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Brent Ranalli

Humanities scholar at the Ronin Institute

Brent Ranalli is a policy professional and a humanities scholar at the Ronin Institute. He co-edits “Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology” for Yale University Press.

His recent projects include investigating the potential to reform the U.S. Congress by means of a secret ballot (published by the Congressional Research Institute and Foreign Affairs).

His other recent project is on promoting the involvement of youth in agriculture via a voluntary national service program.

Articles by Brent Ranalli

Wars of Conquest: Mexico 1846 and Ukraine 2022 Compared

Why conquest in the 21st century is no longer an acceptable form of behavior from adults.

June 3, 2023

Trump’s Crossing the Rubicon

When faced with his own Rubicon moment, will Trump provoke a crisis or will he stand down?

November 4, 2020

Donald Trump, Not Your Grandfather’s Caesar: The Big Differences

Julius Caesar’s and Donald Trump’s outsized ambition and lack of scruples turned them into dangers to republican values and institutions. But how were they different?

November 2, 2020

Trump and Caesar: Two Men Above the Law

In their ruthless pursuit of power and self-aggrandizement, both Caesar and Trump run roughshod over laws and norms.

November 1, 2020

Donald Trump as Julius Caesar: The Curtain Raiser

Why Donald Trump resembles Julius Caesar more than does Obama or practically any other figure in recent history.

October 31, 2020

Trump: Jimmy Carter Redux

Is Donald Trump poised to learn the lessons that Jimmy Carter learnt in 1976?

November 23, 2016

Thomas Paine’s Climate Solution: Would He Recognize It?

Paine’s revolutionary proposal to "share the wealth" from land and natural resources may help solve the climate crisis.

July 7, 2015

Carbon Permits: Paine’s Social Dividend

The issue that is poised to bring common-wealth dividends into the mainstream today is climate change.

July 6, 2015

Disappearing Jobs? Our Thomas Paine Moment

As automation eliminates jobs, Paine’s proposal to share wealth from the commons shows a way forward.

July 5, 2015

After Paine: Henry George’s “Single Tax”

Nearly a century after Thomas Paine’s proposal, reformer Henry George popularized a similar scheme.

July 4, 2015

Thomas Paine’s Agrarian Justice and John Locke

Both Locke and Paine sought to create a middle class.

July 3, 2015

Thomas Paine’s Dividend: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Remembered for his political idealism, Paine also had ideas about economic justice.

July 2, 2015

Strange Bedfellows: Hungary Leans Toward Russia

Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin as cross-ideological autocratic allies.

March 10, 2014

Snow and Politics in Hungary

Can a freak snowstorm show a Central European nation how to get along with its neighbors?

March 22, 2013

Beyond the Mayan Calendar: Doomsdayism is Alive and Well

What are we to make of the strange social and cultural phenomenon of expectations of a worldwide calamity?

January 1, 2013

Ayn Rand: The Siren of U.S. Conservatism (Part II)

How have the ideas of Ayn Rand shaped contemporary Republican thinking on economic and political issues?

November 3, 2012

Ayn Rand: The Siren of U.S. Conservatism

If Reagan is the father of modern U.S. conservatism, Ayn Rand is certainly its mother.

November 2, 2012

The Conservative Case for a Proactive Climate Policy

Why might taking a leadership role on climate change help conservatives preserve the civil liberties they fear environmentalists will take away?

August 28, 2012

The Terrorism Endgame: Lessons from the War on Anarchy (Part II)

Will the threat of terrorism fade away, much as the threat of radical anarchy did over a century ago?

October 13, 2011

The Terrorism Endgame: Lessons from the War on Anarchy (Part I)

How is the "war on terror" akin to the war on anarchy the West waged a little over a century ago?

October 12, 2011

Vulnerable China and the Trade Surplus: Part III

How does China's trade surplus affect its role in the global economy?

February 26, 2009

China and the Global Politics of Trade, Then and Now: Part II

How were the foundations of modern trade policy created during the 1800s?

February 25, 2009

China’s Great Trade Surplus: Part I

Is China's trade policy today affected by its collective memory of 19th century dealings with Europe?

February 24, 2009

A Tale of Three Additives (Part II)

What challenges does the widespread use of ethanol present to the environment — and to food prices?

May 27, 2008

A Tale of Three Additives (Part I)

What is the real story behind the additives in our gasoline?

May 26, 2008

The Iraq War and the Sicilian Campaign (Part II)

What lessons does ancient history hold for the United States and its involvement in Iraq?

January 23, 2007

The Iraq War and the Sicilian Campaign (Part I)

What parallels emerge between the U.S.-led war in Iraq and the Athenian campaign against Sicily in 415 B.C.?

January 22, 2007

Monopoly for Socialists

Can a socialist version of the Monopoly game teach the capitalist world about its economic system?

September 20, 2003

Hungary Reconsiders Its Future

Was Hungary coaxed into EU membership — and did it have a choice?

June 9, 2003