The fortieth anniversary of the Jonestown massacre should remind us to beware of utopian causes with totalitarian methods, on either political extreme. Though they promise social justice, they only deliver deadly power.
The third pillar of a decent society is a just system of politics and law. Such a government does not bind all persons, families, institutions of civil society, and actors in the marketplace to itself as subservient features of an all-pervading authority. Instead, it honors and protects the inherent equal dignity of all persons, safeguards the family as the primary school of virtue, and seeks justice through the rule of law.
In an age when supranational technocrats, utopian globalists, leftists contemptuous of patriotism, and tribal populists seem locked in relentless struggle with each other, we need individuals like Charles de Gaulle more than ever.
Melting Pot or Civil War? is a policy book. It’s a good one, to be sure. But our immigration crisis needs more than just policy. When making policy changes that relate to immigration, we need to consider the human cost.
Eighty-five years ago, staunchly self-reliant American farmers encountered a crisis-the Dust Bowl-they simply could not overcome on their own. The story of the Dust Bowl is a story about American grit and perseverance, but also about the limits of libertarianism.
There was an opportunity in 1787 to have torn up slavery by its roots, and that opportunity was missed. But the missing came as much through overconfidence that the march of opinion would wipe out slavery on its own, and as much through the miscalculations of political compromise, as through any conscious policy to foster or promote slavery.
American Muslims must seek to preserve the American constitutional settlement against encroachments by totalitarian secularism because doing so means preserving what remains of a civilizational order that proceeds from belief in God.
We have a moral right to own guns.
Justice Ginsburg’s claim in Masterpiece Cakeshop is deeply troublesome and problematic. Mistakenly asserted, it adds to the aggravated polarization within the United States.
Aristotle described three types of friendship. In a season of increased polarization and even calls for incivility from national political leaders, perhaps we need a fourth.
For ten years, Public Discourse has drawn on the insights of academics and scholars, political and legal advocates, and men and women of letters to offer the reading public thought-provoking reflections on the timeliest issues and the most timeless dilemmas of our public life.
Understood as an expression of the common law commitments on which it was built, our Constitution still supplies common terms in which we might re-transform our civic discourse into something rational and productive. The second in a two-part series.
Justice is something we must establish every day—in the way we live with others, in the way we speak humbly and attend to all the facts patiently, in deference to reality and the truth of things.
Our Constitution is not just positive law, stipulated and contingent on political will. American constitutions do incorporate pre-positive law, often expressly. And that law is neither mere text, nor axioms, nor political ideals. The first in a two-part series.
The country’s ruling elites misunderstood or ignored the concerns of a significant segment of the electorate. The Great Revolt suggests that those elites should move beyond lamenting the misfortune (to them) of Trump’s elevation to the presidency and ponder the mistakes on their part that made it possible.
Jonah Goldberg makes a fundamental mistake by tossing out God in the opening sentence of his latest book, Suicide of the West.
Though Legislated Rights is primarily written for legal philosophers, it bears important lessons for all who work to secure human rights in law. It challenges conventional views about the supremacy of courts in specifying and vindicating rights, arguing that legislatures can best accomplish this task.
Virtue ethics can help originalism maintain its integrity.
Can nationalistic love of one’s country be integrated into a moral framework of universal human dignity? Yoram Hazony’s new book tackles this question, but his answer is unsatisfying.
The Catholic Church insists that even popes have no authority to introduce novel doctrines. To teach that capital punishment is inherently immoral would manifestly be a novel doctrine—not simply going beyond but explicitly contradicting what the Church, scripture, and tradition have taught for two millennia.
Americans need to pay attention to what is happening to the Uyghurs in western China. Failure to respond to the crisis could result in profound human suffering and damage to America’s strategic interests.
We might call Neil Gorsuch a natural law originalist: a jurist who believes that the content, motivation, form, and impact of the Constitution that he’s called upon to uphold and of the laws he must fairly interpret are—for the most part—sound expressions of the account of human good and human dignity to which he subscribes.
The political theory of the American founding is not quite the “cure for what ails us,” but, as Thomas G. West’s books demonstrate, it can serve as a kind of preventive medicine against the psychological sickness of radical individualism.
Removing religious exemptions will not promote tolerance or inclusiveness. It will forcibly strip religious organizations of their ability to operate as religious organizations.
The problem with modernity’s conquest of nature is that it works toward obliterating the distinction between creature and creator, a distinction that is essential for maintaining a humane and non-totalitarian politics.
The new antiliberals are not wrong to worry about the dire state of American politics and culture. But they persistently fail to adequately ask, much less clearly answer, three pressing questions that must be part of any adequate treatment of the problem, and they virtually ignore the thoughtful conservative alternatives to antiliberalism that do address these questions.