The Plight of the Conservative Artist in a Liberal World

By |2021-02-26T14:20:14-06:00March 1st, 2021|Categories: Art, Culture, Morality, Timeless Essays, 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, cultural, [...]

Moral Realism in Christmas Fantasy: “The Family Man”

By |2020-12-25T12:56:16-06:00December 25th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Culture, David Deavel, Family, Film, Morality, Senior Contributors|

Just as the advent of the Savior at Christmastime did not eliminate the consequences of human sin and foolishness but opened a new way forward, so too the vision of Jack Campbell in “The Family Man” does not change his wasted last thirteen years but opens up the possibility of a very different future for [...]

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. [...]

“Persuasion’s” Principles for Popping the Question

By |2020-12-01T15:11:56-06:00December 1st, 2020|Categories: David Deavel, Great Books, Jane Austen, Marriage, Morality, Senior Contributors|

Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” is the story of Anne Elliott, who has broken one engagement, rejected another, and is still single and pining after the man whom she would have married. Austen brings the theme of right marriage to perfection here: Nobility of heart and mind is more important than nobility of title and excess of [...]

Repentance and Regret: The Secret of Jane Austen’s Success

By |2020-10-13T15:14:33-05:00October 17th, 2020|Categories: Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Great Books, Jane Austen, Morality, Senior Contributors|

The secret of Jane Austen’s genius is that she conceals the most serious of themes within light-hearted tales: true repentance and regret. Our own vanity and egotistical deceptions are revealed, and having been made self-aware, we stop and laugh and realize that our delight has filled us with light. Along with Granada Television’s Brideshead Revisited, [...]

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 father’s [...]

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 from [...]

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 for [...]

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 his [...]

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 apocalypses [...]

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 to [...]

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 perfect [...]

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. […]

Go to Top