Neither a Flatterer nor a Lockean Be: Peter Augustine Lawler as a Catholic Political Philosopher

Peter Augustine Lawler was a rich, dialectical, and irenic thinker who strove to prevent fruitful tensions from transforming into dangerously implacable oppositions. His wisdom was attuned to the needs of the late modern age. It has been nearly five years since his unexpected death at the age of sixty-five, and his wisdom remains just as needed now as it’s ever been.
Sohrab Ahmari’s new book enlightens in many respects, while falling short before the tribunal of moral and political prudence. Still, it succeeds admirably in making the case for “the wisdom of tradition” as the one thing most needful today.
All “dissidents” and men of good will need to give serious thought to the ways they might resist the regnant ideological lies all around us. In this task, Rod Dreher’s Live Not By Lies will remain indispensable for what might be a long time to come.
We should not romanticize the countercultural efforts of the Poles and Hungarians. But until the broad center of the intellectual and political spectrum steps away from its flirtation with nihilism and post-political illusions, we must show more understanding for those who wish to save the remnant of Western civilization that still exists.