Revisiting Christopher Jencks, a liberal willing to shift his position

An appetite for empirical data and a willingness to challenge received wisdom

Revisiting Christopher Jencks, a liberal willing to shift his positionAmong the activities associated with moving house is the trawl through possessions you haven’t seriously looked at in years. Books are a prime example. In the process, I reacquainted myself with American social scientist Christopher Jencks. Born in 1936, Jencks began his career working at the liberal magazine The New Republic and the left-leaning Institute…

The messy transition to a ‘new world disorder’

Multiple nations are jockeying for power

The messy transition to a ‘new world disorder’International politics expert Andy Knight is working on a new book about the changing face of global governance and the transition to a new world order. Tentatively titled International Organization Today, the book will examine how the world has evolved from a simple system of international governance, driven mainly by the United Nations, to its current state of multilateral…

Three political dramas worth watching

Think of them as a form of therapy, a way of easing back to everyday life while still experiencing the atmospherics of the political arena

Three political dramas worth watchingIf you’re suffering withdrawal pangs from the wind down of the American election, here are three political dramas to assist your transition. Think of them as a form of therapy, a way of easing back to everyday life while still experiencing the atmospherics of the political arena. Subject matter aside, the films have two things…

A KGB guide to subverting the press to your agenda

The methods of a former KGB operative remain applicable in the modern era, leading to disinformation and outright lies

A KGB guide to subverting the press to your agenda“I cannot but wonder why are people pushing for socialism and communism?” an elderly friend wrote on Facebook. “Are they that misinformed and believing it?” If we concede the answer is “Yes,” the next question is “Why?” The late Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB operative with the RIA Novosti press agency, had some answers. One…

The nationalist revival versus the globalist perspective

The ties that bind aren’t what they used to be – at least for some of us. For others, they are increasingly intense

The nationalist revival versus the globalist perspectiveI’m old enough to remember when nationalism was viewed as a good thing. And I’m not just referring to my Irish childhood. In the Canada of 40 to 50 years ago, many high-profile progressives self-described as nationalists. People like former finance minister Walter Gordon, journalist Peter C. Newman and the luminaries gathered around the Committee…

Stephen Harper returns, and he has plenty to say

The former Conservative prime minister has advice for us on Trump, economics, immigration and more

Stephen Harper is back. After flying under the radar for the last three years, Canada’s former prime minister has returned to the arena, albeit not as an active politician. Instead, he’s a commentator with several messages to impart, all of which are packaged in his new book Right Here Right Now. Not everyone is impressed.…

Fear and loathing in the realm of Donald Trump

In the Trump world, money is the key metric and the truth is relative. Can the midterm elections change anything?

Fear and loathing in the realm of Donald TrumpNow that I’ve read A Higher Loyalty (James Comey, 2018), War on Peace (Ronan Farrow, 2018), Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff, 2018) and Fear (Bob Woodward, 2018), I feel like I really know the ultimate protagonist. The portrayals of U.S. President Donald Trump are remarkably consistent. He is: vain, compulsively in-the-moment, intellectually lazy, a misogynist…

Harry Truman completely unprepared for his accidental presidency

The inauspicious heir to the White House had planned to play poker the night Roosevelt died. Instead, he became president

Harry Truman completely unprepared for his accidental presidencyVice-President Harry Truman’s life changed on Thursday, April 12, 1945. That was the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died and Truman became the 33rd president of the United States. To virtually everyone, including himself, Truman was an inauspicious heir. Journalist A.J. Baime’s The Accidental President nicely captures the general bemusement. Born in small-town Missouri in 1884, there…

Feuding ideologies the second American civil war?

Conservative Arthur Brooks argues people can head off a cultural and political implosion by celebrating the perspective of the other

Feuding ideologies the second American civil war?Various commentators have concluded that America is in the throes of its second civil war. Dennis Prager, a conservative radio host, has concluded that the political left and right share no common value system (such as respect for freedom of speech), therefore there can be no collaborative coming together over core beliefs. He argues that…

Crossroads: the growing Republican divide

Rather than a positive endorsement of their world view, Republican electoral success comes down to a simple rejection of the Democrats

Crossroads: the growing Republican divideThe U.S. Republicans are at a crossroads. And no, it’s not down to the havoc – real and imagined – being wreaked by President Donald Trump. Or at least it’s not mostly down to that. The problem is more fundamental than one man. At the level of its political and intellectual leadership, the party isn’t…