James B. Rule is a sociologist at U.C. Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society; he has been contributing to Dissent for thirty years. His most recent book is Privacy in Peril: How We Are Sacrificing a Fundamental Right in Exchange for Security and Convenience (Oxford University Press).

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Privacy and the Public Interest

November 21, 2013 · Online Articles

As the still-unfolding revelations of NSA surveillance over virtually all of Americans’ telecommunications show, it is clear that privacy advocates have their work cut out for them. Two recent books decry the privacy violations but stop short of formulating workable ways to protect privacy interests. {…}

By James B. Rule
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After the NSA Leak: A “National Conversation” Without Information

June 24, 2013 · Blog

No serious privacy-watcher was surprised, I suspect, at Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency revelations. Major New York Times stories at the end of 2005 had already implied that Washington was monitoring virtually all Americans’ telecommunications traffic—both phone calls and e-mails. … {…}

By James B. Rule

Terrorism in Context

November 20, 2012 · Blog

The strange alchemy of public discourse has unexpectedly thrust notions of terrorism into the forefront of current public controversy. Republicans castigated the Obama administration for underestimating the role of “terrorists” in the September 11, 2012 slayings of four American officials … {…}

By James B. Rule

James B. Rule Replies

Click here to read James B. Rule’s initial essay, “Israel: The Great Disconnect,” and here to read Michael Walzer’s response. Michael Walzer is a desperate man. When people this smart start making arguments this bad, you know that their worldview … {…}

By James B. Rule

Israel: The Great Disconnect

Click here to read Michael Walzer’s response to this essay, and here to read a reply by James B. Rule. I was attending a friend’s wedding at the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. Before starting the ceremony, the rabbi was … {…}

By James B. Rule

Surveillance and Occupy

May 11, 2012 · Blog

James B. Rule: Surveillance and Occupy {…}

By James B. Rule

Ten Years Later: Bringing out the Worst

September 8, 2011 · Online Articles

James B. Rule: Bringing out the Worst {…}

By James B. Rule

Reply by James B. Rule

Bad faith, indeed! George Packer’s opening sentences in the New York Times Magazine article he published as the Iraq invasion loomed read, “If you’re a liberal, why haven’t you joined the antiwar movement? More to the point, why is there … {…}

By James B. Rule

The Military State of America and the Democratic Left

The invasion of Iraq was a defining moment for the United States. This was the kind of war that many Americans believed formed no part of this country’s repertoire—an aggressive war of choice. Its aim was not to stop some … {…}

By James B. Rule

Neoconservatism à la Française

A criticism of Pascal Bruckner’s anti-anti-Americanism. {…}

By James B. Rule
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