People watch a broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea outside Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, March 18, 2022. (RIA Novosti Host Photo Agency via Reuters)

It is as true today as it’s ever been that freedom is not only a moral good but also a practical one.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he lesson of the hour: Unfree societies are weak.

The allure of strongman nationalist government — Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Xi Jinping’s China, Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, the America that Donald Trump and his acolytes dream of — has always been the promise of power. You can take the word of the foreign caudillos themselves or listen to the slavering of their American admirers — the story is always the same: While liberal societies slide into softness and decadence, illiberal societies have the resolve to spurn cheap gratification, particularly in the form of consumerism and sexual license, in order to secure the genuine

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