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In her recent book The Genetic Lottery, Kathryn Paige Harden makes flawed assumptions about the nature of moral agency and generalizes about how people value social status.
A new book details the progressive movement’s reliance on eugenics and race science as well as its effort to exclude the disabled, blacks, immigrants, the poor, and women from full participation in American society.
In an excellent new book, Mary Eberstadt argues that secular progressivism is not just a political ideology; it is a competing faith.
What threatens human flourishing today are governments inspired by authoritarian progressivism.
The claim that health care reform “made history” highlights how fully the political debate hinges on ideas of progress.
If young people are taught to look at history only through the lenses of power and oppression, they will conclude that power and oppression are everything. Conversely, let them be introduced first to the genuinely great historical deeds, philosophical ideas, literary creations, and works of art of which humans have been capable. Then they will discover the ideals that moved our predecessors.
The attraction of subjecting oneself to ideological thought, then, is a new form of something very old: the desire to escape the limitations and uncertainties of the human condition of knowledge and action by availing ourselves of a greater-than-human power.
Is there friction between the social proclivities generated by our liberal institutions and the demands of Christian faith and teaching? It is perfectly reasonable to argue that there is—though there may be fruitful interaction as well, in which the politics of freedom and the virtues of faith foster one another.
The stronger the truth the Left seeks to counteract, and the more irrational the fantasy it promotes, the larger and stronger the government it requires. Whether it will achieve its ends remains to be seen.
Tom Holland raises many important questions about the connection between Christianity and contemporary Western civilization. All Westerners, be they Christian or not, would do well to consider his insights.
If religious believers want to protect politics from atheistic materialism, their political theory should presume at least that God made human nature good and free, and that evil comes rather from our misuse of nature. Genuine liberalism, Augusto Del Noce argues, is such a theory.
Lamenting the violations of our past and celebrating the achievements of the present, the ancillary role of DEI would serve to exalt personhood and the communion of culturally rich community without qualification as the life of any institution.
Spurred perhaps by a mixture of reactionary cultural sentiment and dissatisfaction with contemporary church authorities—and with the encouragement of outspoken postliberal voices—a predominantly younger and traditionally minded class of Catholics has begun to rediscover and reconsider the merits of these ideas. But the Catholic Church’s enduring support of human rights will not, and cannot, change.
These desires—freedom, virtue, and safety—were the underlying impulses of the libertarian, traditionalist, and national security elements of the “fusionist” conservative movement during the Cold War era. And, it seems to me that when you look at it this way, you will recognize that these yearnings persist on the Right to this day.
In our cultural moment, an embodied, relational feminism—one that does not see sexual difference as a threat—has to be reactionary; it is counter-cultural by default. Those hoping to realize that vision need to be against progress, but also for something more stable and enduring: a feminist movement that recognizes and embraces the limits of our nature, as well as norms that steward that nature; that guard it from pathological excess and enervation.
Playing a strictly defensive game of knocking down attempts to legalize physician-assisted killing—especially as the United States secularizes and becomes more like Canada—seems like an untenable strategy for protecting the most vulnerable from this deadly violence. Locking in dignity and radical equality of all human beings will require more. In short, it is time to go on offense.
What would happen if we dropped that charged word “liberalism” from the conversation and got down to specifics? I suspect much of Patrick Deneen’s postliberal magic would disappear.
In The Myth of Left and Right, Hyrum and Verlan Lewis certainly succeed in proving to the reader that the pieces within each ideological bundle have shifted over time and do not inevitably go together, but they go well beyond that in concluding that each coalition’s bundle is fundamentally random. Though labels and coalitions may be quite movable, at any given time (including now) ideological identifications can tell us something intelligible about our politics.
“Wokeism” is akin to an attempt to extend the professor’s authority over students to the rest of society. But this strategy will only have limited success: students are ready to listen and be convinced by their professors, but most of society doesn’t regard itself as pupils to the woke Left. True revolutionaries do not need to borrow authority from institutions, because they have the power to take what they want from their unconsenting enemy. The woke Left, whether we want to admit it or not, and whether it is itself conscious of it or not, has no such power.
The bad good (or great) books must be read and taught in just the same way as the good great books. The teacher must be a wrestling coach, instilling in his students a readiness to grapple equally with every kind of argument, accepting nothing on which they have not tested their own grip.
The 1950s have two main nostalgic pulls on conservatives: aesthetic and technocratic. Both rely on a constructed past that has little to do with the realities of American history—and therefore neither type of ’50s nostalgia offers serious solutions to the country’s problems. In fact, early conservatives like William F. Buckley, Robert Nisbet, and Russell Kirk saw the postwar liberal settlement of the ’50s as a betrayal, not an embodiment, of the best of the American political tradition.
ESG, the investment ideology that considers environmental, social, and governance issues, is an important part of the story of the rise of woke capitalism. Resisting ESG will require business leaders not just to communicate the good that they do, but also to cultivate the virtue of humility, which clarifies the importance of restraint and the meaning of community.
Stephen Wolfe’s dedication to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest two centuries of sources for a popular audience is impressive. However, if scholarly recovery alone were the aim of the book, it is doubtful that Wolfe would have written it, Canon would have published it, or American Protestants would buy it. Why not? Wolfe wants his admittedly idiosyncratic vision to improve the future, not simply engage academic specialists. That turns out to be a mixed blessing.
Although a committed progressive, through his novels, Todd Gitlin hedges his commitments by both recognizing the limitations of his worldview and portraying the merits of his political adversaries. No matter one’s own views, Gitlin’s intellectual virtues and fairmindedness displayed in his work are deeply instructive.