Freedom, Western Tradition, & “The Unbroken Thread”

By |2021-05-28T23:13:50-05:00May 28th, 2021|Categories: Books, Culture, Freedom, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Sohrab Ahmari’s latest book "The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos" makes the sustained case that too much freedom—or rather, too much of the wrong sort of freedom—can be a kind of slavery. The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos by Sohrab Ahmari [...]

Hell Is Getting What You Want

By |2021-04-06T13:05:36-05:00April 10th, 2021|Categories: Freedom, Tyranny|

Just as all men recognize tyranny as the most oppressive regime, we should recognize a tyrannical soul as the most onerous. The tyrannical soul gets exactly what it wants, but this is a curse, not a blessing. Freedom from all constraint is actually the worst form of slavery. “A dream is a wish your heart [...]

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 [...]

When No One Knows What Freedom Is, All Is Lost

By |2021-02-04T10:21:54-06:00February 7th, 2021|Categories: Freedom, John Horvat, Politics|

A confused notion of freedom leaves us with a polarized and fragmented society in which everything is allowed in the name of a concept that we can no longer define or classify. But the interplay of positive and negative freedom, properly understood, allows society to function harmoniously and with the least coercion. In our polarized [...]

Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher’s Thought & Work

By |2021-01-26T15:13:08-06:00January 27th, 2021|Categories: Communism, Freedom, Philosophy, Politics|

In a time of social and political radicalization, Eric Hoffer remained a free and independent thinker and identified the threat that Marxism posed for citizens. He reflects on human nature, individuality, and the responsibility and duty of thoughtful and informed citizens to upkeep open, democratic societies. Eric Hoffer The American philosopher, Eric Hoffer [...]

How Liberals Turned Freedom Into Tyranny

By |2021-01-17T11:23:58-06:00January 17th, 2021|Categories: Books, Freedom, John Horvat|

Ryszard Legutko’s “The Cunning of Freedom” pierces through the darkness of today’s shallow notions of freedom and exposes the dangers of continuing on the present course. The author indicates a metaphysical path whereby postmodern man might find that truth that will set him free. The Cunning of Freedom: Saving the Self in an Age of [...]

On Free Will

By |2020-12-03T15:39:44-06:00December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Freedom, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Without free will and a belief in it, there is no dignity and certainly no freedom of the human person. And without moral responsibility, there is no certain morality. Everything is merely as it was shaped to be, for good or for ill. This is the extremely dangerous situation in which we find ourselves today. [...]

Puddleglum, Jeremy Bentham, & the Grand Inquisitor

By |2020-11-28T06:58:11-06:00November 28th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Dwight Longenecker, Freedom, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Happiness, Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors|

The aim and ambition of Jeremy Bentham was that everyone would be happy. But how is it possible for everyone to be happy? The Grand Inquisitor gives the answer: by yielding their freedom and submitting to their overlords. This is the dysfunctional and distorted psychology behind the entitlement culture and the welfare state. When on [...]

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 [...]

Is America Tumbling Toward 1917 Russia?

By |2021-01-30T08:51:45-06:00October 9th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Freedom|

Americans have concluded that our prosperity, the flexibility of our political system, and the forward march of civilization ensure that a Bolshevik-style revolution could never happen here. But are we really so safe? When the Russian Revolution toppled the czar and put the Bolsheviks into power, the civilized countries of Western Europe had good reason [...]

Revisiting Robert Nisbet’s Conservative Classic

By |2020-10-09T15:40:05-05:00October 9th, 2020|Categories: Community, Conservatism, Freedom, Modernity, Robert Nisbet|

In his analysis of alienation in the modern world, Robert Nisbet recognized an important truth about the human person, which makes “The Quest for Community” timely even today: The individual cannot be understood except in relationship to other individuals in time and space. The abstract, autonomous individual does not exist nor can he ever exist. [...]

Life Is Risky Business

By |2020-09-14T15:04:08-05:00September 14th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Freedom|

Life entails taking risks. The failure to see that seems to be behind the readiness of so many adults in our society to accept what seem to me to be criminal limitations on our economic and social freedoms in the name of security. If there is anything I do not wish to write about anymore, [...]

On Christian Freedom in America

By |2020-08-13T16:23:52-05:00August 15th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Christianity, Freedom, Government, John Locke, Politics, Rights|

What makes the secular and the Christian outlook on freedom and appetites different is the direction of our gaze. Contemporary secular freedom, as expressed in America today, directs us to look inward, toward our appetites. Our Christian freedom, on the other hand, directs us to look outward, toward those whom we can love. Polemarchus has [...]

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