Magazine March 7, 2011, Issue

Accepting Limits

The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order: Defending Democracy against Its Modern Enemies and Immoderate Friends, by Daniel J. Mahoney (ISI, 240 pp., $26.95)

My favorite graffito is on the road from Alès to Nîmes, an hour from my house in France. It is inscribed on a gray metal panel of uncertain function by the side of the road, has been there for some years, and consists of a single word: Non.

This seems to me perfectly to capture one of the greatest prejudices of our age, at least among intellectuals: that to oppose and undermine or subvert is, in itself, always more intellectually demanding, rigorous, and generous than to support and sustain. It is as if they believed that the recognition that they had

To Read the Full Story
Anthony Daniels — Mr. Daniels, a retired doctor who worked in several parts of the world, is the author of Mass Listeria, a book about health scares.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Jailbreak Conservatives

To hear state representative Jerry Madden describe it, his effort to shrink Texas’s sprawling, 170,000-inmate prison system was pretty simple. “I figured we could either speed people coming out, or ...

Features

Politics & Policy

With the Warriors

Patrol Base Fires, Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan The view from this platoon outpost in southern Afghanistan is unobstructed, both visually and strategically. On all sides stretch flat, bare, ...
Politics & Policy

Pawlenty to Like

Kevin Krawczyk is disappointed. A manager at the Family Christian Store chain, he is hosting a book-signing for Tim Pawlenty in Lombard, Ill. “We were expecting more,” he says. The ...
Politics & Policy

A Frightful Democracy

What if the fundamental terms of our debate over Egypt’s revolution are wrong? Supposedly, the revolt that toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak presented American policymakers with an agonizing choice: Do ...

Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

Usable Past

I first started buying other people’s pasts when I wore second-hand clothes. Wide silk ties, tweed pants heavy as iron, cabana sets made “for the Stars of Hollywood” — I ...

Sections

The Bent Pin

The Middling Class

When American Anglophiles need a fix our drug of choice is Masterpiece Theatre, but the days of savoring Edwardian class hierarchies may be over. Our all-time favorite, Upstairs, Downstairs, needed ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

SAYING NOTHING ON WALNUT STREET For once thinking of the right Thing to say, not later on: At a Beckett play at Annenberg A Penn student snapped open A can as the second act started And ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Against the Seventeenth Amendment In an otherwise excellent article about the U.S. Senate (“The Sense of the Senate,” February 21), William Voegeli errs in saying that “the Lincoln–Douglas debates were the ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ People do have a lot of false ideas about Obama. Some of them think he’s a moderate. ‐ The guiding theme of President Obama’s new budget is “more.” Compared with ...

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