The Public Interest

Public Interest is a magazine specializing in Politics topics.

Articles from No. 111, Spring

A Conservative Case for Judicial Activism
Conservatives sometimes remark that liberals would be less enamored of judicial activism if it were employed on behalf of conservative causes. A powerful polemical point, surely, but not one that has caused much insomnia in Cambridge. For the premise...
A New Plan for the Family
IN 1991, the much-publicized Rockefeller Report(*) declared that "the family is and should remain society's primary institution for bringing children into the world and for supporting their growth and development throughout childhood." Nearly everyone...
Are Smokers Rational?
SINCE CLASSICAL TIMES, economics has asked how human desires can be met in the face of material constraints. Indeed, the discipline has been extraordinarily successful in measuring and analyzing this process. But when it comes to explaining the human...
Babies for Sale
CAN YOU WRITE a commercial contract for a baby? Can a man buy his own child? Who owns the frozen embryos of a dead woman; can they be willed to third parties? It has been five years since the controversial and emotional "Baby M" case was legally settled,...
Our Cultural Perplexities (V): Television and Violent Crime
CHILDREN ARE born ready to imitate adult behavior. That they can, and do, imitate an array of adult facial expressions has been demonstrated in newborns as young as a few hours old, before they are even old enough to know that they have facial features....
Teaching the Virtues
SOME TIME AGO, I published an article called "Ethics without Virtue," in which I criticized the way ethics is being taught in American colleges. I pointed out that there is an overemphasis on social policy questions, with little or no attention being...
The End of Welfare as We Know It?
ONE OF THE loudest--and most bipartisan--rounds of applause during Bill Clinton's 1993 State of the Union address came when he reiterated his promise to "end welfare as we know it." During the campaign, Clinton repeatedly said that welfare benefits should...
The Triumph of American Nationalism
THE WORLD has now had 160 years of experience with party politics in mass democracies. During this century and a half, the achievements of governments formed by these parties have been substantial. They have provided peaceful governance for great masses...