Magazine May 23, 2016, Issue

Ideas Have Consequences?

Not in short-term politics.

‘Ideas have consequences” is a phrase conservatives of a certain age may associate with Rush Limbaugh. Before that, it was associated with the philosopher Richard M. Weaver, who published a famous book by that title in 1948, arguing that the Western world was in decline because William of Ockham convinced Europeans that there is no such thing as absolute truth, hence Buchenwald, Communism, and the oeuvre of Jackson Pollock.

(I may be simplifying Weaver’s thesis a little bit here.)

The belief that ideas have consequences is implicit in advocacy journalism; indeed, one obituary of National Review’s founder and guiding spirit, William F.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


The Apartment of Labor Scott Lincicome’s comprehensive and illuminating article “The Truth about Trade” (April 11) describes several government policies that have acted to exacerbate current labor-market inefficiencies. One could speculate ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ As Abraham Lincoln said, “You’re fired.” ‐ Protesters, many of them riotous, dogged Donald Trump in southern California. In Costa Mesa, they blocked an interstate, threw debris at passing cars, ...
Politics & Policy


THE SS NORMANDIE Confiscated from Vichy France, she sat In the Hudson for months until the fire. The smoke was so thick over midtown, rumors Spread the Japanese had attacked New York. The old transatlantic ...


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