Magazine December 31, 2015, Issue

Reclaiming Traditional Education

Why we should study old books and beautiful things

John Stuart Mill described conservatives “as being by a law of their existence the stupidest party.” The present candidates for the GOP nomination seem determined to prove him right.

Marco Rubio took his shot at proving the Mill theorem during the fourth Republican-primary debate. Responding to a question about the minimum wage, he asserted: “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”

Rubio’s claim about wages is false. Philosophy majors and welders earn comparable incomes at the beginning of their working life, but philosophy majors do much better than welders over the course of their career. Rubio

Samuel GoldmanMr. Goldman is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University and the literary editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Quarterly.  

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Cruz vs. Rubio

Freud wasn’t talking about party primaries when he coined the phrase “the narcissism of small differences,” but he might as well have been. The similarities between Senators Ted Cruz and ...


Politics & Policy

Climate Play-Acting

Goalposts move all the time, but rarely are they disassembled and carted away, leaving the teams to circle aimlessly while the crowd roars and the commentators prattle on as if ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A New Christian

Just a few things are widely known about Augustine of Hippo (354–430 a.d.), whose designations are as lofty and sweeping as saint, doctor (= “teacher”) of the Church, and the ...
Politics & Policy

Mystery Man

Writing about Bob Dylan’s politics would seem to be a thankless task. The famously curmudgeonly songwriter claims to know and care little about the subject, and what he has said ...
Politics & Policy

True Grit

The movie poster for Room shows a young mother, head tilted back, garbed in comfortable-looking gray, swinging her little boy in her arms. He’s wearing a plaid jacket, a raccoon ...


Politics & Policy


Can Peace in the Middle East Be So Simple? In “The Islamic War” (December 7), Victor Davis Hanson wonders why Islamists despise us “all the more” as the Middle East has ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ It figures: Homeland Security has the only government employees who don’t spend enough of their workday on Facebook . . . ‐ Senator Cruz is rising in the polls, both ...
Politics & Policy


WINTER SONG As we unfreeze our rosy faces We envy friends in warmer places, Though we are wont to wish them well, Even those toasting toes in hell. We feast on heavy meat, creamed peas, Fried ...


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