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We Aren’t All Soviets Now ... Or Are We? | Jonah Goldberg vs. Niall Ferguson
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We Aren’t All Soviets Now … Or Are We? | Jonah Goldberg vs. Niall Ferguson

They’re not like us.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the octagon! The summer of 2024 has been one of epic feuds: Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake, Joe Biden vs. George Clooney, and, most notably, Jonah vs. Hoover Institute fellow and Free Press columnist Niall Ferguson.

Jonah and Niall duke it out over the latter’s controversial claim: that America is the new Soviet Union. Jonah says nyet. Questions fly and accusations abound. Why is U.S. life expectancy declining? Is Jonah in denial? Is Niall just a provocateur? This match-up covers it all: the distinction between excess freedom and excess repression, why fentanyl is different than vodka, what causes deaths of despair, how illiberalism shapes both institutions and social outcomes, and what Cold War II could look like. As for the title-winner? We’ll let you be the judge, comrade.

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Jonah Goldberg is editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Dispatch, based in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, enormous lizards roamed the Earth. More immediately prior to that, Jonah spent two decades at National Review, where he was a senior editor, among other things. He is also a bestselling author, longtime columnist for the Los Angeles Times, commentator for CNN, and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. When he is not writing the G-File or hosting The Remnant podcast, he finds real joy in family time, attending to his dogs and cat, and blaming Steve Hayes for various things.