Of Private Vice and Public Virtue  

As the Lewinsky scandal unfolded, the New York Times was chronicling how New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani was straying from the straight and narrow path of political morality. The mayor’s actions deserve more attention than they have attracted, because, …





Institutionalizing Meanness  

Before 1982, if your Social Security benefit came to, say, $419.43 you would receive a monthly check of $419.50. If you began collecting Social Security in 1982, however, and were entitled to the same benefit, your monthly check would be …



Another Choice of Comrades  

After losing a national election a party reassesses where it stands and what it must do to recoup its fortunes. It is now the Republicans’ turn. One early conclusion is the necessity to return to a vision of the party …



Embracing Socialism  

Recent history has not been kind to the ideas of “socialism” and “tradition.” The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union— “the only existing socialism” according to some friends and foes alike—seems to make socialism an …



On Politics and Trust  

These two rather different voters seem to be voicing a question every voter answers at some level of thought or intuition: Whom can I trust? In the past this was mostly an implicit question that assumed that a satisfactory answer …





The Politics of Ambivalence  

Think of the statistician’s bell curve and you have the shape of public opinion today. At one tail are antiwar partisans for whom the Gulf War is a continuation of Vietnam, while at the other tail is an equally automatic …



Profits and Values in Publishing  

Readers of the financial pages are familiar with resignations or firings (“has left to pursue other interests”). Nothing remarkable here, as the continual movement of people in and out of jobs is a capitalist fact of life. It must have …



Bensonhurst and Auschwitz  

Last year, at about the time a young black man was killed on the streets of Bensonhurst, Cardinal Glemp, the Roman Catholic primate of Poland, abrogated an agreement to relocate a convent from the site of Auschwitz. Aside from being …