Helen Rittelmeyer

Helen Rittelmeyer is a policy analyst at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia. She blogs at First Things.

Master-Slav Dialectic


Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State By Mark Lawrence Schrad (Oxford, 512 pages, $35) A wager on the strong and sober” was the tagline given by Russian prime minister Peter Stolypin to his sweeping land reforms of 1906, which were the last serious attempt by the tsarist regime to forestall […]

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The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and LeftBy Yuval Levin(Basic, 296 pages, $27.99) [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”94162″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”480″,”style”:”float: right;”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”308″}}]] Shortly before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Yuval Levin was given the unprecedented honor of seeing his thesis praised in the pages of the New York Times. According to David Brooks’s column of […]

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18th Century Fox


TWO THINGS ALL  conservatives love are narratives of decline and talking about conservatism. Put those together and you have the popular argument that conservatism ain’t what it used to be. The chart of that supposed decline, if you were to draw it Ascent of Man style, would start with Edmund Burke looking intelligent and walking upright, followed […]

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Moral Relativism, R.I.P.


ANY CONSERVATIVE who expends energy denouncing relativism is wasting his time fighting the last war. Relativism was quite a force for evil in its day, but the vitality has gone out of it. The villain that once needed an army of culture warriors to fight it back now requires, at most, one armed guard by […]

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NY Republicans Outflanking Dems on Gay Marriage?


The following things are not news: Craven horse-trading in the New York state legislature, that State Sen. Pedro Espada plays politics with his elbows high, and that Democratic Gov. David Paterson is too politically weak to do anything about his party’s bumbling, even after that bumbling cost them control of the New York state Senate. […]

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Ross Douthat, Concern-Troll?


Ross Douthat doesn’t know it, but his column this morning was written in 1772. Justus Moser took a harder line in “On the Diminished Disgrace of Whores and Their Children in Our Day” than Douthat does in “Liberated and Unhappy,” but I suppose it’s easy to be brave when you’ve been dead for two hundred […]

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