Crime and Punishment
Criminal Injustice

While the excesses of American policing are magnified by racism, they are also independent of it—and almost all Americans share some responsibility for our excessively punitive culture.

(Wikimedia Commons)
The Death of Expertise
The Pandemic Politicized

There isn’t a liberal or conservative way to fight a pandemic. Why do we act as if it’s otherwise?

“Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper
The Ties That Bind
Imagined Ideologies

Like all political identities, our current divisions are “imagined”—sentimental and tied to expressive symbolism. But that does not make them “imaginary,” or any less consequential.

Pablo Picasso, “The Weeping Woman I,” 1937 (MoMA)
Rabble-Rousing for Fun & Profit
The Outrage-Industrial Complex

In the culture of pervasive outrage, everything is an outrage, so nothing is.

(Wikimedia Commons)
Origins of Racism
The Banality of Bigotry

Trump’s blatant bigotry makes it easy to cast racists as loud, obnoxious villains who need to be named and shamed. But the most pernicious forms of racism today are systemic, not individual.

Diego Rivera, “Man at the Crossroads” detail (Wikimedia Commons)
Back to the Future
Neo-Socialism and the Rise of the Machines

Today’s emergent socialism is less an attack on liberalism than a wake-up call to mainstream politicians sleeping through the tech revolution.

In the Name of Sensitivity
Whitewashing Art, and History

Officials in San Francisco have set their sights on destroying a set of 1930s-era murals tackling the legacy of slavery and the Native American genocide. Why? The themes are too upsetting.

(Marcantonio Raimondi, Art Institute Of Chicago)
Culture & Ideology
Toward a More Discriminating Theory of Discrimination

These days, it’s all too easy to conclude that a decision one happens to disagree with must be motivated by invidious prejudice. And it’s easier still when the list of traits someone could “discriminate” against keeps growing and now includes things like “culture” and “ideology.”

The Character Question
Blackface, Call Out Culture, and the Evolution of Norms

Blackface in the 1980s might reflect the cavalier, ill-considered racism that was pretty much in the water at the time; today it would undoubtedly reflect a belligerent assertion of white supremacy. The same behavior does not always correspond to the same motives or presuppositions.

The Times They Are A Changin'
Just How Cold Is It Outside, Baby?

The tug of war between social expectations and individual desire that drives the Baby It’s Cold Outside controversy is rapidly becoming as anachronistic as the social rituals of France’s ancien regime.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2020
About Us Staff Contributing Editors Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service Privacy
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.