Lord Acton and the American Civil War

By |2019-10-03T14:39:20-05:00February 7th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Classical Liberalism, History, John C. Calhoun, South|

Lord Acton believed that the wrong side won the American Civil War. Such a judgment could hardly be said to be a minor detail of someone’s historical worldview, yet this judgment has somehow been obscured… “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Among Catholic students of political thought, few figures are more liable to [...]

Four Sides of a Cube, Or, Why a Certain Question Needs to Be Asked Again and Again

By |2020-03-11T15:36:50-05:00October 24th, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Classical Education, Classical Liberalism, History, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

We turn to the Great Books so that the encounter with them might do for us what they did for past generations. We turn to them as world makers, that they might aide us in understanding the world they were instrumental in bringing about, our world... “Today, is greatness still possible?’ ~Nietzsche[1] “Ideas do not [...]

Edmund Burke: Old Whig

By |2021-04-22T19:27:21-05:00August 13th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Christian Humanism, Classical Liberalism, Edmund Burke, Philosophy, Timeless Essays|

Edmund Burke, like his Whig forebears, believed in the existence of a higher moral law to which all valid positive law must conform, a universal law which manifests itself in diverse concrete forms, in the great variety of legal codes and customs that constitute particular cultural traditions. Edmund Burke, the passionate defender of the “ancient [...]

In Defense of the Old Republic: Reclaiming the Common Good

By |2019-06-17T17:14:39-05:00December 22nd, 2015|Categories: American Republic, Classical Liberalism, Community, Featured|

The problem of political unity is a perennial question of political philosophy because it is always timely. How do the many become and remain one body politic? In other words, how can a plurality of individuals, all with their own immediate concerns, aptitudes, and interests, cohere as a single people or nation? This question is [...]

Edmund Burke: Old Whig

By |2020-07-27T15:31:07-05:00September 16th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, Classical Liberalism, Edmund Burke|Tags: |

In the Whig view to which Edmund Burke subscribed, the validity of law is independent of its source; who makes a rule, whether the people or a tyrant, is irrelevant. The Old-Whig Burke denied that the exercise of will, whether arbitrary or rational, has anything to do with the determination of law. Edmund Burke, the passionate defender [...]

All’s Well That Ends Well?: Reflections on Liberalism and Race

By |2020-01-19T09:52:30-06:00January 21st, 2013|Categories: Classical Liberalism, Mark Malvasi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rights|

To study the past requires a sense of tragedy and perhaps a belief in original sin, “the imagination of disaster” as Henry James called it. The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, our annual exercise in national amnesia and self-congratulation, by contrast, promotes the myth that “all’s well that ends well.” Only the most [...]

The Gold Democrats

By |2019-04-11T10:34:53-05:00August 23rd, 2012|Categories: Christendom, Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Democracy, Economics, Libertarians, Natural Rights Tradition, Political Economy, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|Tags: |

N.B.  This is a piece I wrote in the early 1990s. I had forgotten completely about it until I came across it by accident today (Wednesday, August 22). It was my first attempt at a dissertation proposal, and I wrote it for one of my favorite graduate school professors, Dr. Russell Hanson. He probably doesn’t remember me, [...]

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