Tag: empire

This week on The Learning Curve, guest cohosts Jay Greene and Mark Bauerlein interview renowned U.K. Oxford and ASU Shakespeare scholar Prof. Sir Jonathan Bate, discussing the timeless play Julius Caesar on the Ides of March. Sir Jonathan explains the Roman lessons for American constitutionalism, including warnings against the dangers of dictatorship and civil war. He explores the influence on Elizabethan England and Shakespeare of the classics, including the works of Cicero, Seneca, and Plutarch. Sir Jonathan explains the differing rhetorical styles Shakespeare uses in the funeral orations of Marcus Brutus and Mark Antony, as well as Brutus’ noble though ultimately failed effort to preserve the Roman Republic.  Sir Jonathan concludes with a reading from his book How the Classics Made Shakespeare, focusing on Cicero’s idea of “the peculiarly heinous nature of civil war.”

Stories of the Week

Oppression Olympics: Biden vs. Carter


Say what you will about Jimmy Carter, he and his large congressional Democratic Party majorities acted strongly to counter Brezhnev’s doctrinal intervention (invasion) of a peripheral Soviet client state, Afghanistan, while the Biden regime and his bare radical congressional social Democrat Party majorities are doing all they can to empower Xi’s ongoing genocide, to be followed by intervention (invasion) in “Taiwan, China.” The Democrats do so, both directly and by empowering the current Russian czar in his long campaign to reestablish the pre-1990 Russian imperial borders first established by Stalin, the Red Czar. Sadly, there are self-professed republicans, supposed liberty-lovers, who are also enabling the twin towers of 20th Century oppression to advance in the current era. This is especially bitter as the left’s advance in this country now appears to have reached another high water mark, short of forever truly fundamentally transforming America.

President Carter acted quickly against Czar Brezhnev’s Russian invasion of Afghanistan. In 1979, Czar Brezhnev sent Russian elite troops and armored columns south into Afghanistan, a move far beyond that any Russian imperial army made through the entire Great Game between the Russian and British empires. In response, President Carter, with the support of overwhelming Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, launched an ultimately effective set of countermoves, using the tools of national power other than direct U.S. military power.

ACF Founders #4: An Independent Empire


Friends, here’s my conversation with Michael Kochin about how to run a modern empire. His new book, An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in The Making of The United States, covers the American Revolution and the task of dominating the continent in the face of Indian tribes and European powers. We talk about the conflicts between means and ends in the early administrations, the rise and fall of the Federalist party, then the Republican party, the original parties in government in America, and the ways in which practical men like James Monroe might make better presidents than studious lawyers like James Madison, or the different kinds of Founders.

Member Post


Humanity is trapped in a vise. The two competing social models in the world–the small ethnic state and the large commercial empire–have proven equally prone to sudden outbursts of mass violence. Multi-ethnic empires are vulnerable to spirals of elite divide-and-conquer tactics that eventually trigger a civil war, while monoethnic states have a tendency to fight […]

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Member Post


Question:  Has there ever been a bigger drama queen in modern American politics than U.S. Senator Cory Booker?  This guy is a piece of work.  Under normal circumstances you’d expect to see a guy like him maybe standing on a street corner, spewing gibberish to passersby, or just to the thin air.  Instead, he’s a […]

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Books as Christmas Gifts: Agents of Empire


AgentsOfEmpireThe high point of my academic career, as a career, was a letter. It came out of the blue, and it invited me to apply for a senior research fellowship at All Souls College. That post is the acme of the academic world — at least in the humanities. One has a good salary, a place of high honor, high table meals, elegant surroundings, access to one of the greatest libraries in the world, and no responsibilities at all, other than to do one’s own research — and someone (or, more likely, a committee of someones) thought that I just might be worthy.

That was something — especially since, after the publication of my 1200-page magnum opus Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution, which had received stellar reviews, had sold out in hardback in short order, had soon thereafter been republished as a three-volume paperback, and is now slated to appear in Chinese, I had applied for job after job in history departments and never even gotten an interview. It confirmed, among other things, my suspicion that, in the 1990s, in the American academic world there was an unwritten law: “Known conservatives need not apply.”

But here was validation. In a less politicized academic environment, the work had not only been noticed; its author had been thought a plausible candidate for high honor.