Beyond Good and Nietzsche

By |2020-07-18T15:44:41-05:00July 18th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Morality, Senior Contributors|

What Nietzsche calls Christianity is, in fact, a twisted form of the Judeo-Christian faith. Of course, there are people who use humility as their trump card, their piety to blackmail others, their meekness to manipulate, and their obedience to secretly dominate. Perhaps this is all the Christianity young Nietzsche saw in his Protestant pastor [...]

A Republic If You Can Keep It: Religion, Civil Society, & America’s Founding

By |2020-06-22T12:07:33-05:00May 9th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Civil Society, Morality, Religion, Virtue|

Though civil libertarians rightly point out the dangers of an unchecked government, they blissfully ignore the dangers of an unchecked, unrestrained populace. It is thus worthwhile to return to the founders and examine what role they desired religion and morality to play in their new Republic. The story goes that as Benjamin Franklin departed [...]

The Plight of the Conservative Artist in a Liberal World

By |2020-04-30T10:26:47-05:00April 29th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Morality, Virtue|

The left has long understood the power of the arts in furthering radical ideas, in a way conservatives have largely failed to grasp in defending theirs. Conservatives with the financial means must increase their support of conservative artists for the sake of a culture in immediate need of the wisdom that a long intellectual, [...]

Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men”: The Agony of Will

By |2020-04-28T15:10:12-05:00April 27th, 2020|Categories: Books, Imagination, Literature, Morality|

All the King’s Men (1946): It’s as if Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) wrote this classic American tale principally for college and university students. With a solid foundation in the liberal arts, they will recognize the philosophical and psychological theories that a central character, Jack Burden, has in mind when he transforms them into excuses [...]

Antony and Eros: A Suicide Pact

By |2020-04-21T09:45:10-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Love, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue, William Shakespeare|

There are none so blind as those who can only see themselves. This is the tragedy of narcissism or what the psychologist Paul Vitz has called selfism. The modern narcissist no longer looks at himself in a pool of water, or even in the mirror; he sees himself in countless selfies, the icons of [...]

Love in Time of Plague: Manzoni’s “The Betrothed”

By |2020-04-24T12:41:36-05:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Books, Character, Coronavirus, Imagination, Literature, Morality, Virtue|

No book shows how little we care to find out the truth, how little we know ourselves, how even less we know others, how rumor, prejudice, and illusion, rule our world as Alessandro Manzoni’s "The Betrothed." Set in Lombardy in the 17th century, it covers the whole horror of a plague in whose deadly grip [...]

What if This Is the End?

By |2020-03-26T15:50:58-05:00March 26th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Coronavirus, Imagination, Morality, Senior Contributors|

Well, for the sake of argument, let’s say this is The End. It wasn’t nuclear war or an asteroid or a rogue planet or even some mystical force. But, merely—in a whimper—a cursed bug. Would it really matter? “An apocalypse is a work of literature dealing with the end of human history. For millennia [...]

Coronavirus Reveals America’s Mood

By |2020-03-28T19:25:22-05:00March 25th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Culture, Gleaves Whitney, History, Morality|

As coronavirus fatalities multiply these days—as COVID-19 leaves our bodies sick and makes our spirits sick at heart—I find myself asking how similar the mood today is to that of the West during the 1889-1890 flu pandemic. One of the world’s worst plagues occurred in 1889-1890. The so-called Russian flu is of particular interest [...]

1939’s “Stagecoach”: The Reign of Justice and Redemption

By |2020-03-13T17:39:48-05:00March 13th, 2020|Categories: American West, Bradley J. Birzer, Culture, Film, Morality, Senior Contributors|

In 1939, John Ford released Stagecoach, a learned and perceptive cinematic work of art that not only introduced John Wayne as a major player in Hollywood but one that also made the western something more than a mere backdrop for pulp-ish adventure stories. Indeed, the movie shows that the western can serve as the [...]

A Balanced Position on Tariffs and Protectionism

By |2020-01-05T21:38:41-06:00January 5th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Free Trade, Morality, Political Economy, Virtue|

The trade war has ignited debate on the merits of tariffs and the need to protect the nation’s manufacturing base. Battle lines are drawn between an exaggerated localism that stresses self-sufficiency and a bloated globalism where products transit the Earth unhindered and markets alone rule. […]

Marilyn Monroe and the Mother Goddess

By |2019-11-20T12:22:52-06:00November 22nd, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors|

Marilyn Monroe was the American version of the great mother goddess—our Diana, Astarte, Ishtar, Isis. But for the pagan, the Mother Goddess stood not only for sex, but also for life, fertility, prosperity, and all things abundant. Being an American and living on the precipice of the sexual revolution, Marilyn was the icon and [...]

The Roots of American Polarization

By |2019-11-17T23:39:44-06:00November 17th, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Morality, Relativism, Truth|

The afflictive thing about living in our polarized society is the terrifying thought that there is something permanent in our incompatibility with each other. No one desires the present unpleasantness. We sincerely wish that we could get along. However, most people want a quick fix. They want magic buttons to push that will make the [...]

Some Vagaries and Evagaries of Avarice

By |2019-11-06T22:25:47-06:00November 6th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, David Deavel, Economics, Ethics, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue|

Avarice brings to mind the image of a hoarder—one who simply wants things for himself. However, while wanting more of something is certainly one side of avarice, it might not be the most important side. The image that always comes to mind for me when thinking about the vice of greed, or avarice, is [...]

Sacrificial Love and Heroic Prudence

By |2019-09-15T22:05:14-05:00September 15th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Character, David Deavel, Economics, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue|

Prudence takes into account a deeper wisdom about the human condition than can be gleaned from a simple cost-benefit analysis. It understands that human communities are not merely about justice and the Gross Domestic Product, but about love. And sacrificial love doesn’t hesitate to rush in even against the worst odds. Last week I [...]

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