The Forum remains Law & Liberty’s most important space for argument about the trends that shape law, politics, and culture. Here are the five most-read discussions of the year:
1) The Strange Rise of Bourgeois Bolshevism, by Nathan Pinkoski
We should contemplate American socialism’s fate: it deepens individualism and statism, and is not the rival but the patsy of state capitalism. It does not resist but serves managerial liberalism. American socialism is neither Marxian-inflected socialism nor Marxism, but it parodies their defects.
2) Remembering the War, by Paul D. Miller
World War II started when preexisting national grievances met economic catastrophe, which in turn led to ideological radicalization, the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism, and eventually international aggression—all enabled by the vacuum of global leadership by liberal powers. What lessons should we recall after seventy-five years in the shadow of World War II?
3) Can We Patch Up the Right?, by Gerald Russello
Conservatives should focus on how Americans actually live today and what set of economic and political arrangements make the most sense today. The current conservative alignment has an adversary in progressivism but its proponents are, in fact, also Americans. So conservatives need to rediscover common ground as Americans. People naturally are drawn to tradition and continuity. Any conservative patchwork should include all those who recognize that common human drive.
4) Civility in War-Time, by Elizabeth Corey
Civility is not much prized in our revolutionary climate because it is a deeply traditional practice. Civility in its highest sense might even be a love of neighbor and a willingness to sacrifice for him. At a minimum, civility asks that we be willing to listen, to consider, to be led to new positions, to give the benefit of the doubt, to be self-effacing, to put others first.
5) American Workers Do Not Need Unions, by Richard Epstein
The renewed debate over the value of labor unions on the right forgets some hard-won truths. Deregulation, lower tax burdens, more competition, and greater choice lead to productivity growths which is what working people need; not the promise of more unionization that will slow down growth in the future just as it has done in the past. With responses from Samuel Hammond, Michael Lind, and Mark Pulliam.