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John Gray on Desert Island Disks

And his first choice, Bowie’s “My Way” — i.e. Life on Mars. Though he came to self-awareness in the ’60s he preferred the harder-edged and more poetic ’70s. His one item: a lifetime’s supply of Marmite. Sound chap. ConservatismDavid BowieHistoryIsaiah Berlinjohn grayKirsty YoungLiberalismLibertarianismmarmitePolitical philosophyprogressstoicism

Raymond Aron

Born on this day. In many respects Aron was the Jordan Peterson of his day. Below is Daniel J. Mahoney’s entry in the Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought. Raymond Aron (1905–83) was a distinguished French philosopher, political thinker, social scientist, and journalist. He wrote influential columns for Le Figaro (1947–77) and L’Express (1978–83) and played a…

In Praise of Moderation

The very excellent Elizabeth Corey’s First Things review of Aurelian Craiutu’s the Faces of Moderation: The Art of Balance in an Age of Extremes. Aurelian CraiutuElizabeth CoreyLiberalismMichael OakeshottmoderationPolitical philosophy

Anarchy, State, and Utopia: Critical Exposition

Below is an extract (the first section of Chapter 2) of Ralf Bader’s most excellent and crisp Robert Nozick (pp. 10-14). Famously, Nozick begins his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia with the claim: ‘Individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights)’ (p. ix). This claim…

Walker Percy in the Ruins: A Conversation with Brian Smith

Having just finished Brian’s book Walker Percy and the Politics of the Wayfarer (which I’ll discuss at length in a forthcoming review essay), I was very pleased to come across Brian’s lovely podcast discussion with Richard Reinsch at the Law & Liberty blog. Brian’s exposition of Percy is a paragon of clarity and thus makes for a most reliable overview. (His…

Liturgy of Liberalism

Adrian Vermeule’s review of Ryszard Legutko’s The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies.   Adrian VermeuleAge of EnlightenmentdemocracyfreedomLiberalismPolitical philosophyRyszard Legutkototalitarianism