C.G. Bateman (UBC): Socrates and Cicero: Functionality as Justice. Matt Qvortrup argues that Aristotle’s political philosophy is surprisingly modern. Have we got Machiavelli all wrong? Machiavelli is often portrayed as the first honest teacher of dishonest politics. Tim Parks on a no-nonsense Machiavelli. Montaigne on trial: What do we really know about the philosopher who invented liberalism? Skye C. Cleary on how Simone de Beauvoir’s political philosophy resonates today. Must God be a conversation-stopper for the political philosopher? A review essay on Leo Strauss by Miguel Vatter. The docile visionary, James V. Schall, SJ: David Paul Deavel on the life and thought of a remarkable priest, philosopher, professor, and author on the occasion of his 89th birthday.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign faced a fake news tsunami — where did it come from? How Russian Twitter bots pumped out fake news during the 2016 election. Did Russia attempt to influence Sanders’ supporters? If we are going to investigate the various ways that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election, this is a legitimate line of inquiry. Did Russia delete its Twitter mob? After our election, the frog bots dispatched to “undermine trust, create divisions, and foment chaos” crossed the Atlantic to plague France. Barbara Fister (New Mexico): Practicing Freedom for the Post-Truth Era. Is “fake news” fooling kids? New report says yes. Fake news spreads when people trust their friends too much. 2016 didn’t just give us “fake news” — it likely gave us false memories. This is how you stop fake news.

Agnieszka Leszczynski (Auckland): Geoprivacy. Stephen Galoob (Tulsa): Coercion, Fraud, and What is Wrong with Blackmail. In Ecuador’s extremely tight election, the Left defied the odds. Democrats won’t pay for opposing Neil Gorsuch: History suggests that voters don’t punish senators for their votes on Supreme Court nominees. The Susan Rice controversy: Zack Beauchamp on the latest twist in the Trump wiretapping saga, explained. Why the White House is boosting Mike Cernovich. Brittany Packnett on why white women must make the equal-pay fight more inclusive. Martin Hogue on his book Thirtyfour Campgrounds and the standardization and modernization of the contemporary campground as a familiar setting in the American landscape.

David A. Gantz (Arizona): Introduction to U.S. Free Trade Agreements. So far, Donald Trump has delivered almost nothing on his trade agenda. Nancy LeTourneau on Trump’s populist con job on trade. Trump is wimping out on trade. Of tweets and trade: Is Trump actually in a position to pursue the trade issue in any serious way? Trump signals he will seek relatively modest changes to NAFTA. Mexico’s bargaining chips with Trump? How about a corn boycott (and more). Mexico welcomes possible U.S. shift on Nafta, but mistrust of Trump persists. Trump’s NAFTA showdown likely to be a big mess. For Trump, NAFTA could be the next Obamacare.

U.S. trade deficit shrinks as global economy gathers strength. American jobs are headed to Mexico once again.

From NYRB, a review essay on the Kurds by Christian Caryl. Writings of obscure American Leftist Murray Bookchin drive Kurdish forces in Syria. John Judis interviews Joshua Landis on America’s failure — and Russia and Iran’s success — in Syria’s cataclysmic civil war. Syria and the Left: Behind the humanitarian disaster of the Syrian civil war is a political crisis the Left urgently needs to understand. The Left and the Syrian civil war: Evan Sandlin reviews Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami. Under Trump, Pentagon seizes more control, civilian casualties rise. Trump administration won’t disclose how many U.S. troops are in Iraq and Syria.

Rex Tillerson won’t condemn reported sarin gas attack on Syrian civilians. Trump tries blaming Obama for a deadly chemical attack in Syria. Like Obama, Trump was against military intervention in Syria in 2013.