Our novelists, from Austen to Christie, spy hints of trouble lurking beneath the placid surface of civilized life.
In 2020, Law & Liberty continued to publish opinion pieces that grapple with the most serious issues in our politics and culture, as well as film and television reviews from a perspective you might not find elsewhere. Here are the five most-read pieces of the year:
1) Virus Deaths in Democratic versus Republican States, by James R. Rogers
If you listen to Democrats and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media, their leaders are just plain smarter and more caring. But if the Democrats were so smart and caring, then why this huge divergence of death rates between Republican and Democratic states?
2) Why the Left Is Losing, by Eric Kaufmann
Underlying the Left’s struggles is a realignment of politics away from the economic conflicts of the 20th century toward the cultural battles of the 21st. Instead of just talking about state redistribution versus free markets, elections increasingly revolve around questions of immigration, national identity, and domestic security. This disadvantages the Left.
3) Yellowstone and the Faded American Dream, by Titus Techera
Writer-director Taylor Sheridan wants to teach us by tragedy, so his protagonists are essentially honorable, which is no longer tolerated in our storytelling. Titus Techera reviews his tale of ranchers and their enemies in Bozeman, Montana, and asks: how we can raise honorable men if we tolerate bobo elites who despise honor and use every institution of government and market to end it?
4) Social Control and Human Dignity, by Benjamin A. Peterson
Why Glenn Loury offers essential conservative reading on mass incarceration, crime, and human development: The problem is not so much with what we do as what we fail to do, which is to allow for the human development of many people and communities, overly relying on a punitive justice system to control the results of social dysfunction.
5) Jane Austen’s Unlikeable Emma, by James R. Rogers
Emma’s remarkable virtue is revealed all the more through her quite serious vices. Accepting external chastisement requires extraordinary maturity, and even grace. Emma learning from her friend’s rebuke, when she had no external inducements to do so, shows us her striking, and hopeful, spiritual maturity.