Civil Society

A Jeffersonian Model of Citizenship

By |2019-12-18T16:59:48-06:00December 18th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Citizen, Citizenship, Civil Society, Labor/Work, Liberal Learning, Thomas Jefferson|

The assumptions linked to the more deliberative, publicly responsible model of citizenship, though utopian and far-fetched at least within the perspective of modern, western society, can be thought of in a way that makes them seem more practical. Thomas Jefferson, for example, believed both that good government was possible only when those who governed [...]

The Rise of Birth Control & the Decline of Civilization

By |2019-12-06T15:20:32-06:00December 1st, 2019|Categories: Abortion, Civil Society, Civilization, Conservatism, Western Civilization|

Traditionally, the type of men that women wanted to marry embodied all the classic standards of male achievement: educated, physically fit, able to hold down a job. But in 1960, everything changed. A watershed moment produced an oral contraceptive known as “the pill.” No innovation has fundamentally altered the premises of civilization quite like [...]

The Roots of American Polarization

By |2019-11-17T23:39:44-06:00November 17th, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Morality, Relativism, Truth|

The afflictive thing about living in our polarized society is the terrifying thought that there is something permanent in our incompatibility with each other. No one desires the present unpleasantness. We sincerely wish that we could get along. However, most people want a quick fix. They want magic buttons to push that will make the [...]

Return of the Small Gods?

By |2019-11-16T21:29:54-06:00November 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Dwight Longenecker, Relativism, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Rusty Reno’s recent book, Return of the Strong Gods is an excellent explanation of the roots of relativism. The short version is that two world wars left Western civilization with a huge societal case of post-traumatic stress disorder. With heads in hands, the thinkers concluded that we kill one another because of dogma. We say, [...]

What is the Meaning of ‘Modest Fashion Week’?

By |2019-11-03T20:09:41-06:00November 3rd, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Civilization, Culture, Modernity|

Given the overwhelming rule of liberal fashion, modesty would seem a lost cause. Nonetheless, major fashion designers are returning to what was once considered a modern taboo: clothing that leaves more to the imagination, keeps hemlines down and little skin exposed. When you hear the term “modest fashion,” you think of clothing linked to [...]

Schooling for an Empire

By |2019-10-28T11:38:30-06:00October 28th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, George Stanciu, Senior Contributors, Worldview|

Many Americans refuse to acknowledge that the United States has become an empire; however, virtually, no one doubts that America’s contribution to humankind is material prosperity for all founded on political freedom, technological innovation, and free markets, in effect, an empire of consumer goods and physical comfort. John le Carré, the acclaimed author of [...]

A Return to Normalcy? George Babbitt’s America

By |2019-09-30T23:47:57-06:00September 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Imagination, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

For Sinclair Lewis, ”Babbitt” was a vehicle through which to explore and critique American society during the 1920s. The eponymous hero of the novel finds himself trapped in a conflict between the man he is and the man he wants to be, between the demands of society and the desires of the heart. Lewis sought [...]

Burning Bushes, Smoking Mountains, and the Law

By |2019-08-19T22:16:59-06:00August 19th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Civil Society, Education, History, Natural Law, Senior Contributors, Western Odyssey Series|

While much has been made of the “Ten Commandments” in recent history, men for centuries have accepted these commandments as deeply rooted in the order of the universe and of creation—as an overt expression of the Natural Law. They are one of the ways God has continued to maintain His love for His people. [...]

Socrates on Statesmanship: The Actual Intention

By |2019-07-18T13:46:22-06:00August 12th, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Plato, Politics, Senior Contributors, Socrates, St. John's College|

Statesmanship is the craft of setting up a civic framework, a loom upon which the citizens of various temperaments, here the warp and woof, are interwoven into a cloak-like texture, which represents at once the body politic and its protective cover, as if to say that a well-interlaced citizenry will wrap itself in its own [...]

Cicero’s Republic: The Duty to Make Whole That Which Is Broken

By |2019-12-06T03:17:21-06:00June 27th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Senior Contributors|

In “On Duties,” Cicero throws down the gauntlet, defining one of the most important aspects of Western civilization: There is no greater philosophy than the discovery of what our duties are to one another, to our communities, and to our God. A divorce, the death of a beloved daughter, the absence of his only [...]

The Natural and the Foreign: Republics from Rome to America

By |2019-06-06T10:11:25-06:00May 31st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

According to Cicero, the Republic follows the paths of nature and god in all its activities. As such, the true statesman—like the gardener—knows when to plant, when to fertilize, when to water, when to weed, when to prune, and when to harvest. Yet there is still, to be certain, a season for everything. And, [...]

John Randolph of Roanoke & the Formation of a Southern Conservatism

By |2019-05-23T22:19:37-06:00May 23rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Civil Society, Conservatism, Economics, History, John Randolph of Roanoke, South|

John Randolph of Roanoke, one of the great exponents of the Southern political tradition, knew that what was proper to any state government was the preservation of the received order. The duty of the citizen of the commonwealth was to resist any legislative or constitutional changes to the received order, and to grant a [...]

Cicero’s Republic: Three in One

By |2019-10-10T14:57:16-06:00May 20th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Government, Senior Contributors|

A republic, by its very essence, imitates the highest of creation: man endowed with understanding and free will. Yet, in this greatest of strengths also resides the deepest of weaknesses. When the people enjoy true liberty, they often fail to identify its source, admiring its effects rather than its causes. In particular, they misunderstand [...]