Liberal doctrines necessarily require disenfranchising and punishing those who hold rival beliefs. Liberal ideology is jealous, and will have no other gods before it. American conservatives should reject this revolutionary liberalism and the attempts to make it the central principle of our national heritage. We need not deny that liberal ideas influenced the Founding, but we ought to follow our forefathers in tempering them.
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An oddity about our current debates over liberalism and America is that both sides view the American Founding, and thus America, as fundamentally influenced by classical liberal ideology. They only disagree over whether classical liberalism is good or bad. But the historical record shows that liberal ideology was one influence among many, not that it was the definitive one.
Robert Miller’s defense of free speech risks removing the moral ground that could explain the rightness or goodness of the freedom we seek to preserve. In place of a moral defense in principle, we would simply have a set of utilitarian guesses: that if we pretend we have no standards of judgment, things will work out better for us in the long run.
In response to the temptations of liberalism in religion, Newman articulated a profound vision of conscience as a natural mode of hearing God’s voice. Newman’s insights remain important resources today for resisting the notion of conscience as “the right of self-will.”
Helena Rosenblatt’s The Lost History of Liberalism correctly identifies liberalism’s need for moral virtue, but does not draw the further conclusion that her book suggests: liberalism is failing because it has rejected orthodox Christianity.
Our culture increasingly treats human bodies, sex, reproduction, and family structures as malleable to a radical degree. We need to recognize that the human body was chosen by God, in whose image and likeness we are made.
Jonah Goldberg’s new book is a poignant reminder that we should never allow discouragement to swamp our sense of gratitude. As Americans, liberalism is our patrimony. Even recognizing the drawbacks, we should maintain a proper respect for that heritage.
Patrick Deneen poses good questions but begs others. The second installment in the Public Discourse symposium on Why Liberalism Failed.
According to previous papal teaching, a Catholic confessional state is the ideal, even if in most modern situations it’s not a practical possibility, and prudence would steer us away from it. That teaching continues to be normative for Catholics.
A recent conference on Christianity and liberalism brought together high-profile Catholic scholars who strongly disagree about whether Catholicism is compatible with liberalism in general and the American version of it in particular.
A liberal polity is a conversational polity: it comprises human beings bound together in argument, aspiring to order their common life through the exercise of persuasion, not the application of power. A liberal society is therefore a special kind of intentional community.
Contrary to the popular, tidy narrative repeated by Robert Reilly and others, neither Luther nor his colleagues and heirs “abandoned” natural law. Nor did they recast it in a voluntarist mold. They embraced and defended it along entirely traditional lines.
In a paradoxical new book, Columbia University professor Mark Lilla correctly identifies the defects in contemporary liberalism and identity politics but cannot free himself from them.
John Stuart Mill foreshadows the deeply intolerant faith and agenda of contemporary liberalism.
Kevin Vallier’s recent book is a rich and rewarding attempt to reconcile people of faith with public reason liberalism.
If today we see ill effects of individualism, it does not mean that we should blame them on the founders. Our problem is a cultural one, not some deep, all-encompassing flaw in our political system.
A new book reveals the crumbling foundations of the myth of liberalism and urges the challenging task of rehabilitating virtue.
Kim R. Holmes's new book interweaves abstract philosophy with history, empirical data, and concrete narrative.
Justice Kennedy’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision is anchored in the liberty to “define and express” one’s identity. But this view of man is not as exalted as it seems. According to Kennedy, self-defined man, if he’s unmarried, remains tragically lonely, and without state recognition, might even doubt his own dignity.
Because it reduces the human person into a mere vehicle for abstract rights, liberalism has no language to express the transcendence and sacrifice of human sexuality.
Through executive orders and judicial overreach, American government has eroded the separation of powers and lost its commitment to liberal ideals. The second in a two-part series.
An illiberal mindset is spreading across America, corrupting our culture and our politics. The first of a two-part series.