For all his wealth, [George] Soros’s greatest influence comes not from spending his own money, but by inducing other people to spend theirs. This is most obvious in his approach to the financial markets. Soros’s reputation as a financial prognosticator is such that legions of investors hang on his word, and buy or sell at [...]
In the political landscape, seismic shifts first occur below the surface. Only after accumulating a critical social mass do they become visible. Until then, one can track their movement in the growing incoherence of the political language, and in the terms we use to describe our political choices, like “liberal” and “conservative.”
But, as even the [...]
– The Wednesday Morning Club, April 1 2009
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As my own death approaches, I weigh the life I have lived against what it might have been. I ask myself: Could I have been wiser, could I have done more? When I look at my life this way from the end, I can take satisfaction that I mostly gave it my all and did [...]
Unlike my father, I do not feel that life is a downhill run. Nor do I think of it as an arc that rises steadily until it reaches its apogee, tapers, and arches back to earth. The fate we choose is inscribed in multiple flights. Some follow the gravity of rise and fall, while others [...]
At Bates, the topic of my lecture was “The intellectual tradition of the left is bankrupt and its hegemony at Bates is an abuse of academic freedom.” In a rare departure from the norm, I had been invited to Bates by the dean of the college, even though, as he informed me shortly after we [...]
As an agnostic, I do not actually know whether the pictures stop anymore than the faithful know that they don’t. This uncertainty about our end is the one fact that links us more than any other. Pitiful ignorance about what matters most is the bond that unites us, believers and doubters alike. This is our [...]
The agenda of “Third Way” liberals like Weisberg and Marshall is to make the best of a bad situation. Since their brand of liberalism has portrayed McCarthy and his conservative allies as far bigger domestic villains than the Communists themselves, that liberalism is implicated in the behaviors of the left that have now been exposed.
Why the sudden interest in state and local politics on the part of national activists such as [George] Soros? An article by Jim Holt which appeared in The New York Times Magazine of November 11, 2004 provides an explanation. With Democrat power waning in Washington, many on the left have despaired of imposing their radical [...]
Isaac Deutscher was my friend and mentor and so I write the following with heartfelt regret. He was a brilliant, innovative thinker and literary stylist, but his life’s work, including his masterpiece on Trotsky, is finally a monument to the intellectual bankruptcy of Marxism itself. When all is said and done, the Trotsky biography [he [...]