Headline, Nexus »

No One Wants to Wear the “Fascist” Label, Even If It Fits

By | March 15, 2017

Western democracy may be facing its biggest challenge since 1945. It’s easy to find parallels between Donald Trump, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the French National Front, the Alternativ für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany–AfD), and many similar movements and the fascist and national socialist movements of the interwar years. Racism, extreme hostility to the left, and Trump’s hints that he might not have accepted a …

Headline, Nexus »

Why the Gilden Age Lives on in Manhattan’s Historic Dream Homes

By | March 14, 2017

Sixty-six floors above Midtown Manhattan, Donald J. Trump lives in a fantasy world copied from the French royalty of the 18th century. His residence, an enormous three-story penthouse that has been valued at more than $100 million, embodies his tastes and expresses his understanding of himself. With floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto parts of his real estate and licensing empire, the penthouse was apparently …

Headline, Nexus »

A Government That Pushes Paranoia and Falsehoods May Undermine Its Own Legitimacy

By | March 13, 2017

“Nothing is more surprising,” wrote David Hume in his 1758 First Principles of Government, than “the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.”
What explains this surprising easiness? Trust is at the heart of the answer. Hume believed that since the people always outnumber their leaders (and thus retain the power of “force”), the legitimacy of all government rests merely “on opinion.” …

Featured, Poetry »

I am afraid he is in ecstasy #poem

By | March 10, 2017

That cloud: a white, fluffy boxing glove.
The amputated man that sits on the seat
of the cliff: I am afraid he is in ecstasy.
He stole a spandex dress from a seven-
year-old girl and donned it himself.
Amazing, isn’t it?
The woman with elongated breasts: she
seems to exit a Mario video game.
His unabbreviated thigh casts two
Their ability: to sketch two dark marks
on the side …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

How Abolitionists Fought—and Lost—the Battle with America’s Sweet Tooth

By | March 10, 2017

Today, land developer and businessman William Cooper is best known for founding Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But back in the 1790s, Cooper was a judge and a congressman who used his power to market a different sort of pleasure—American-made maple syrup—as an ethical homegrown alternative to molasses made from cane sugar, which was at that time farmed by slaves. …

Connecting California, Headline »

The Olympic Movement Is Relentlessly Corrupt, so Why Should Southern California Host in 2024?

By | March 9, 2017

Los Angeles should drop its bid for the 2024 Olympics—before it gets chosen.
It’s true that Paris has long been the favorite to be awarded the games during an upcoming vote in September. The Paris bid has broad international support, the City of Light has come close to winning the games in recent bids, and sentiment is on its side. 2024 would be the 100th anniversary …

Headline, Nexus »

How a Burned-Out Basketball Coach Rebounded in Ireland by Learning to Love a Lost Cause

By | March 8, 2017

“Time out!” I yelled.
It was something I said a lot that year, in the midst of a losing streak that would culminate in a dead last place finish. This was in the Irish Super League—perhaps the lowest level of pro basketball in the world—and I was the coach of the Tralee Tigers.
My team gathered around me on the bench, and I wondered for an …

Featured, Nexus »

In the Era of the On-Demand Economy, Government Must Consider Both What Citizens Want and What They Can Contribute

By | March 7, 2017

In the 20th century, the legitimacy of governments was based almost solely on the rule of law and the right to vote.
In the democratic upheaval of the 21st century, citizens still want the protection of laws and the ability to choose representatives, but those powers may no longer be enough to make government legitimate in the eyes of the people. In the future, governments may …

Featured, Nexus »

If You Want to Rule Brazil, Draw Power from the Streets

By | March 7, 2017

Last August, Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff was forced to step down from office after the nation’s senate voted to impeach her. But Rousseff’s true downfall came months earlier, when record numbers of Brazilians turned out in street protests to demand her resignation.
The deeply unpopular Rousseff wasn’t the first Brazilian leader, and likely won’t be the last, to lose her legitimacy after millions of people …

Headline, Wanderlust »

Are the Politics of Nihilism a Backlash Against the Enlightenment?

By | March 7, 2017

When I was a gloomy 16-year-old grasping to find some meaning in the world, my father gave me a tattered copy of social philosopher Michael Novak’s The Experience of Nothingness. Seriously.
There have been times over the past few decades when I’ve considered this “gift” a few yards short of insensitive and maybe even borderline teenager abuse. But I’m quite certain Dad’s intentions were …