Liberalism & the Conduct of American Foreign Policy

By |2021-05-14T12:40:53-05:00May 11th, 2021|Categories: American Republic, Foreign Affairs, Liberalism, Liberty, Politics|

Is it possible to reconcile our commitment to the abstract truth at the heart of American politics—that all men are created equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights—with prudence and restraint in statecraft on the international stage? In November of 2003—eight months after American forces first put boots on the ground in the Iraq War—President [...]

The Ancient Liberty of Milton’s Epic Verse

By |2021-03-30T12:21:17-05:00March 30th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Great Books, John Milton, Liberty, Poetry|

John Milton’s “ancient liberty” is not the liberalism of Thomas Hobbes or John Locke, where the telos governing human liberty is dispensed with. Rather, “Paradise Lost” cultivates Christian virtues by reclaiming an ancient liberty within the traditional epic verse form and by returning to that which is first or most ancient: Divine Will. The opening [...]

Maoism in America? The Uses of the Capitol Hill Riot

By |2021-04-22T09:27:16-05:00March 10th, 2021|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Liberty|

Decades of the practice of Maoism in China have shown that when government opponents are branded as "insurrectionists," and when the powerless masses act only out of fear, civil society won’t survive. This is a trajectory with which we Chinese are all too familiar. From "deplorables" to "enemies of the people"—this is a trajectory with [...]

Institutionalized Obedience: Americans & the Lockdowns

By |2021-01-12T10:56:12-06:00January 11th, 2021|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Liberty|

This year, against the backdrop of pandemic, the level of obedience manifested in many Americans stunned me: Why do Americans, the rugged individualists, obey edicts issued at the whim of “King” Newsom or “His Majesty” Cuomo, without a questioning of the legitimacy of those mandates? They remind me of my fellow Chinese who have been [...]

Liberty, Religion, & Woke Progressivism

By |2021-01-10T17:17:54-06:00January 10th, 2021|Categories: Liberty, Progressivism, Religion|

The pride of place that cultural Christianity once enjoyed in America is increasingly sidelined by a new, woke progressivism which, though purporting to be neutral and science-based, is in fact a competing religious ideology. The more that it dominates our cultural and political institutions, the more it can misuse the coercive powers of the state [...]

Richard Henry Dana, Sr.: An American High Tory

By |2020-11-03T12:15:09-06:00November 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Democracy, Equality, History, Liberty, Politics|

Richard Henry Dana, Sr. was acutely conscious that he was a man out-of-step with the antebellum ethos, an American High Tory in an era of rising democracy. Yet Dana was not some grouchy obsolete curmudgeon, and his withering critiques of America often hit their mark, exposing the weaknesses of liberty, democracy, and equality and bullishly [...]

A Meager Commitment to Free Speech & Diversity

By |2020-10-27T12:14:46-05:00October 27th, 2020|Categories: Education, Free Speech, Liberal Learning, Liberty, Politics|

The California State University system is long overdue for a revision to its general education program. But why not leave politics out of it and work at cultivating a rigorous and coherent core and a free and open marketplace of ideas—so that graduates are prepared for career success, for informed citizenship, and to participate productively [...]

A Song for America

By |2020-07-21T18:40:13-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Christianity, Culture, Glenn Arbery, Independence Day, Liberty, Music, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Katherine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful” conveys the incalculable beauty of virtue that America can exhibit by exercising self-control and taking on the high responsibilities of self-rule. Our prayer is that the anomalies of this year do not overcome us, and that our nation will recall itself and find again the greatness of soul that [...]

Freedom, Responsibility, and the Liberal Arts

By |2020-06-11T12:46:33-05:00June 11th, 2020|Categories: Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Liberalism, Liberty, Politics, St. John's College|

Pericles was proud of Athenian freedom and insisted it was worth dying for. Our ancestors shared that pride and that insistence. But they and he were proud, not of the absence of discipline or authority, but of the fact that in a society of free citizens discipline and authority are self-imposed. The other day an [...]

Religious Liberty in an Age of Pandemic

By |2020-05-16T20:17:34-05:00May 16th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, First Amendment, Freedom, Liberty, Politics, Religion|

Is our nation witnessing a soft form of religious persecution beneath the cloak of public health? I pray and hope that this is not the case and that governments, preventing the free exercise of religion, will reverse course and allow church leaders to reopen their doors to once again proceed with the most essential task [...]

Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty

By |2020-04-13T12:30:57-05:00April 12th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Imagination, Liberty, Philosophy, Religion, Theology|

As our physical and political freedoms are increasingly curtailed by Leviathan due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are hopefully becoming more aware of the value of what we are losing. Hopefully, it will be the occasion for a more urgent and honest reflection on the true meaning of freedom. Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character [...]

Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilization

By |2020-09-23T23:53:33-05:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Conservatism, Liberty, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

The late, great conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, delivers the keynote address at the Institute of Public Affairs' 2014 Foundations of Western Civilization Symposium. He discusses the topics of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the pursuit of truth. —Editor This essay was first published here in August 2014. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of [...]

Why American Democracy Is Worth Defending

By |2019-11-21T19:44:19-06:00August 18th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Democracy, Government, Liberty, Politics|

What is American democracy, and why is it worth defending? The current political climate, in which democracy is increasingly (and troublingly) equated with populism, compels us to reflect on this question. Democracy is an ancient form of government, but historically, democracies that rise above mere mob rule and reflect genuine self-governance, while respecting basic rights, [...]

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