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The Temptations of Power

In 1977, the French essayist, Jean-François Revel, published a tract with the title The Totalitarian Temptation. In it, he condemned the western intelligentsia’s faiblesse, which was at the same time dishonest, posturing, stupid, and evil, for Stalinist-style dictatorships. One might have thought—I certainly thought—that with the downfall of the Soviet Union, the totalitarian temptation had been exorcised once and for…

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A Politics of Nietzschean Righteousness

“After Buddha was dead people showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a cave, an immense frightful shadow. God is dead—but as the human race is constituted there will perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which people will show his shadow. And we—we have still to overcome his shadow!” So said Friedrich Nietzsche, insisting that although God is dead…

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The Man Behind the Curtain?

The Trump-era has been a boon to people inclined to bizarre or conspiratorial thinking. The QAnon online subculture—a group insisting that, any day now, Donald Trump’s secret plan to expose and imprison the “establishment” villains running satanic pedophile rings will come to fruition—continues to attract a shocking number of adherents. Trump’s 2016 victory also led to…

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Integrating Originalism and Stare Decisis

I was hesitant when the editors approached me to write something about originalism and stare decisis. The nature of this relationship has become one of the central questions for originalist judges and scholars, and an essay like this one cannot do justice to the range of answers now in research and development. Also, while I am moderately originalist-positive (some of…

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Canceled at Cal Berkeley

Richard Reinsch: Today we’re talking with Steven Hayward about travails in American higher education made possible through cancel culture and Steven Hayward’s particular experiences at the University of California Berkeley. With this unsettling development, Steven Hayward, we’re glad to welcome you back to Liberty Law Talk. When you were last on, we discussed your book, Patriotism is Not Enough:

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The Return of Strong Law?

We should be astonished. For years now, the epicenter of New Year’s celebrations in England has been the tens of thousands of revelers who gather around the pillar in Trafalgar Square atop of which is the statue of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson. A segment of the British public now wants him removed. Nelson led, fought, and died in the war…

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Assigning Blame in the Post-War Crisis

I am honored and grateful to read the responses to my article commemorating the anniversary of World War II. I thoroughly expected my respondents to accuse me of alarmism because I warned that “We are at risk of remembering World War II by fighting its sequel, teaching the war’s lessons by reliving them, and remembering its mistakes by recommitting…

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Repent—The End Is at Hand

Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door in Wittenberg, decrying the indulgence racket of a corrupt Church. Michael Moore, who despite the resemblance, is no Martin Luther, attempts something similar in 95 minutes of documentary bluster, aiming his invective at the high church of Environmentalism. Planet of the Humans

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