Tocqueville and Totalitarian Democracy in America

By |2021-02-24T16:39:22-06:00February 24th, 2021|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Civilization, Community, Equality, Freedom|

American democracy has proven to be a success in its representation of interests but a failure in cultivating citizenship; it has protected some civil liberties while allowing others to erode away. One lesson we can draw from its history of successes and failures is this: For a republic to succeed, institutions are not enough; civic [...]

Robert Nisbet’s “The Social Group in French Thought”

By |2021-02-24T19:24:01-06:00February 24th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political Philosophy, Politics, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

In “The Social Group in French Thought,” Robert Nisbet explains that social philosophers such as Bodin, Hobbes, and Rousseau undermined and sabotaged private law and intermediary institutions. Their thought culminated in the French Revolution and in its radical and nationalist legislation. Robert Nisbet’s dissertation began by lamenting that the history of freedom has been written [...]

Whittaker Chambers & the Nashville Agrarians: The Ground Beneath Their Feet

By |2021-02-15T13:08:08-06:00February 10th, 2021|Categories: Agrarianism, Civilization, Culture, South, Southern Agrarians|

The kinship between the Nashville Agrarians and Whittaker Chambers is seen in three main ways: the farming life itself, the concept of private property, and the religious dimension of human existence. Beyond the similarities and differences between them, Chambers emerges as a singular figure who, more so than the Nashville group, provides a model for [...]

Furies: The Myopia of the Present Moment

By |2021-01-15T16:52:37-06:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Civilization, Classics, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Turning away from the news and attending with imagination to the “Oresteia” takes faith, both in God and in the wisdom of our forebears. This will be a worthier endeavor, both for the present moment and for the time to come, than trying to tear down the very structures that give us the promise of [...]

“The Speech”: Maintaining Sanity in an Insane World

By |2021-01-08T09:36:34-06:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Forrest McDonald, Hope, Imagination, Timeless Essays, Wisdom|

I propose to address the question, how does one survive—and I mean survive as something—in a world that may not? How does one remain sane in a world that is insane; how does one live without fear in a world in which the only certainty is that nothing is certain? As the new year arrives, [...]

What Does It Mean to Be a Person of Culture?

By |2021-01-01T10:09:41-06:00January 1st, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Liberal Learning, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

True culture is a liberation from the ephemeral, a journey toward permanence and value. A cultured life, therefore, consists in more than just piling up facts; it must include reflecting on the meaning of man’s works—especially those works which have stood the test time—and how they fit into the larger scheme of reality. As the [...]

The Suicide of a Civilization

By |2020-12-09T15:59:46-06:00December 9th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Death|

Suppose an anthropologist were asked, apart from the sound and fury of current politics, what were the signs of a dying culture, or a culture committing suicide? What might he respond, as following from human nature and from the terms of the question itself? What might he notice in our own? Such a culture would [...]

Neighborhoods: A Forgotten School of Family & Social Flourishing

By |2020-12-02T15:48:40-06:00December 2nd, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Civilization, Community, Family|

The neighbourhood can give one a greater sense of a geographic and social whole. It can serve as a bridge between the home and the larger society. The limited control we have over who our neighbours are reflects the normal conditions of a large society. How well do you know your neighbours? How much does [...]

Prayer, Beauty, and Civilization

By |2020-11-21T10:16:29-06:00November 21st, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Imagination, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

In our zeal to articulate how Christianity has shaped civilization, we are apt to neglect the specific role of prayer. The good, the true, and the beautiful fostered by our civilization have been initiated and sustained by prayer. If one does not pray, what measure of human cultivation is one missing? Art and Prayer: The [...]

Signing of the Mayflower Compact

By |2020-11-20T15:38:01-06:00November 20th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Christianity, Civilization, Government, History, Mayflower Compact|

In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under written… [h]aving undertaken for the Glory of God, and advancement of the christian [sic] faith, and the honour of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in [...]

Satyagraha: Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience and Nonviolent Resistance

By |2020-10-22T15:33:55-05:00October 22nd, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Freedom, Politics, Rights|

In each country represented by adherents to truth or devotees of satyagraha—Gandhi’s concept of civil disobedience—their nonviolent efforts helped achieve seismic change and movement toward justice, all without resort to war. Their influence, and that of satyagraha, continues to cascade and ripple across the world incalculably. “I’m more convinced than ever before that nonviolence is [...]

Burke’s First Letter on a Regicide Peace

By |2020-10-15T09:55:34-05:00October 8th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Edmund Burke, Government, History, Politics, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

As Edmund Burke observed, real community begins with the free and natural choice to associate at the most personal, familial, and local level, with each community growing from the ground up. By misunderstanding this, the French Revolutionaries seceded not just from Christendom, but from the laws of nature. In the final years of his life, [...]

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