Long-form essay
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The left’s obsession with symbols has gone too far

The article was originally published by Arc Digital on June 20th 2020. Protest is a symbolic form of politics. It is about sending messages. It turns public space — both physical and now virtual — into an arena where frustrations not satisfied by the formal political system are expressed with slogans, banners, and bodies. But … Continue reading The left’s obsession with symbols has gone too far

Protest and the pressures of lockdown

Was the lockdown the catalyst for the riots sweeping the United States during the past few days? The question will never be definitively answered, but it is difficult to believe that the psychological tension and economic hardships of shutting down society have not contributed to the unrest. Race relations in the US have long been … Continue reading Protest and the pressures of lockdown

Ancient liberties, novel dangers

Until very recently, the British political landscape was drearily familiar: each new argument about Brexit, the dangers of populism, or the excesses of cultural liberalism seemed identical to the last. It has taken an act of nature to force us out of that rut, but here we are. Thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak, the nation not only … Continue reading Ancient liberties, novel dangers

The politics of this crisis will be grim. We should prepare now.

Last weekend, which now feels like a lifetime ago, I nervously attended what will probably be my last social gathering for several months. Despite a general mood of uneasiness, at least one of my friends was hoping that there would be a silver lining to the looming Covid-19 epidemic. Did I not think, he asked, … Continue reading The politics of this crisis will be grim. We should prepare now.