In his provocatively titled essay “Conservative Postmodernism, Postmodern Conservatism,” the late philosopher Peter Lawler argued that one of the defining characteristics of modernity is the elevation of the individual over the groups to which he or she belongs. The result, writes Lawler, is a society made up of people detached from the bonds of religion, community, and even family, and therefore plagued by a sense of spiritual “homelessness.” In conversation with Alan Rubenstein, Daniel Mark analyzes the essay, explores the virtues and vices of individualism, and asks whether Lawler’s case for an alternative that he calls “conservative postmodernism”—articulated from an explicitly Christian perspective—can be applied to Judaism. (Audio, 40 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)
Beyond Radical Individualism
Understanding Hizballah’s Sprawling South American Crime Syndicate
Sunday marked the 27th anniversary of Hizballah’s bloody bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which demonstrated to the world the long reach of the Lebanon-based terrorist group. But its presence in Latin America goes far beyond plotting attacks: located on the continent is the heart of its global criminal empire, which Hizballah uses to supplement the income it receives from its masters in Tehran. Emanuele Ottolenghi, drawing on detailed and extensive research, explains the inner workings of the group’s illicit operations, and its recent attempt to relocate networks disrupted by the U.S. and Europe to the tri-border area (TBA), where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil meet.