Are freedom and democracy obsolete?

The Prime Minister of Hungary has said what many people around the world have been thinking:  That freedom and democracy are obsolete.  With today’s complex economic and social problems, the democratic process is always checking and balancing itself, making it just too slow and polarizing, as evidenced by the political paralysis in the United States.  The most successful models that nations should be emulating, he says, are the authoritarian systems of Russia, China, Turkey, and Singapore. [Read more…]

Hillary Clinton breaks with Obama

Hillary Clinton played the role of a loyal soldier when she was Secretary of State, but now that she is not working for the administration and now that she is gearing up for a presidential run, she is harshly criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy, promising to be more forceful, proactive, and hawkish.  I wonder how the left wing of the Democratic party will take this. [Read more…]

The political roots of atheism

Atheists are always invoking science, but notice how often their arguments and rhetoric use political language.  God allegedly “oppresses” human beings, taking away their “freedom.”  They say that God is “immoral,” that, in the words of John Lennon, if we imagine no religion, “the world would live as one.”

In fact, as Nick Spencer shows in Politico, the origins of atheism in the West had little to do with the rise of science; rather, it grew out of radical political movements.  Marxism, of course, but before that the mindset of the French revolutionaries, with their anti-clericalism and opposition to the Catholicism that was allied to the old royal order.  Many of these revolutionaries were Deists, but others took the next step of atheism.   There were, however, some countries–such as the United States–in which the church did not oppose the new “liberal” ideas, so that atheism had little traction.   After the jump, a link to Mr. Spencer’s article and an extract. [Read more…]

Big corporations & big government

Progressives are outraged at the power over the government wielded by big corporations.  But, in a comment made in a column on a different subject, George Will observes that the big corporations wouldn’t have the power they do if it weren’t for the existence of big government, a creation primarily of progressives. [Read more…]

Towards a conservative foreign policy

We have gone from one foreign policy extreme (waging wars to impose democracy on people who don’t want it and who have no cultural or religious foundation for it) to the other (projecting a weakness that has given us Islamic radicals taking over Iraq, Russian aggression in eastern Europe,  Chinese aggression in Asia, a war between Israel and Palestinians, civil war in Syria, and a “new world disorder”).  Is there a happy medium?  What would a truly conservative foreign policy look like?

George Will reviews a new book on that subject that proposes things like “limited government” applied globally, the preservation of local cultures, and “armed diplomacy.” [Read more…]

Russia’s economic & political clout

Anne Applebaum points out that Russia has a smaller population than Nigeria or Pakistan, with an economy about the size of Italy’s.  But it has a lot of economic and political clout–possibly enough to thwart the recently-imposed sanctions for what Vladimir Putin is doing to the Ukraine and other of his neighbors–thanks to an intentional strategy of investing in politically-connected corporations. [Read more…]