Tag: History

Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the “Dark Ages” »

As the culture wars intensify in America, let’s consider some of the roots of these contentious conflicts. With the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 17th and 18th centuries, a “modern” narrative was invented to explain the history of the West, the wider world, and humankind’s place in the universe. This narrative claimed that liberty,…
Read More »

The Power Elite »

Women are equal Madeleine lusts for murder Hillary’s on board Uncertain prospect Cheney and Wolfowitz weep ‘Cause peace might break out Mission accomplished Bush II stages a cool stunt Women and kids die So sorry, Saddam No nukes, yet Shrub keeps his seat Condi skips debate No one’s in prison Guilty parties sit pretty…
Read More »

It’s Called Recovery, but Where’s the Beef? »

Many economists and other analysts have recognized that the recovery from the U.S. economy’s most recent contraction has been unusually weak—weaker, for example, than any other since World War II. But analysts have disagreed in characterizing the current recovery, which according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the semi-official arbiter of business-cycle chronology,…
Read More »

U.S. Government Debt Is Now at a Once-Unimaginable Level »

Earlier today I was looking through some old records, and I came across a flyer for a symposium in which I participated at Seattle University early in 1990. The flyer announced the symposium topic by asking: “A $3 Trillion National Debt: Does It Matter? What Can We Do About It?” The topic seemed timely…
Read More »

Politics Is Not Just Spy versus Spy; It’s also Slogan versus Slogan »

For as long as political and ideological movements have sought to engage large followings, they have embraced slogans and catch phrases that give pithy expression to their views, aversions, and objectives. Slogans are dangerous in that they substitute rote declarations for serious thought, yet they may sometimes serve a purpose even for thoughtful people…
Read More »

How Much Longer Can the U.S. Economy Bear the Burdens? »

Ordinary people, and sometimes experts as well, tend to overreact to short-term economic changes. The current economic malaise in the United States and Europe has brought forth a bevy of commentators convinced that this time the economy has taken a permanent turn for the worse. Never again, they declare, will we enjoy growing prosperity…
Read More »

The 100th Anniversary of the Christmas Truce »

This Christmas marks the 100th anniversary of the spontaneous “Christmas Truce” created by trench-warfare soldiers of World War I. All along the European front, soldiers lay down their arms on Christmas day, and took the chance that those on the other side would join them in observing their common holy day: A German soldier,…
Read More »

If You Like Rights, Liberty, and Economic Opportunity, Celebrate Christmas »

Those of us enjoying the multiple benefits of societies built upon respect for our human and economic rights ought especially to pause to give thanks for God’s incarnation as Christ, celebrated this week. There is thankfully now a rich literature from which we can learn how the many principles and laws we take for…
Read More »

All Men Are Brothers, but All Too Often They Do Not Act Accordingly »

In “The Communist Manifesto,” Marx and Engels tell us that “[t]he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” In a sense, I agree, although I define the struggling classes differently than they did. In any event, it seems clear enough from what we know about the past ten thousand…
Read More »

Small Business Suffers: The Riots, Past and Present »

Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Independent Review on the urban riots of the 1960s (and the Rodney King riot of 1992). Watching the events unfold in Ferguson, it seems those in charge of riot control learned nothing. Once again, the victims were small business owners—many of them African Americans (as…
Read More »