‘Agon’ is a Greek term that means ‘contest’ or ‘conflict’. It can refer to a competition, a desire to overcome, a struggle for power or superiority, or a challenge, rivalry, or dispute. In ancient Greece, athletic or musical competitions that were held as part of religious festivals were also called Agon. In its most archaic sense, Agon suggests a heroic struggle the stakes for which are life and death.

As a contrarian and radical publication, our writers are engaged in an Agon of a special kind—an intellectual contestation. What is it that they contest? Our modern Zeitgeist and the dècadent form of life it spawns.

Zeitgeist is a German term meaning ‘the spirit of the times’, referring to the cultural and intellectual trends that shape a particular historical period.

AGON is a literary home for those who possess the intellectual fortitude, the courage to challenge the dominant attitudes, beliefs, and values of our modern age. An Agon against any Zeitgeist, contesting the prevailing norms and the social imaginary of one's time, is never easy, nor is it a task fit for the faint-hearted.

Seeing the true nature of our modern predicaments requires gaining a critical distance. It demands tuning out the political noise, moving beyond the petty partisanship and tired slogans, and not falling for the establishment’s propaganda, regardless of which party’s color or emblem is on the packaging.

Such an endeavor also requires discipline and imagination in equal measure: the marriage of will and intuition. What's necessary is to cultivate, with Nietzsche, a powerful nose with which to ‘sniff out’ the foul deceptions of our time.

AGON aspires to be the philosophical frontline in the struggle against late modernity in its many faces and forms. It aspires to develop in its readers a ‘pathos of distance’ against their present condition. It provokes them to reflect upon their contemporary habits and entrenched impulses.

AGON will inspire readers toward a radical realization of the many ‘shadows’ that pass for ‘reality' in the modern ‘cave’: it dares readers to confront the make-believe, to overcome the cave and its false idols.

AGON is the publication for the non-conformist, the conscientious objectors to our Zeitgeist. We aspire to be a community for the modern-day heretics—for the dissenting voices who sense the looming danger that the dominant, contemporary ideals pose for human civilization. Join us in this fight.

Stay up-to-date

Become a part of a community of people who share your concerns and understand what is at stake.

Subscribe to get full access to our exclusive articles, and our website.

Your subscription supports our work.

Plus, Every new edition of AGON goes directly to your inbox so you’ll never miss an update on new content.

Write for AGON

We welcome proposals for a contribution from established authors who align with our mission. Please submit proposals and inquiries to polemics@agonmag.com for review.

Please note that as a publication for provocative thinkers from around the world that serves an international audience, AGON adheres to the rules of logical punctuation, otherwise known as the British style, for quotation marks.

This means that any punctuation which does not belong to the quote itself must be placed outside the quotation marks (only those punctuation marks that appear in the original quote belong inside quotation marks).

We also follow Oxford University Press (OUP) in mandating the use of a serial comma, AKA the Oxford comma, when listing a series of three or more terms.

Subscribe to AGON

A magazine of radical realism challenging the orthodoxies of our time.


Michael Vlahos, Senior Editor AGON. Taught war and strategy at Johns Hopkins University, the Naval War College, and Centro de Estudios Superiores Navales. Senior Fellow IPD, weekly on @batchelorshow.
Col (ret) Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, the author of 5 books and a PhD. He served as senior advisor to the acting Secretary of Defense during the Trump Administration.
Chris Mott is an author, geopolitical scholar at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, and a regular contributor at AGON.
Arta Moeini is a founding editor of AGON. Dr. Moeini is an international political theorist and Research Director at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy.
Claes G. Ryn is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Catholic University. He is Distinguished Editorial Director at AGON. His many books include A Common Human Ground and, most recently, The Failure of American Conservatism.
Emily Finley holds a PhD in Politics from Catholic University and has held postdocs at Stanford and Princeton. She is author of The Ideology of Democratism (OUP, 2022) and is a contributor to Agon Magazine.