John J. Tierney Jr. is a Professor Emeritus at IWP and Former Special Assistant and Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
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The Age of Ideology

The Twentieth Century has been declared the “Age of Ideology,” apparently to distinguish it from prior centuries, especially the nineteenth, when rationality, raison d’ etat, balance of power, “white man’s burden,” geopolitics, evolution, industry, hierarchy, monarchy, stability, “cabinet diplomacy,” “national interest,” etc. were governing factors of common life. By contrast, the last century was governed…

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Crossroads America

While there may be a number of metaphors to define our times in history, one certainly might be “an age of doubt.” For even the casual observer of modern opinion, through the media, politics, entertainment, and even sport, the notion of doubt, uncertainty, and even refusal is both universal and comprehensive in the primary culture.…

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Photo from GPA Photo Archive, US Department of State

The Eighteen-Year Wound

Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks, probably the most significant event to “hit” this country in the new century. Most citizens old enough will compare it to Pearl Harbor, and those who don’t, should. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called that day, December 7, 1941, as one that “will live in infamy,” and…

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The American Campus: Thought Police

In 1949, the British novelist George Orwell wrote 1984, a mythical vision of totalitarianism based upon the Soviet Union and employing the continuous use of “thought police.” It has turned into reality. The recent American college campus has been overcome by a sociological “attack” that threatens to reverse the traditional character of a “school,” from…

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A House Divided

Lincoln and the Civil War In 1858, Abraham Lincoln declared for posterity that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” This reflection, now iconic, is actually both innocent and wrong. Innocent since anything truly divided will collapse, be it a “house” or a nation. Wrong since the American “house” had slavery from the beginning, while…

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Liberty vs. Equality

One hates to quarrel with, perhaps, the greatest political document in history, but it is not “self-evident” that “all men are created equal.” Indeed, precisely the opposite is true. Why, then, did the Founders (i.e. Jefferson) put that clause in? At face value, it is ridiculous. No doubt, Jefferson was referring to a much higher…

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The Idea of White Privilege

In a recent political debate, one participant discussed how to make “our communities stronger.” But after two hundred-plus years of American communities, why are they now in need of “strength”? Her answer: acknowledge “white privilege.” What is she talking about? Privilege By the dictionary, “privilege” is “special rights or immunities.” That, however, begs the question:…

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Trump wants to buy Greenland: What else is new?

Speculation that President Trump has expressed interest in purchasing Greenland from Denmark has inspired gossip in the media as to how “serious” he is. In history, countries either expand by conquest or by purchase, the former being the most common. Should Trump announce that the U.S. will occupy and seize the island, speculation would undoubtedly…

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Franklin D. Roosevelt and Churchill in Casablanca

The Twentieth Century

I frequently ask my history class “what is the most significant enduring fact of the twentieth century”? In explaining, I emphasized “enduring” rather than single event. In most cases, the most significant fact was the beginning of something/someone. For America, it was July 4, 1776, for the airplane, the Kitty Hawk event, for the telephone,…

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What Foreign Policy Shall We Have?

The above question, attributed to Leon Trotsky after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, was an ideological admission that world Communism would soon remove the need for any “bourgeois” remnants of history that might survive Marxism’s final triumph. Assuming the inevitable, “scientific” victory of worldwide Communist-Socialism, the Bolsheviks of that time had complete faith that their…

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