Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the...
The Hoover Institution launched a new initiative, The Human Prosperity Project on Socialism and Free-Market Capitalism on Socialism, a discussion with leading scholars was hosted, on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM EST.
Peter Berkowitz on Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life by Anthony T. Kronman
We are in the midst of a revolution in medicine: human genetic engineering. Like earlier revolutions in health care, such as surgery with anesthesia or the use of antibiotics, genetic engineering has the potential to greatly advance the health and wellbeing of mankind. Yet unlike earlier innovations, human genetic engineering raises serious ethical questions. It may be one thing for an adult to undergo gene therapy to cure a disease, but what about modifying human embryos to prevent that disease? And if embryos can be altered to improve health, what about to improve intelligence or to select physical characteristics such as hair or eye color?
A case currently before the Supreme Court challenges the constitutionality of the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law, which in 1974 legalized heterosexual sodomy but not same-sex sodomy. Does the Texas law violate the constitutional rights of homosexuals, or are states permitted to pass such laws if they choose? If the Supreme Court does strike down the Texas law, what implications will that have for other civil rights that gays and lesbians are seeking, such as same-sex marriage?
Every year it seems that popular culture goes a little bit further—bigger explosions, more action, more violence, more sex... Is pop culture harmless or should we be concerned about the values presented in pop culture and the effects those presentations have on society? For instance, what is the connection between depictions of violence in films and on television and the incidence of violence in real life? If pop culture is having a negative impact on our society, what should we do about it?
Should property owners be compensated for the effects of government regulation? According to the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution "No person shall … be deprived of … property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." But what exactly is a property right and what constitutes a taking? Seizure of land by the government may be a taking, but what about environmental or zoning regulations that place restrictions on land use? With one such taking case already before the Supreme Court, the legal battle over these questions could alter the very nature of the relationship between the rights of the individual property owner and those of society as a whole.
Some argue that all of the major cultural trends that we associate with modern America entered the mainstream in the 1970s. What was unique about the 1970s? Should we emphasize the impact of '70s over that of the '50s and '60s?
Of the 6 billion people on earth, 1 billion—primarily in North America, Europe, and East Asia—receive 80 percent of the global income. Meanwhile more than 1 billion people subsist on less than one dollar a day. Despite billions in development aid, many Third World nations are no better off than they were half a century ago. Why are developing countries still so poor? And what can international development agencies such as the World Bank do to help?
This is our third conversation with Hong Kong entrepreneur and freedom fighter, Jimmy Lai in less than a year. During that time, Lai has been arrested twice, his family and his employees and colleagues have been harassed and in some cases forced to leave Hong Kong, and Lai himself has been incarcerated.
The media’s treatment of Donald Trump.
Victor Davis Hanson discusses some of the difficulties encountered by farmers and by research scientists and doctors dealing with COVID-19, and why some areas of the country are affected more than others, his theories about when the virus actually first appeared in the United States, and, finally, what plagues of the ancient world can teach us about how to best manage and get past the situation the entire world finds itself in.
Matt Ridley discusses his new book is How Innovation Works, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the world’s economies, the real story of Thomas Edison and why he was one of the greatest innovators in human history, why China may not be the threat it appears to be (at least not technologically), and some predictions as to what the world may look like in 2050.
Edward Snowden's theft of massive numbers of National Security Agency (NSA) documents — the Pentagon estimates he copied 1.7 million intelligence files — and the distribution of those documents to journalists who have sporadically published them has damaged American national s
The spread of democracy around the world was one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, democracy was limited to a handful of Western nations, while today perhaps 120 nations have some form of democratic government. Yet among Muslim countries, democracy is rare, and among Arab states, essentially nonexistent. Why? Is the Islamic faith compatible with the essential features of a democratic society—separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and women's rights, to name a few—or not? Just what is the future of democracy in the Arab world?
Conservative: favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. But is the definition of a conservative changing in twentieth-century America? Today conservatives seem to be divided into two groups, the neoconservatives and those who view themselves as traditional conservatives—sometimes derisively called the "paleoconservatives." Are the neoconservatives, including many in the Bush administration, actually, as some charge, radicals in conservative clothing? Or have the paleoconservatives become too hidebound for their own good?
Is nuclear power making a comeback? More than twenty years after the accident at Three Mile Island and fifteen years after the reactor explosion at Chernobyl, the image of nuclear power seems to be changing once again. President Bush has included nuclear energy as part of his national energy plan. The nuclear industry has begun to promote nuclear energy as the clean energy alternative. And a recent poll showed that almost 60 percent of Californians favor nuclear power. So just how safe is nuclear power today? Does it make economic sense to start building new nuclear plants? And what do we do with the radioactive waste?
Internet technologies are transforming the way we communicate and do business. But, are we, as some claim, in the midst of the "long boom," a new era of unparalleled prosperity driven by unprecedented technological change or are we merely enjoying a bull market that has yet to begin its inevitable correction? What does the current economic boom have in common with the "Roaring Twenties" and how can we avoid an economic contraction as severe as the Great Depression?