Mark Malvasi

Mark Malvasi

About Mark Malvasi

Mark Malvasi is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative and Professor of History at Randolph-Macon College, where he teaches "The Idea and Problem of Slavery." Dr. Malvasi is the author of The Unregenerate South: The Agrarian Thought of John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, and Donald Davidson, Slavery in the Western Hemisphere Circa 1500-1888, and Dark Fields: Poems and an Essay.

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as a Fable of Modern America

By |2019-04-23T15:38:10-05:00June 4th, 2018|Categories: Books, Economics, Fiction, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

Literary scholars have long interpreted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a fable of populism, but it is more than that: It is a celebration of consumer culture as the the very meaning of America, this bright and shining land where men and women are happy to deceive themselves into believing a fairy tale, [...]

The Lasting South? A Reconsideration

By |2019-04-25T13:09:39-05:00April 25th, 2018|Categories: Books, Mark Malvasi, Richard Weaver, Social Institutions, South|Tags: |

Ambiguities and contradictions aside, the Southern conservative tradition, by a heroic act of mind, may yet be summoned against the distortions of modernity, and, in particular, against the alluring gnostic supposition, now so prevalent, that men can alter the nature of existence and transmute the substance of being… From the perspective of the twenty-first [...]

Thomas Jefferson and the Paradox of Slavery

By |2018-04-19T20:32:27-05:00April 17th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Freedom, History, Mark Malvasi, Philosophy, Slavery, South, Thomas Jefferson|

The masters of slaves, it turned out, were themselves neither independent nor self-sufficient, but were bound to, and reliant upon, their slaves both for their welfare and their identity. This vague recognition in part accounts for the grim tone that Thomas Jefferson adopted in his analysis of slavery: He had to confront the prospect [...]

Nationalism and Totalitarianism

By |2019-08-13T17:53:47-05:00November 20th, 2017|Categories: Europe, History, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Patriotism, Western Civilization|

The militant nationalism of the twentieth century made it futile to assert clear ideas, to ask honest questions, to make reasoned judgments, or to engage in truthful debate… Permit me to begin at the end. Joseph Pearce is concerned with the power of an international bureaucracy and the advent of a world government that [...]

Definitions and Their Discontents

By |2019-07-11T11:39:11-05:00October 24th, 2017|Categories: Christianity, George Orwell, History, Language, Mark Malvasi, Truth|

Words are not static. They are dynamic. Like the birth of a child, there remains always something mysterious, even miraculous, about the birth of a thought and about the words we use to bring that thought into being… Perhaps Johnny Mercer has already and long ago settled the gentlemanly epistemological debate that has emerged [...]

Toward Patriotism: An Alternative to Nationalism

By |2019-08-15T12:27:28-05:00September 24th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Europe, George Orwell, History, Joseph Pearce, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Patriotism|

Nationalism has not brought and will not bring unity, if for no other reason than nationalism insists on uniformity and must always exclude those who do not conform. Yet, if there is a chance to achieve some measure of unity, patriotism might enable it… In his thoughtful response to my essay, “History as Tragedy [...]

History as Tragedy and Farce: The Rise of Nationalism

By |2019-05-09T10:31:49-05:00September 3rd, 2017|Categories: History, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Philosophy, Tragedy|

In their political offensive against socialism and democracy, many European statesmen of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries found in nationalism a convenient doctrine to electrify and exploit the masses… Karl Marx famously began The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by observing that Hegel “remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in [...]

William Dean Howells’ Cautionary Tale for Decadent Americans

By |2019-08-22T13:51:05-05:00August 24th, 2017|Categories: Books, Christianity, Civil Society, Culture, Featured, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Social Order|

In A Traveler From Altruria, William Dean Howells reminded Americans that if they continued to justify their egoism and selfishness at the expense of the common good, all that had profited them in this world would have been purchased at the cost of their souls Dismissed as an apologist for the manners and morals [...]

Ideas and American Politics

By |2019-04-30T15:07:09-05:00August 6th, 2017|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Democracy, Featured, Federalism, Mark Malvasi, Politics, Populism, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

The fear and suspicion of ideas and intellect rest on historical foundations buried deep in the American consciousness. Many Americans, in fact, have long disparaged the life of the mind, and populist democracy has increasingly required an appeal to vulgarity and ignorance… The mistrust of ideas and intellect that has long prevailed among a [...]

American Eden: The Rise and Fall of New World Man

By |2019-07-02T16:50:31-05:00March 12th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Featured, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Thomas Jefferson|

Americans transcribed the Edenic myth and heralded the supremacy of the New World over the Old. Yet, many could not suppress the fear that they were already losing their sense of purity, innocence, and power, and would in time come face to face with the disappointments of history, the sorrows of the human condition, and [...]

The End of Ideas in American Politics?

By |2019-09-05T11:55:35-05:00February 15th, 2016|Categories: Featured, History, Intelligence, Mark Malvasi, Politics, Populism|

Americans have long mistrusted intellectuals, nowhere more so than when intellectuals have had access to power. There is considerable irony in this apprehension, for the Founding Fathers were themselves men of intellect and learning. Refined and erudite, many were well and widely read in history, politics, law, and science, and applied their knowledge to [...]

The Power and Impotence of the State

By |2019-05-23T13:21:10-05:00October 6th, 2015|Categories: Democracy, Featured, Government, Ideology, Mark Malvasi, Politics|

It requires no special genius to observe that the American political system has become dysfunctional. Although never fond of those who sit across the aisle, Democrats and Republicans have rarely vilified and demonized each other as they now do. Long regarded as the essence of American democracy, compromise has become all but impossible. This [...]