Eric Crampton (Canterbury): Political Ignorance and Policy Preference. From Policy Options, Jeremy Kinsman on the eternal Russian question. From FP, Moises Naim on 3 myths about Venezuela and why the oil crash won’t keep Chavez up at night; and an interview with former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the U.S. war on drugs. Eric Werker on how globalization's losers win. From Vanity Fair, along with millions of jobs and 401(k)s, the concept of a shared national ideal is said to be dying — but is the American Dream really endangered, or has it simply been misplaced? The secret history of Bear Stearns' collapse: An excerpt from William Cohan's House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street. An interview with Nick Montfort on Atari and the deep history of video games. A case for American Dynasties: Sometimes, bestowing power on a family name makes sense. Mad and madder: Nicholas Lemann on what anger doesn’t solve. From Magazine Rack, on the battle of the women's service mags: Good Housekeeping vs. Ladies' Home Journal. From The New Criterion, Christophobia on the march: A review of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization; Anthony Daniels is Boxing with Mailer: On the ignoble science of boxing's hangers-on; and more on The Future of Liberalism by Alan Wolfe (and more).
From a conference at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Badiou, Eagleton, Hallward, Hardt, Nancy, Ranciere, Vattimo, and Zizek debate the Idea of Communism (and more). Totaled: Matt Bai on how DC could really save GM. Are we living in an age of sexual freedom, or are women more confused and unfulfilled than ever? An interview with Ira Lit, author of The Bus Kids: Children's Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation. From Cafe Babel, an interview with Richard Dawkins: "There is something illogical about the fear of death"; and is Benedict XVI stuck in the Middle Ages? A simple idea help make the world a better place: Children should be encouraged to find answers purely using logic. From guts to glory: It sounds miraculous — a machine to convert waste into oil, but the road to profitability has been paved with many problems and turkey carcasses. Real sex ed returns — but will Democrats axe abstinence-only? Discussing Hannah Arendt and the Viet Nam war, Cathy Caruth shows that images produced to justify war have a long tradition in the US. More on The Gamble by Thomas E Ricks. Roger Scruton on the New Humanism. From The New Yorker, Anthony Gottlieb reviews The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh (and more; and more from Bookforum); and birds, bees, fish: Ben McGrath on Isabella Rossellini and animal sex.
Yannis A. Stivachtis (VPI): Anti-Americanism in World Affairs: Can the United States Do Anything About It? From Doublethink, an article on the misunderstood philosophy of abstinence education; and an article on the black presidents before Obama. Wall Street isn't the only place with a fearful lack of understanding these days; whether it's horror in Hollywood or Mumbai, the digital era has become boxed in to the unknown. An excerpt from The Wreck of Western Culture: Humanism Revisited. From Eurozine, does press freedom entail an unlimited right to information on behalf of the public? When that information concerns victims of violence, the answer is no; a district court in Belarus orders that a recent issue of the journal Arche be destroyed; and faced with public funding cuts, the editors of Esprit write an open letter defending the role of generalist cultural journals. From Reason, a review of Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan by Kim Phillips-Fein and The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution by Gregory L. Schneider. Balancing banks: James Surowiecki on the aims of the Geithner plan. From Metapsychology, a review of Mental Causation: The Mind-Body Problem by Anthony Dardis; and a review of A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine.
From The Atlantic, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund Simon Johnson on The Quiet Coup: The finance industry has effectively captured our government — a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises (and an interview at TPM). The bubble next time: Daniel Gross on regulations that will stop us from acting crazy next time there's an irrational boom. From Newsweek, Paul Krugman has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic; he's deeply skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy. From TNR, Richard Posner reviews Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof and Robert Shiller (and more and more and more and more and more). From The New York Times Magazine, hell nay, we won’t pay! The arcane, obsessive and, well, way-way-out-there arguments (and characters) of the tax-denial movement; and the civil heretic: How did Freeman Dyson, the world-renowned scientist and public intellectual, wind up opposing those who care most about global warming? Jed Lipinski reviews Unplugging Philco by Jim Knipfel. Syria Calling: Can Washington broker new negotiations? Seymour M. Hersh investigates. An interview with Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!"