The Corner

U.S.

Classical (and Pessimistic) Liberalism

I think my ongoing disagreement with Michael Brendan Dougherty might be explained (Michael, I trust, will let me know if he disagrees) this way: Michael and other likeminded anti-liberals take a relatively optimistic view of the state and what it might reasonably be expected to accomplish, and a relatively pessimistic view of the people and what they might get up to left to their own devices. I take the opposite view: I believe that the modern democratic state is inclined to be slightly more savage and backward than the demos that constitutes it.

I think that in the American case the evidence is largely on my side. And not only in the American case: The Germans, it seems to me, are better than their government, though I think Germany is reasonably well-governed. The French certainly are better than their government. I would trust the first 2,000 names in the Budapest telephone book over Viktor Orbán and his mafia. But, if I am not mistaken, Michael is a little better inclined toward Orbán than I am.

Most Popular

Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More