Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

Low lie the yields of Malthunry

| March 29, 2017

Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, the Great Irish Famine of 1845-52 briefly reenters the public’s consciousness. Parallels to more recent political events, including the Syrian refugee crisis and the ongoing debate over immigration, have also elevated its salience as a historical precursor. In a subtle rebuke of President Donald Trump, Irish Prime Minister Enda […]

The English Department attacks academic freedom again

| March 23, 2017

A Faculty Senate report at Wake Forest University adopted the following resolution at a meeting last week: “Motion 2: To freeze current hiring by the Eudaimonia Institute, and cancel any internal (e.g. Eudaimonia conference) or external presentations related to the IE, and to restrict publication of material from EI until the COI committee is established […]

The Marxist Devil and Free Speech on Campus

| March 9, 2017

Jason Brennan authored a long post the other day that presented multiple challenges to anti-speech activism on campus. The entire piece is worth reading, but I wanted to call attention to one point in particular: Some people say we can’t “platform” ideas that could be used for evil. I look forward to seeing those same people […]

The Paranoid Style of the Illiberal Campus

| March 8, 2017

In 1964 historian Richard Hofstadter wrote an essay for Harper’s Magazine entitled “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” His thesis was a simple one – that American politics was “an arena for angry minds,” and that this anger often fomented “a sense heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” among small but vocal groups of the […]

Why are so many English & MLA faculty fomenting hostility to academic freedom?

| March 5, 2017

Last Friday evening an angry mob of protesters disrupted a scheduled guest lecture by American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont. After interrupting the event and forcing Murray to deliver his talk by camera from a separate room, the mob turned physically violent. The protesters attempted to physically block Murray’s departure […]