If the only tool you have is a hammer, they say, everything looks like a nail. Cognizant of this not-so-old saying, I have tried to limit the occasions for dragging into these columns my hobbyhorse, which is the demise of the honor culture, both in America and in the West generally. But sometimes that absence, the gaping hole in our more general culture that distinguishes it from all others in history, cries out for notice. Now is one of those times, for it is through this honor-shaped hole in our culture that the Left is driving all the social and political energies that are reshaping Western culture and all its institutions.

Allow me to explain. The omnipresent ideology of the Left is inherently totalitarian. When you define yourself and your political praxis by the inerrancy and inevitability of your beliefs—as those do who routinely proclaim themselves to...


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