While it gives a certain amount of frisson to frame the story of GameStop as the Good Guys beating the Bad Guys, the details just don’t fit that narrative. It’s really important to think about the moral implications of economic activity, but it is equally important to get the details right. A lot of harm can be done by mistaking every economic event as fitting into a predetermined moral script.
The poetic stance is receptive, submissive even, and begins with an appreciation of the mysterious and the inscrutable. A humble appreciation of the mysterious beauty of reality must be the context for all fruitful problem-solving.
Eric Voegelin’s warnings about the dangers of gnostic politics apply to the right as well as the left. Christians must make a clear and unequivocal distinction between the historic Christian faith and the misleading political religion that is more pervasive on the right than anyone seemed to realize.
The lastingness of each person’s reality as male or female is so integral to the faith’s architecture, that to deny it—even to equivocate about it—is to undermine Catholic faith itself. No Catholic institution should risk that effect.
As a post-Trump conservative coalition struggles to define itself, social and religious conservatives should seize the opportunity to step up and play a leading role, making support for families a central tenet of the American right.
Practical reasons are where the action is if one is to engage agents, the culture at large, and even popes, in moral discussion, debate, and deliberation. There is really no alternative in an ethics of virtue, acquired or infused.
Some people don’t consider adoptive parents to be the “real” parents. While it is undeniable that biological parents give their children their genetic composition, the parents who raise them leave an enormous mark on children’s character and spiritual makeup. Over many years, adoptive parents influence their children’s education, the habits they develop, the affections they form, and their beliefs and values. In this way, adoptive parents become indispensable to the identity of the child.
We should endorse true claims of value—especially those related to marriage and the family—and reject specious ones. But discussing different family forms in terms of “privilege” smuggles in conclusions before the discussion begins.
Today’s intra-conservative economic debates are about more than present-day economic policy. They also concern the Founding’s saliency for modern American conservatism.
Human beings have a natural appreciation for beauty, but we strain to justify its existence in utilitarian or pragmatic terms. By offering an attractive vision, beauty makes the truths to which it relates appealing. It helps convince us that the good may not just be good for human life in the same way a healthy diet and exercise are, but also a source of joy.
The editors of Public Discourse invite conservatives of various schools to participate in the debates that will best advance our common cause. We believe that disagreement is not something to avoid. In fact, a real and productive disagreement is an accomplishment. Civilization, in the end, is formed by men and women “locked together in argument.”
The hidden life of Franz Jägerstätter offers us an example of how to love our fellow citizens in a time of partisan antagonism and division.