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Thursday
May 5, 2016


Now Playing

Calvary
(Reviewed August 29, 2014)

A portrait of modern sanctity which — very oddly, in my view — asks not to be taken too seriously

Boyhood
(Reviewed August 27, 2014)

The movie it took twelve years to make — about a childhood that appears to be taking much, much longer

America: Imagine the World Without Her
(Reviewed July 31, 2014)

Another foray by Dinesh D’Souza into the lists in order to break a lance on President Obama — and Howard Zinn. At least the latter is effectively unhorsed.

Ida
(Reviewed June 30, 2014)

An austerely beautiful film by the Anglo-Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski that could hardly be a greater departure from his earlier My Summer of Love

Diary
ENTRY from May 5, 2016

They’re demonstrating in Seattle about "capitalism" again. Young people, presumably of the hip variety now famed for supporting Bernie Sanders, rioted there on May Day. The Seattle Times reported nine arrests and several injuries to police, including one officer who was bitten. Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, noting that a recent survey found 51 per cent of young people, aged 18-29 described themselves as not supporting capitalism, wondered if the c-word "really isn’t the right word for the free enterprise system, the deep magic that has made America the richest, most powerful nation on Earth."

I hope it will not sound immodest in me if I mention that this is what I have been saying for years. As I wrote back in June of 2002, "capitalism" is simply the socialist word for life. You can tell because even under socialism there is still capitalism, in the form of the black market. Like life, markets will generally find a way to survive. Socialism can harass and suppress what it calls capitalism — now, often just by calling it capitalism — but it can never replace it. You can’t replace an organic growth of human enterprise and ingenuity with a merely theoretical system designed by intellectuals to transform fallen humanity into a perfect society.

Mr Pethokoukis’s point is to promote Bourgeois Inequality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Made the Modern World by Deirdre McCloskey. According to Ms McCloskey,
  Full Entry

Media MadnessMy book Media Madness, is available for order from Encounter Books. Less a polemic than an attempt to understand the origins of the mass media’s folie de grandeur, the book is a warning even to those who are deserting the big networks, newsweeklies and large-circulation dailies not to carry with them into the more attractive world of niche media the undisciplined habits of thought that the old media culture has given rise to. To order this book, click here.

Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback, is Honor, A History, which was first published in 2006. A study of Western cultural artifacts, from the epics of Homer to the movies and TV shows of today, it is focused on explaining why Western ideas of honor developed so differently from those elsewhere — and especially from the savage honor cultures of the Islamic world. The book then goes on to trace the collapse and ultimate rejection of the old Western honor culture from World War I until the present day and to suggest the conditions that would have to prevail for its revival.


Recent Articles

Politics Without Honor April 30, 2016.
 To put honor, trust, decorum in the service of self-interest is to misunderstand the meaning of the words — From The New Criterion of April, 2016 ... Full Article

A Man or a Mouse? March 31, 2016.
On the political consequences of the decline and fall of America’s honor culture — From The New Criterion of March, 2016 ... Full Article

The King of Tastelessness February 29, 2016.
Inexperienced? Maybe only a veteran of "reality TV" like Donald Trump has the right experience to be president today — From The New Criterion of February, 2016 ... Full Article

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