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Who’s Minding the App Store?

A conversation on internet platform policy and economics hosted by American Affairs and American Greatness, featuring panelists Mark W. Koran, Minnesota State Senate (R-32); Blake Masters, Thiel Capital; Fiona McFarland, Florida House of Representatives (R-72); and J. D. Vance, Narya Capital…

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How We Forgot Foucault

Late last year, British trade minister Liz Truss caused a stir with a speech that pinned the failures of the British education system on “postmodernist philosophy,” which, she said, “puts societal power structures and labels ahead of individuals and their endeavours.” Due to the influence of such views, she went on, students learn about racism…

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Planet of the Grifters

The word “grifter” seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue today. On the left, grifters are identified and called out with ever-increasing paranoia. On the right, the term is thrown around with almost equal ease, and often with good cause. The grifter is a threat to every movement; he lurks in every shadow.…

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Does Populism Matter?

The surprising success of the Trump 2020 campaign in the face of unprecedented circumstances poses some thorny questions: Did any of his “populist” promises in 2016 actually matter? Where was the discussion of mass immigration, his trade war with China, declaring peace with the social welfare state, and using the pandemic economic response…

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The Terrain of Discourse

It says something about Donald Trump’s presidency that it is difficult to distinguish his final days in office from his final days on social media. He was the tweeting president, the man of all-caps missives who battled mainstream media and communicated directly, often wildly, to the public through social media. Whatever one thinks of Trump…

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The Myth of Internet Exceptionalism: Bringing Section 230 into the Real World

As it turns out, the internet is not that exceptional after all. It may be one of the greatest inventions since the printing press, as the cliché goes, and it has unquestionably revolutionized communication and commerce. But as David Pierce observed in Protocol shortly after the January 6 Capitol riot, “Everything is IRL” now. “[T]he…

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Presidential Apprentice: Reality TV and Performance Legitimacy

Some, perhaps Donald Trump himself, saw the Trump campaign as an infotainment experiment from the beginning. Others, especially his most passionate critics and fans, still resist this conclusion. Re­gardless, there is an analytical utility to viewing the Trump presidency as a multi-season television series called Presidential Apprentice, an extension…

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The Montesquieu of Montreal and the Decline of the American Empire

Back in the mid-2000s, right around the time of America’s second conflict with Saddam Hussein, the idea of the decline of America (or of the West) began to resurface in political discourse. While most commentators still spoke of America as an “indispensable nation” in the midst of a “unipolar moment,” keen observers suspected that the…

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Understanding Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism has long been viewed as undesirable in the Western world because it represents the “wrong” values and is a political system completely incompatible with Western liberal demo­cracy. For several decades, it was assumed that authoritarian systems would eventually collapse. This liberal democratic, media-driven view of authoritarianism, however, does little to help us understand how authoritarian governments function and why they persist…

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The Eternal Return of “Technical Government” in Italy

Several commentators have taken Trump’s departure from office to mean that the so-called populist tide is ebbing and that we are witnessing the return to a pre-2016 “old normal.” In fact, Joe Biden’s cam­paign implicitly—and sometimes explicitly—promised the resto­ration of Obama-era technocracy, returning the reins of power to the “experts,” as seen in his choice…

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