When Is It Right (or Wrong) to Rebel?

Considering Syria Through the Writings of Thomas Hobbes Shows the Promise and Perils of Revolution

When protesters confronted the autocrats of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria early in 2011, many liberally minded people around the world hailed this Arab Spring as a moment of great hope, comparable to the velvet revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe. But the picture soon got complicated. Whereas the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes capitulated relatively peacefully, only the Tunisians secured democracy, as the Egyptian revolution was subsequently overturned.

Libya and Syria both descended into civil war. In Libya, the outcome has so far been an unstable political vacuum. In Syria, the …

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Only You Can Defeat Vladimir Putin

Russian Interference With America Is Profound and Systematic, So the Best Self-Defense Is We, the People

Vladimir Putin has done a masterful job of sowing hatred and confusion in the West. By tampering with elections, hijacking social media platforms, and cranking out reams of bogus conspiracy …

Can Spies Be Ethical?

In an Age of Terrorists, Agents for Liberal Democracies Must Balance the Need to Stop Bad Actors With Moral Responsibility

Codes of ethics help define our expectations of the professions. Teachers should not seduce their students; fund managers should not embezzle clients’ money; doctors should not harm patients. So too, …

The Sarcastic Civil War Diarist Who Chronicled the Confederacy’s Fall

Raised in Plantation Privilege, Mary Boykin Chesnut Was Unprepared for the Trauma of War and Defeat

“February 18, 1861…. I do not allow myself vain regrets or sad foreboding. This Southern Confederacy must be supported now by calm determination and cool brains. We have risked all, …

How Vain, Stubborn, Thin-Skinned George Washington Grew Up

Through the Trauma of War, and By Learning From His Mistakes, the First President Gained Empathy and Gravitas

At 21 years of age, George Washington was a very different man than the one we know and hold sacred, different from the stately commander, the selfless first president, the …

Before You Push That Big Nuclear Button, Consider the Source

From Intentional Hoaxes to Accidental Alerts, Our Interconnectedness Makes Us Vulnerable to Fear

Shortly after 8 a.m. on January 13, 2018, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out a chilling alert to residents across the state of Hawaii: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO …