Thomas Sowell, Conan the Barbarian, and woke’s war on reality - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Thomas Sowell, Conan the Barbarian, and woke’s war on reality

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Thomas Sowell: The Great Elucidator

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today.”

Thomas Sowell said that back in 1998.

Such foresight is one reason why Sowell stands as one of the greatest living conservative thinkers.

His intellect, humor, rigorous scholarship, and ability to boil down complex arguments have also made him “one of the great minds of the past half century,” in the words of his biographer.

“Intellectual Superstar”

Writing in National Review, Kyle Smith shows how this great economist and commentator continues to educate and inspire the conservative movement.

In this article you’ll discover:

  • why Milton Friedman couldn’t stop Sowell from being a Marxist—but a government job could
  • how a passion for photography shaped Sowell’s economic theories
  • why Sowell believed the left’s vision will always be more popular than conservatism
  • how a new documentary finally gives Sowell his due

This is a fascinating look into a living legend. But be warned: once you read it, you may find yourself spending hours watching all of Sowell’s interviews on Firing Line.




Is “Woke” Broke?

You’ve almost certainly heard the word woke.

Maybe you’ve even used it sarcastically in conversations.

But what does woke actually mean?

Nothing, really.

Woke Isn’t Real—and That’s the Point

In the Imaginative Conservative, John Horvat explores the buzzword that has taken over our social and political discourse.

The problem with woke is that it’s “not connected to the real world,” Horvat says.

Even a prominent Democratic strategist has admitted it: “Wokeness is a problem, and everyone knows it. . . . But they don’t want to say it out loud.”

Read this insightful essay to find out how this new vocabulary is intentionally alienating people from reality . . .

. . . and why speaking in woke could be another step down the path to Marxism.



Because our student editors and writers are bravely bringing conservative ideas to their campuses, we’re highlighting their efforts here.

Penn’s Race Hypocrisy via the UPenn Statesman

Private Facebook Group Targets Conservative Students via the Princeton Tory


Life and Death as Conan’s Creator

Have you read any Robert E. Howard lately?

You may not know the name—but you should.

And not just because he created Conan the Barbarian and practically invented the “Sword and Sorcery” fantasy genre.

You should also know Howard because he lived a fascinating life—and a tragic one, as Bradley Birzer shows in this Modern Age article.

The Philosopher of Pulp Fiction

If all you know about Conan comes from Arnold Schwarzenegger, you should definitely read Birzer’s piece.

You’ll see how Howard’s nihilistic philosophy and experiences in early 1900s Texas influenced his ideas about:

  • religion
  • sexuality
  • modernity
  • masculinity
  • big business
  • decadence

. . . and how it all contributed to the tragic end of his life.

And the story goes well beyond Robert E. Howard.

Read the article now to see how a new, brutish philosophy was evolving during a time when technological advances and new economic realities left many Americans feeling they were living in a smaller world.



ISI’s Inaugural Homecoming Weekend, June 25–26

One thing we hear a lot from ISIers: You come for the ideas, but you stay for the community.

So this June, we’re holding our inaugural ISI Homecoming Weekend!

And you’re invited!

This is your chance to experience a weekend of fellowship, thoughtful discussions, and incredible speakers . . .

. . . a heady combination that so many ISI students and alumni call the “ISI magic.”

“I’m so looking forward to rekindling old friendships, rejuvenating old debates, and making new, lifelong friends in a beautiful place on June 25.”

That’s a message we received from recent alumna Maggie Roberts Kohl, and we couldn’t agree more!

Register now. Special discounts are available if you’re under 30!


“Men cannot improve a society by setting fire to it: they must seek out its old virtues, and bring them back into the light.”
―Russell Kirk



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