Weekly Roundup and a Legal Scholar's Response to the Rittenhouse Trial

Weekly Roundup and a Legal Scholar's Response to the Rittenhouse Trial

Claire Lehmann
Claire Lehmann


Dear Readers,

This week you will find a thorough legal analysis of the Rittenhouse trial by Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Faculty Director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute. You'll find that Sullivan's analysis looks at the facts of the case, and the details of Wisconsin law, two elements that have been conspicuously absent from some high-profile media commentary.

In addition to Sullivan on the Rittenhouse trial, we have Aaron Sarin on the vanishing of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai and Robert Tracinski on a growing rift in the American Right with The Enemy of My Enemy.

We also have two new essays on the dynamics of social media and distorted beliefs by Thomas Harper and R. James Carter, and following this thread, don't miss Jon Kay on the parallels between conspiracism and contemporary social justice rituals.

For our American readers celebrating Thanksgiving, we wish you a very happy and healthy holiday full of laughter, good cheer, and loved ones. Here at Quillette, we’re thankful for each and every one of you.

We have a number of very exciting articles coming out over the next few days, so stay tuned and check in regularly.

With thanks,
Claire Lehmann on behalf of Quillette

Politics and Culture

The Rittenhouse Trial: A Legal Scholar Responds
The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse provides the public with a glimpse of criminal law in practice. Many think of the law as a series of rules—a set of binaries. Do this. Don’t do that. But this trial has put in stark relief the dueling values that underwrite our
The Enemy of My Enemy
During a recent conference of nationalist conservatives—a faction attempting to bring intellectual substance and coherence to the political phenomenon of Trumpism—one of the movement’s leading figures, Yoram Hazony, proposed “a new deal between national conservatives and traditionalists on the one h…
On Pleasurable Beliefs
In November 2021, a few hundred people set up camp outside Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, where John F. Kennedy was assassinated 58 years earlier. The people gathered there believed that the slain president’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in a plane crash in 1999, was about
We Can’t Keep Going Like This
All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust. ~J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan In response to the recent Texas legislation, a two-year-old PSA re-surfaced featuring a lineup of popular actors—celebrities who have yet to find disfavor in the public eye for whichever backroom allowances t…

Academia

Confession and Conspiracism in the Church of Social Justice
“Indigenous peoples have been stewards of this planet since time immemorial,” tweeted Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault from the Glasgow Climate Change Conference earlier this month. “The fight against climate change is not possible without their knowledge and leadership.” It was an od…

Technology  

Flying Cars: What, How, When, and Why?
Futurists and science fiction writers were discussing the possibility of flying cars even before the appearance of cars and highways. As a concept, they have existed for nearly a century. Today, “flying cars” are an esoteric topic and an ambiguous term that refers to something more than simply a car

Philosophy

The Cold War’s Morbid Sage: Theodor W. Adorno and the Philosophy of ‘Post-Existence’
While Radio Free Berlin was broadcasting Nikita Khrushchev’s secret speech, Peter Gente went to the cinema. As the radio waves rose into the evening sky, informing listeners on both sides of the divided city about the crimes of Stalinism, the curtain opened on Beauties of the Night, a comedy

World Affairs

The Vanishing of Peng Shuai
We’ve always heard that the world is getting smaller, but in recent years it has seemed truer to say the opposite. Today, feminists in the West will squawk and squabble over the most incoherent questions (when is a man not a man, but a woman?) while raging against the
India’s Increasingly Despotic Crackdown on Journalists
In the early days of the 2020 COVID lockdown, Siddharth Varadarajan had some surprise visitors at his Delhi home. A group of about eight policemen from the adjoining state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) came to serve the founding editor of the online magazine the Wire a notice to appear in

Quillette Circle Comment of the Week

On Pleasurable Beliefs
Why have humans come to care about whether their beliefs correspond to reality? Maybe it is because objective reality is the final, ultimate measure of the validity, and therefore, value of our beliefs. Put another way, when our beliefs, our behavior, our actions do not align well with objective rea…

caopall:
Why have humans come to care about whether their beliefs correspond to reality? Maybe it is because objective reality is the final, ultimate measure of the validity, and therefore, value of our beliefs. Put another way, when our beliefs, our behavior, our actions do not align well with objective reality, then objective reality has a way of biting us in the butt.

All life exists on a conditional bases. Certain requirements for continued existence are set forth by a life forms DNA and are fulfilled when that life form exercises its virtues towards life-sustaining actions. For all other animals, the knowledge of the conditional requirements and the corresponding set of virtuous actions that must be taken to secure survival is pre-wired as instinct into their central nervous systems. For all other animals, survival knowledge is extro-genetic.

For humans, survival knowledge is extra-genetic. We are not born with a sufficient, pre-wired, instinctual code that will automatically direct our actions towards life-sustaining behavior. Everything we must know to fulfill the conditions of our human existence must be learned.

Unfortunately, everything that we learn is not life-enhancing. Sometimes, what we are taught, and then either by mistake or by force, integrate into our thinking, is contrary to the conditions of human life. Objective reality then steps in and selects for humans that practice a more human-friendly way of thinking, believing and behaving.

Further Reading From Around the Web

Ivermectin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know
...
The Dangerous Experiment on Teen Girls
The preponderance of the evidence suggests that social media is causing real damage to adolescents.
How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation
The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.
Hannah Arendt on Anti-Racism as a Totalitarian Ideology
The case of forced desegregation in Little Rock

Claire Lehmann

Claire Lehmann is the founding editor of Quillette.