February 2017: Linker Tailor Soldier Spy

I certainly agree with Bret Stephens’ basic thesis that de-emphasis on Western Civ has done us more mischief than good, but because it’s necessary to know where you’ve been before you can figure out where you’re going, not because Western civilization represents some sort of mystical Hegelian end of history upon which it is impossible to improve.  This answer from Daniel Larison at the American Conservative is a great response to the major problems with Stephens’ argument, beginning with the lack of consensus on what constitutes Western civilization in the first place.

Always good to see someone else on my hobby-horse about the enemy vacuum theory of polarization.

Missed this for the Christmas links.

Generally, if you know who Julius Evola is, it’s either because you study fascists (for instance I stumbled over him the first time while researching the Golden Dawn), or you are one (c.f. the Golden Dawn).  Steve Bannon references him in speeches, which would be troubling enough without the revelation that he’s been at least reading, if not in fact talking to, Curtis Yarvin.

If you’re like me and have a habit of yelling at the screen when spy movies show painfully bad tradecraft, you’ll enjoy this about Hollywood portrayals of surveillance tactics.

Have a statistical survey of partisanship in Congress.

“Locals rarely consider the possibility that their always-traveling friends might actually be helping an enemy outside or within. Many assume someone is monitoring the situation. Usually, someone is, summertime doldrums and nightmares be damned. Look for him, camping out in your neighborhood coffee shop, a few years from now.”

I stumbled across B. R. Myers’ Reader’s Manifesto some time ago and have only just managed to find it again.  It’s long, but it’s the perfect picky reader’s justification and truly a screed for the ages.

Politico on Russian military resurgence, the Yom Kippur war, and this McMasters guy.

The Daily Beast on the ongoing politicization of everything.  When I lived in East Jerusalem, my little clique of cynical foreigners developed a list of operating principles on the model of the Moscow Rules, the first of which was “Everything is political, including this rule.”  I’m more than a little peeved that it seems to have followed me home.

Finally, some good advice from Venezuela, where they have experience dealing with noxious populists.

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