Bruce Frohnen

About Bruce Frohnen

Bruce P. Frohnen is Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University College of Law and the author of Virtue and the Promise of Conservatism: The Legacy of Burke and Tocqueville, The New Communitarians and The Crisis of Modern Liberalism and editor (with George Carey) of Community and Tradition: Conservative Perspectives on the American Experience. His latest book is Constitutional Morality and the Rise of Quasi-Law (written with the late George Carey).

A Restless Tocqueville

By |2020-04-15T12:15:29-05:00April 15th, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, Books, Bruce Frohnen, Liberalism, Peter A. Lawler, Philosophy, Politics|

Alexis de Tocqueville distanced himself from the liberal view that men by nature spontaneously would form lives of blissful contentment, were they not “corrupted” by political society. Nonetheless, at the heart of this liberal Tocqueville lies the “restless mind”—a mind that sees the essence of humanity in the realization that each of us “dies [...]

What Is the Constitution For?

By |2019-09-16T22:02:44-05:00September 16th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bruce Frohnen, Constitution, Founding Document, Rights, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

The U.S. Constitution is important, and great, precisely because it recognizes that people and their rights are social by nature, and must remain rooted in their communities if we are to enjoy the benefits of ordered liberty under the rule of law. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity [...]

The Limits of Liberty

By |2019-05-12T22:25:09-05:00May 12th, 2019|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Civil Society, Freedom, Government, Liberty, Rule of Law, Senior Contributors, Social Order|

While the rule of law is an essential public good, the actual number and extent of laws also are important factors in determining whether there will be liberty—and, indeed, the rule of law itself. Moreover, as too much law undermines freedom and its own proper character, it also tears apart the very fabric of [...]

Anthony Kennedy’s Jurisprudence of Extreme Individualism

By |2018-07-10T22:23:57-05:00July 10th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Bruce Frohnen, Politics, Rights, Supreme Court|

The paradigm motivating Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence is of an individual who must be protected by the courts from all outside pressures. The result has been increasing hostility toward the fundamental institutions on which our constitutional order relies… Justice Anthony Kennedy Justice Anthony Kennedy’s tenure on the Supreme Court was filled with irony. Had [...]

Statesmanship and the Dangers of Civil Religion

By |2019-11-26T12:42:03-06:00May 13th, 2018|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Bruce Frohnen, Christianity, Culture, Government, Politics, Religion, Timeless Essays|

Demands for statesmanship tend to hold up a model of greatness in political leadership that is profoundly dangerous. The desire to be “great” by upholding the interests of the nation as a political whole promotes a massive increase in the extent and centralization of political power… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords [...]

George Panichas, the Moral Imagination, & the Conservative Mind

By |2019-06-17T17:13:20-05:00August 31st, 2017|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Conservatism, Featured, George A. Panichas, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk|Tags: , |

There is a divine order of being of which we must be a part. To reject this order and our part therein is to choose madness and make any decent life impossible. As a literary critic, George Panichas shed great light on the relationship between this recognition of the order of being and our ability [...]

Leo Strauss and the American Right

By |2019-05-14T14:30:01-05:00June 12th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Books, Bruce Frohnen, Conservatism, Leo Strauss, Religion, Senior Contributors|

Leo Strauss and the American Right has little to do with Leo Strauss and everything to do with liberal fear of attempts to reintroduce standards of religious morality to public conduct… Leo Strauss and the American Right by Shadia B. Drury (St. Martin ’s Press, 1997) Shadia Drury’s first book, The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss (1988), [...]

What Is the Constitution For?

By |2019-09-12T10:39:27-05:00May 24th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bruce Frohnen, Constitution, Featured, Founding Document, Rights|

The U.S. Constitution is important, and great, precisely because it recognizes that people and their rights are social by nature, and must remain rooted in their communities if we are to enjoy the benefits of ordered liberty under the rule of law… All nations have constitutions—whether written down or not. Why? Because every nation [...]

Higher Education: A Modest Proposal for Reform

By |2017-05-14T22:05:52-05:00May 14th, 2017|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Education, Free Speech, Politics, Taxes|

To recover our social traditions and the cultural knowledge undergirding them will be the job of generations. But we should work to reduce the harm visited on our society by universities increasingly dedicated to identity politics and to indoctrinating students into that politics… The problem with reforms is that they almost always are thinly-veiled [...]

Is America Devolving into Soft Totalitarianism?

By |2020-04-16T08:23:27-05:00April 30th, 2017|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, Bruce Frohnen, Democracy, Democracy in America, Featured, Free Speech, Politics|

Alexis de Tocqueville believed that Americans had cause to fear in their leaders, not “tyrants, but rather tutors.” Democratic individualism would cause men to pursue vulgar pleasures and material well-being. Such men would surrender their self-government and even their self-will, and society would eventually devolve into mere savagery. What should a democratic people fear [...]

Are We All in Favor of National Health Care Now?

By |2017-04-26T14:41:58-05:00April 23rd, 2017|Categories: Barack Obama, Bruce Frohnen, Congress, Nationalism, Politics|

President Trump and many “conservative” Members of Congress believe that it is the duty of the federal government to see to it that every American receives healthcare, regardless of cost. Anyone opposing the healthcare entitlement must be willing, or even happy, to see people die in the streets… There is much noise coming from [...]

Can Subsidiarity Restore American Self-Government?

By |2019-01-04T11:40:22-06:00April 16th, 2017|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Catholicism, Christianity, Civil Society, Family, Politics, Tradition|

Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what [...]