Nightcap

  1. Ayn Rand and international politics Edwin van de Haar, NOL
  2. Seeing the Gothic in Notre Dame blaze Cynthia Houng, JHIBlog
  3. So let it be unwritten Irfan Khawaja, Policy of Truth
  4. The persistence of poverty Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias

“People perish for cold metal”

The interrogators did not write up charge sheets because no one needed their papers. And whether or not a [prison] sentence would be pasted on was of very little interest. Only one thing was important: Give up your gold, viper! The state needs gold and you don’t.

This is all from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. There’s more:

If you in fact had no gold, then your situation was hopeless. You would be beaten, burned, tortured, and steamed to the point of death or until they finally came to believe you. But if you had gold, you could determine the extent of your torture, the limits of your endurance, and your own fate.

It’s a good book, so far, but trying to compare the Soviet Union after World War I and a brief civil war to the present-day United States is a bridge too far. The only Americans today who might share the Gulag experience are the black ones, and even then their situation is less of a gulag archipelago and more of a traditional oppressed ethnic minority.

Nightcap

  1. The stoic grief of the Gold Star Mothers John McKay, American Conservative
  2. “My body, my choice” Ilya Somin, Volokh Conspiracy
  3. “Frontier” history has gotten much better, no thanks to David McCullough Rebecca Onion, Slate
  4. The loss of a symbol of civilization Nick Nielsen, The View from Oregon

Nightcap

  1. Winning over the Upper Silesians Stefanie Woodard, H-Borderlands
  2. The Holy Roman Union Dalibor Rohac, American Interest
  3. Talking about the Jews Simcha Gross, Marginalia
  4. Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism Alberto Mingardi, Law & Liberty

Nightcap

  1. The communist who explained history Corey Robin, New Yorker
  2. On China’s new naval base in Cambodia Charles Edel, War on the Rocks
  3. Why Trumpist populism is so popular Emmanuel Todd, City Journal
  4. How the Soviets learned to think freely Jennifer Wilson, New Republic

Nightcap

  1. Tyler Cowen interviews Karl Ove Knausgård
  2. Jonathan Rosen and Tarun Tejpal interview V.S. Naipaul
  3. Francesca Pellas interviews Jhumpa Lahiri
  4. Noah Benjamin-Pollak interviews Ken Liu

RCH: The strangest riot in American history

Thus the Astor Place, like every other theater in the United States, was unable to make itself too exclusive. Its founders, like those who founded the republic itself, had to find a way to live with an equality that was democratic in nature. Democratic equality was, and is, a different monster than the equality Europeans had been grappling with since Late Antiquity (the tail end of the Roman Empire). The old equality was based on Christianity and on the feudalistic property rights regimes that undergirded Europe. Democratic equality, on the other hand, is based on notions of self-rule and on capitalistic property rights. Basically, in Western culture, free men and money replaced piety and honor when it came to mutual understandings of equality.

Please, read the rest.