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The New Republic

The New Republic is a venerable American journal of opinion published weekly and with a circulation of around 100,000. The current owner and editor-in-chief is Martin Peretz[?]. The magazine's current editor is Peter Beinart.

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The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly[?] and Walter Lippmann, and its first issue published on November 7, 1914. The magazine's politics were progressive, and from the first concerned with reconciling American democratic ideals with the great changes brought about by its rapid late-19th Century industrialization. Among the most important of these were the emergence of an impoverished urban proletariat and the rise of America as a Great Power on the international stage. Unlike most other left-wing magazines, TNR has throughout its history been generally supportive of the use of American power, and so in 1917 it urged American intervention in World War I on the side of the Allies. This was in contrast to most other magazines on the left, which almost uniformly advocated policies of pacifism and neutrality.

As disappointment set in over the Treaty of Versailles, TNR turned away from it politics of confident liberal nationalism and towards a more radical and even revolutionary stance. Previous hopes that America could tame the excesses of industrial capitalism faded with the onset of the Great Depression. And though by the 30's the magazine had acknowledged the thoroughly dictatorial nature of the Soviet Union's communist government, it continued to express hope that such authoritarianism would prove transitory.

With the end of World War II and the onset of the Cold War, TNR began cautiously charting a middle way for American liberalism, finally abandoning its past flirtations with Soviet communism on the one hand, while simultaneously criticizing the excesses of domestic anti-communism on the other. Emblematic of this middle course, during the 60's, was the magazine's opposition to both the Vietnam War and the New Left's glorification of Third World revolutionary movements

In 1975 the magazine was bought by Harvard lecturer Martin Peretz[?], who effected the transformation of TNR into its current political incarnation.

Domestically, this meant strong support for the ends of traditional social welfare programs, but a rejection of the heavily bureaucratic means typically used to achieve them in favor of (whenever feasible) market solutions. As such the magazine is a strong advocate of the Earned Income Tax Credit program. In the 90's TNR was also an early supporter of welfare reform, arguing that the program created dependency and social dysfunction, and that its goals would be best achieved by providing the support, such as child care and job training, needed by its recipients to find jobs and become self-sufficient. When President Bill Clinton signed a Republican-authored welfare reform bill in 1996, the magazine attacked it as too punitive, but has since declared itself generally pleased with the reform's effects.

In terms of foreign policy, TNR advocates a strong U.S. support for Israel and a belief in the moral efficacy of American power. During the 80's the magazine generally supported President Reagan's policy of confrontation towards the Soviet Union. During the 90's it also supported the first Gulf War and U.S. intervention in Yugoslavia to stop the fighting between its various ethnic groups.

In terms of contemporary political labels, The New Republic could thus be described as New Democrat[?]. A more correct distinguisher, though, is neoconservative, since it is the magazine that most closely holds all the traditional tenets of that political philosophy. This is true, ironically, even if one considers The Weekly Standard, which is edited by William Kristol, son of neo-conservate luminary Irving Kristol.


See also:

list of famous The New Republic contributors[?], political liberalism, neoconservatism (United States)


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