Harrington’s Cake: Institutions, Power, and Virtue

By |2020-04-07T19:31:46-05:00April 7th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Congress, Government, Political Philosophy, Politics|

James Harrington insists on the possibility of an empire of laws. The claim that institutional arrangements can force self-interested behavior to serve the common interest underlies the system of separated powers and checks and balances central to the American constitutional order. But is he right? Can this theory of “dividing-and-choosing” give us confidence? “Two [...]

Are Any Jobs Really “Non-Essential”?

By |2020-04-06T16:03:31-05:00April 6th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, Economics, Labor/Work|

The massive impact of the coronavirus has led to more than half of U.S. states imposing lockdown restrictions on social contact and gathering. Many states have also ordered closure of all “nonessential businesses.” The problem of course, is what defines an “essential worker.” The massive impact of the coronavirus has led to more than [...]

Are We Ready for the Leftwing Virus?

By |2020-04-05T12:52:07-05:00April 5th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, Donald Trump, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Republicans|

Many Americans agree that something hasn’t smelled right about this pandemic from the beginning, something in the air that smacks of calculated panic and political engineering. The coronavirus will pass, God willing, but perhaps in its place will come another disease—the relentless leftwing virus. Donald J. Trump has been criticized and condemned for calling [...]

Jurgen Habermas, John C. Calhoun, and Slavery

By |2020-04-03T20:48:09-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Republic, History, John C. Calhoun, Slavery, South|

Perhaps no American thinker has suffered more from a scholarly hegemony of discourse than John C. Calhoun, whose work and personage are often dismissed by his critics for a single phrase attributed to him, diminishing the careful and complicated analysis he deserves. The careful reader does not have to be a devotee of Jürgen [...]

Christopher Caldwell’s “The Age of Entitlement”

By |2020-04-01T12:00:04-05:00April 1st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Books, History, Modernity, Politics, Presidency|

Are we a less free people, maybe even a far less free people, than we were in 1963? Partial punch-puller that he is content to be, Christopher Caldwell is not about to offer either a tentative or final answer to such questions. But the evidence that he presents strongly suggests that we are certainly [...]

Is the Current Crisis Really “Unprecedented”?

By |2020-03-30T16:07:31-05:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, Economics, Politics|

In our age of clickbait and hyperbole, people call things “unprecedented” that are not unprecedented at all. Public officials shamelessly brag that the nation’s recent economic growth is unequaled. (It’s not.) Broadcasters breathlessly report that today’s anxiety over the stock market is unheard of. (Actually the number of suicides after the Crash of 1929 [...]

John Marshall: A Primer

By |2020-03-30T10:14:33-05:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, History, John Marshall, Senior Contributors, Supreme Court|

Perhaps more than any other figure in the early history of the American Republic, John Marshall shaped the Supreme Court as well as attitudes toward and understandings of the U.S. Constitution. John Marshall (September 24, 1755–July 6, 1835) was the fourth man to serve as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, [...]

What Prohibition Teaches Us

By |2020-03-30T16:10:00-05:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, History, Politics|

As the clock struck midnight to begin 2020, talk of a new “Roaring Twenties” began in earnest. This portends a wave of retrospectives, historical, fictional, and sensational. One of these will inevitably be Prohibition, the outlawing of the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” or their import/export into the United States and its [...]

The Journey Home: Wilhelm Röpke & the Humane Economy

By |2020-03-29T17:42:55-05:00March 29th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Political Economy, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Uncategorized, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke asked how to address the problems of social fragmentation and the loss of community feeling, in a world where the market is left to itself. Röpke’s own idea was that society is nurtured and perpetuated at the local level, through motives that are quite distinct from the pursuit of rational self interest. [...]

Conservative Skepticism and the Pandemic

By |2020-03-27T17:31:51-05:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Economics, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Conservatives tend to be skeptical about the doom-and-gloom scenarios that are being presented as absolute certainties unless the country as a whole is essentially shut down for months. Many have called us “deniers” or accused us of valuing money over human life. But I believe that this skepticism is both eminently reasonable and will [...]

The “Price Gouging” Myth

By |2020-03-27T09:21:40-05:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, Economics, Political Economy, Politics|

The economic ignorance makes me want to gouge my eyes out. With the coronavirus pandemic upon us, and the topic of 24/7 media coverage, attention has been given to so-called “price gouging.” Webster’s dictionary defines the term simply as “charging customers too much money.” In the context of the current coronavirus panic, the term [...]

Cleaning Up the Immigration Mess in 4 Simple (But Not Easy) Steps

By |2020-03-22T17:53:18-05:00March 22nd, 2020|Categories: Citizenship, Conservatism, Immigration, Politics|

All Americans would probably agree that the current immigration situation is a mess. The proof of this is that no one can discuss the issue without having to defend something awful. Immigration hawks must argue for separating families and deporting people who contribute to the economy while immigration supporters have to account for the [...]

The Contributions of Eva Brann to American Political Thought

By |2020-03-20T11:58:23-05:00March 19th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Constitutional Convention, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann|

Eva Brann’s contributions to American Political Thought is a starting point that allows the student to grasp the heart of her pursuits—that is, education. For Dr. Brann, the effort to understand the principles of the Declaration of Independence or discern how best to educate the citizens of a democratic republic can take place between [...]