Craft, Vocation, and the Decline of the West

By |2020-09-02T14:07:56-05:00September 6th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Conservatism, Culture, Modernity, Western Civilization|

To counteract the disorder of a city engulfed by internal strife and upheaval, we in the West would do well to rediscover the true meaning of vocation. We may cultivate an abundant yield simply by applying the virtues we associate with the master craftsman—diligence, recognition of quality, and striving for mastery—to whatever we do, [...]

Nock and Nisbet on Society and State

By |2020-09-04T15:20:28-05:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Community, Culture, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Social Institutions|

As Albert Jay Nock argued in the 1930s, and Robert Nisbet in the 1960s, the state plays a zero-sum game: It desires to assume all power over society, even to the point of taking the place of the Church as the glue that holds all together, and thus it renders society obsolete in the [...]

The Good Man’s Crusade: The Frog Is Getting Hot

By |2020-08-24T16:56:47-05:00August 24th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Civilization|

There are cultural battles that cannot be taken for granted without seriously risking freedom. The left clearly feels comfortable with conflict. Their campaign slogan is always the same: Change, no matter what. It reminds me of those shampoo brands that present a "new formula" and stop making the old one just as you had gotten [...]

Can “Community Groups” Replace the Police?

By |2020-08-20T15:32:09-05:00August 23rd, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Community, Government, John Horvat, Modernity, Politics|

Because the classic idea of a community that once existed in America has been swallowed up by the present culture, to demand “community-driven” solutions to remedy police problems is an empty—and dangerous—proposition. The defund-the-police movement clearly defines its goal. Its activists believe police officers are agents of violence inside the community. Their solution is [...]

The “Leatherstocking Tales” and the American Frontier

By |2020-08-21T14:20:39-05:00August 21st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, American West, Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, History, Literature, Republicans, Senior Contributors|

James Fenimore Cooper’s depiction of the frontier, as expressed in the “Leatherstocking Tales,” transcends race and sex. The frontier can make anyone a true American—noble, liberty-loving, and virtuous. Ultimately, “Americanness” is individual and cultural; it is based on virtue and merit. 1822-1827: Republicanism and the American Frontier With his third novel, The Pioneers, James [...]

Michael Oakeshott on the Tensions Between Political Theory and Practice

By |2020-08-19T13:42:20-05:00August 19th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, History, Liberal Arts, Michael Oakeshott, Political Philosophy, Politics|

Political theory sets out to consider the kind of knowledge involved in political activity and the appropriate form of education that will continue to inculcate this knowledge and the value in sustaining such knowledge to society. Political theory may not be so theoretical, after all. Within political theory, there is a pressure to operate [...]

Another Lockdown? For the Sake of Our Health, No!

By |2020-08-18T17:02:55-05:00August 18th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Civilization, Community, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Economics, Senior Contributors|

The idea that a second lockdown, more severe than the first and on a national basis, would not cause more damage than it prevents is sheer fantasy. COVID poses health risks to a particular portion of the population. Lockdowns pose a risk to everybody—both economically and physically. Many people have talked about the death [...]

What Does It Mean to Be a Person of Culture?

By |2020-08-14T17:00:59-05:00August 17th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Liberal Learning, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, 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. Attempts [...]

From My Cold Dead Fingers: Books and Movies for Civilization

By |2020-08-10T15:45:43-05:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Culture War, David Deavel, Education, History, Politics, Senior Contributors, Technology, Western Civilization|

The battle for civilization requires knowledge of what is at its roots. Our digital culture is good for providing access, though of a precarious kind, to such knowledge. The battle also requires, however, habits of reading, listening, watching, thinking, and reflecting that are cultivated best in a non-digital environment. We are in a cold [...]

Positive and Negative Morality

By |2020-08-09T17:36:56-05:00August 9th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Conservatism, G.K. Chesterton, Hope, Modernity|

When our hopes for the coming time seem disturbed or doubtful, and peace chaotic, let us remember that it is really our disappointment that is an illusion. It is our rescue that is a reality. A vast amount of nonsense is talked against negative and destructive things. The silliest sort of progressive complains of [...]

1619: The Beginning of Self-Government in Virginia

By |2020-07-29T16:46:19-05:00July 29th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Civilization, Government, History, Politics|

On July 30, 1619, the newly appointed Governor, Sir George Yeardley, set in motion the concept of self-government in the Virginia colony. He called forth the first representative legislative assembly in America, establishing Virginia’s House of Burgesses—today, the Virginia Assembly. The yearning for self-government springs eternal. In the first Federalist essay, Alexander Hamilton famously [...]

Edmund Burke and the Last Polish King

By |2020-08-31T15:28:56-05:00July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Culture, Edmund Burke, History, Poland, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Poland’s reforms and constitution, Edmund Burke thought, offered real meaning, much closer to the experience of the American Revolution than that of the French Revolution. In significant ways, the Polish king succeeded because he embraced the laws of nature and “the array of Justice” without forcing anything of his own will upon his people. [...]

Defund the Schools Instead of the Police?

By |2020-07-20T16:57:30-05:00July 20th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Education, Liberalism, Modernity, Politics, Taxes|

If it’s time to “defund” the police department of Minneapolis, maybe it’s also time to “defund” the K-12 sector of what passes for public education in Minnesota. The idea is to fund parents instead. The radical idea of school choice will directly empower parents, which is something that defunding the police will not do. [...]

Go to Top