The End of Progessivism

By |2014-07-11T18:38:21-05:00July 7th, 2014|Categories: Barack Obama, John Locke, Peter A. Lawler, Progressivism|Tags: |

Since the election in 2008 of Barack Obama, a self-proclaimed “Progressive,” many American conservative intellectuals have become convinced that resistance to Progressivism is the essence of their cause. They believe the American political tradition, flowing from the philosopher John Locke, is grounded in the immutable “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”—and preeminently in [...]

The Angel in the Machine: Will Robots Ever Be Like Us?

By |2014-05-12T06:48:50-05:00May 9th, 2014|Categories: Capitalism, Culture, John Locke, Libertarianism, Peter A. Lawler, Technology|

Libertarian futurists such as Tyler Cowen and Brink Lindsey sometimes write as if the point of all our remarkable techno-progress—the victory of capitalism in the form of the creative power of “human capital”—is some combination of the emancipatory hippie spirit of the 1960s with the liberty in the service of individual productivity of Reagan’s [...]

Plagiarizing Catholicism: Algernon Sidney and the Whigs

By |2016-08-03T10:36:56-05:00April 9th, 2014|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Catholicism, Christendom, Edmund Burke, John Locke|Tags: |

Last week, Dr. Bradley J. Birzer wrote an excellent sort of knowing or unknowing response to the ambitious claims of my recent article here on The Imaginative Conservative which announced that America’s Founding was exclusively Catholic. (I go unnamed.) Dr. Birzer’s article articulates that theories like mine “stretch intellectual reality too much.” Normalcy bias is [...]

Algernon Sidney and Yet One More Beautiful Founding Complication

By |2019-07-11T10:17:36-05:00March 24th, 2014|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Catholicism, John Locke|

Famously, Thomas Jefferson cited four men in his lineage of thinkers who had played central roles in inspiring the American common sense of the subject as declared on July 4, 1776, by the Second Continental Congress. “All its [the Declaration’s] authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, [...]

The Thoroughly Modern Marriage?

By |2014-03-11T16:08:48-05:00March 11th, 2014|Categories: John Locke, Marriage, Peter A. Lawler|Tags: |

Richard V. Reeves has written in The Atlantic a confident and illuminating account of the state of marriage in America today. College-educated American men and women “are reinventing marriage as a child-rearing machine for a post-feminist society and a knowledge economy.” On this front, the Americans have once again shown their superiority to the Europeans, who, in [...]

Possessive Individualism: Can We Really Own Ourselves?

By |2016-07-26T15:35:24-05:00December 20th, 2013|Categories: Economics, John Locke, Liberalism, Politics|Tags: |

The bedrock principle of all Liberalism, whether of the Right or the Left, is Locke’s assertion that “every man has a Property in his own Person.” It is from this principle that Murray Rothbard can assert, “The right to self-ownership asserts the absolute right of each man, by virtue of his (or her) being [...]

John Locke and Conservatism: Indispensable or Antithetical?

By |2019-12-12T13:54:21-06:00June 28th, 2013|Categories: American Founding, Conservatism, John Locke|

Does John Locke offer enduring principles of political philosophy that harmonize with the conservative tradition? One of the puzzling trends in contemporary American conservative thought is the insistence that John Locke and conservatism as outlined by Russell Kirk have little to do with one another. Conservative critics have accused Locke of promoting materialistic individualism, [...]