In the Golden Age of the exploring colonists, the trailblazers were anthropologists, botanists, soldiers and, later, benevolent trading companies. These fine gentlemen categorized and conquered, bringing glory, wisdom and riches back to the motherland, but little changed for the farmers and petty merchants whose lives they jotted down into their notebooks. One hundred or so … Continue reading “Trailblazing”


I‘ve always loved needling Bill Kristol and his neoconservative buddies as lefties in conservative drag: their whole “national greatness” agenda is such a dead giveaway that I often wondered how anyone to the right of, say, John McCain, could possibly be taken in by it. In column after column, I’ve exposed and excoriated the neocons … Continue reading “SEDUCING BILL KRISTOL”

Eugen Richter on War and Empire

AN ECHT LIBERAL IN BISMARCKIAN GERMANY Somehow, in my last column I wandered into 19th-century Germany. I wish to dwell there long enough to say something about perhaps the most echt (“genuine”) of all late 19th-century German liberals, Eugen Richter. Anyone who has suffered through a standard course on the history of that period will … Continue reading “Eugen Richter on War and Empire”


A recent New York Post editorial deplored the deepening US commitment in the Balkans and wondered why the Bush administration wasn’t following through on Dubya’s campaign promise to get us out of that particular quagmire. Noting the President’s pronouncement that the "American contribution is essential, both militarily and politically," because "ethnic extremists are still stoking … Continue reading “THE BALKANS: WHAT IS BUSH UP TO?”

Defining Terms Unilaterally

Our political culture – insofar as it is intelligible to speak of such a concept – seems to have a gift for asking the wrong, mostly irrelevant, questions and then obsessing about them at great and usually unhelpful length. Thus in recent weeks we have heard a great deal about “unilateralism” and various talking and … Continue reading “Defining Terms Unilaterally”


The Balkans have long been the focus of the War Party, and now here’s your chance to experience the consequences of US intervention firsthand – while learning more about the ancient culture and uniqueness of the region. The Rockford Institute is sponsoring a trip to Serbia and Montenegro, September 17-28, and I’ll be going – … Continue reading “I’M GOING TO SERBIA!”