neo-Ciceronian Times

The Ezra Klein Show: Anne Applebaum on What Liberals Misunderstand About Authoritarianism

The experience of reading Hannah Arendt’s 1951 classic “The Origins of Totalitarianism” in the year 2022 is a disorienting one. Although Arendt is writing primarily about Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, her descriptions often capture aspects of our present moment more clearly than those of us living through it can ever hope to. Arendt writes of entire populations who “had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true.” She describes “the masses’ escape from reality” as “a verdict against the world in which they are forced to live and in which they cannot exist.” She points out that in societies riddled with elite hypocrisy, “it seemed revolutionary to admit cruelty, disregard of human values, and general amorality, because this at least destroyed the duplicity upon which the existing society seemed to rest.”

It’s hard to read statements like these without immediately conjuring up images of Vladimir Putin’s Russia or Donald Trump’s presidency or the QAnon faithful. But that’s exactly the point: The reason Arendt is so relevant today is that her diagnosis doesn’t apply just to the Nazi or Soviet regimes she was writing about. It is more fundamentally about the characteristics of liberal societies that make them vulnerable to distinctly illiberal and authoritarian forces — weaknesses that, in many ways, have only become more pronounced in the 70 years since “The Origins of Totalitarianism” was first released.

Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for The Atlantic and a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. Her writing — including her most recent book, “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism” — is focused on the resurgence of autocratic movements and governments around the world, and why members of Western societies have abandoned liberal democratic ideals in favor of strongman leaders, conspiratorial movements and authoritarian regimes. And in the introduction she wrote to a new edition of “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” Applebaum argues that Arendt’s insights are more relevant now than ever.

So this is a conversation that uses Arendt’s analysis as a window into our present. Applebaum and I discuss how “radical loneliness” lays the groundwork for authoritarianism, what Putin and Trump understand about human nature that most liberals miss, the seductive allure of groups like QAnon, the way that modern propaganda feeds off a combination of gullibility and cynicism, whether liberalism’s own logic is making societies vulnerable to totalitarian impulses, why efforts by populist politicians to upend conventional morality have held such appeal in Western liberal democracies, how the ideology of “economism” blinds Western liberals to their own societies’ deepest vulnerabilities, what liberals need to do differently to counteract the rise of global autocracy and more.

The ESG Cartel

How do you control the Bull on Wall Street? Simple: you put a ring through its nose. The name of that ring is ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance scoring for financing and investment. Allegedly, ESG is supposed to provide a measure of a company’s long-term sustainability and profitability, but it is, instead, the tool of a small number of so-called “stakeholders” who are actually technocrats. The tool enables big investment firms like Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and others to effectively run a monopoly-trust, which is to say a cartel, without being in direct violation of existing anti-trust legislation. If you wonder why everything, especially every big corporation, is going Woke, ESG is your answer. Join James Lindsay in this quick episode of New Discourses Bullets to break it down.

Source: The ESG Cartel | New Discourses Bullets, Ep. 6 – New Discourses