Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Leviathan, Inc.: Robert Nisbet & the Modern Nation-State

By |2019-09-24T12:17:38-06:00May 5th, 2019|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Robert Nisbet feared that modern totalitarians had succeeded in undermining the very foundations of goodness, truth, and morality. They had not only redefined liberty as power, but they had transformed the modern political state into a secular church, exchanging real religion for civic religion, creating a “New Leviathan.” Like most Americans during the Great [...]

Victimology 101: Rousseau, Victimhood, and Safe-Spaces

By |2019-04-06T00:36:24-06:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: Culture War, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Liberalism, Modernity, Politics, Progressivism|

Many liberals maintain that they themselves are victims. Where does this belief come from? And why would anyone want to be a victim? To understand the origins of victimhood, we must understand the work and thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the godfather and patron saint of liberalism… Candace Owens, an African American woman, is a [...]

Nature, Science, and Civilization

By |2019-06-10T11:19:01-06:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leviathan, Mark Malvasi, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology, Western Civilization|

At its finest, the new conception of nature enabled people to appreciate, and wish to safeguard, the natural environment on which life depends. At its worst, this reverence for the natural world gave rise to a mindless sentimentality that regarded all human activity as harmful and exploitive. I. The English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North [...]

Liberalism and Liberal Education

By |2018-11-21T08:38:37-06:00August 27th, 2018|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, St. John's College|

It is for the soul’s health that we engage in inquiry; right action is the indirect, one might almost say, the unintended, consequence of thinking things through. Indeed, the old understanding of liberal education is that its very liberality consists in its being pursued for its own sake, free from practical purposes—and that this [...]

Imaginative Origins of Modernity: Life as Daydream & Nightmare

By |2019-02-18T02:20:40-06:00August 26th, 2018|Categories: Claes Ryn, Conservatism, Featured, Imagination, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Modernity, Philosophy, Timeless Essays|

Although modernity contains other and contrasting elements, it may be permissible to call the new type of person simply “modern man.” His demeanor is very different from that of premodern man. Far from discounting the opportunities of a worldly existence, this person entertains great expectations… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our [...]

When Feelings Became Facts: Rousseau, Burke, & Today’s Outrage Culture

By |2018-07-18T00:00:04-06:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Morality, Reason|

Edmund Burke understood that the individual’s own natural reasoning would never be as deep or profound as the wisdom of our ancestors, bequeathed to us through tradition and custom. He believed that looking inwards, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau advocated, would precipitate our demise… On our college campuses, the clashes between liberals and conservatives have grown [...]

The Moral Imagination & Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-10-24T12:18:15-06:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, E.B., Edmund Burke, Eva Brann, Imagination, Jane Austen, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Moral Imagination|

Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism… The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006) The Moral Imagination is a very engaging collection of a dozen essays on a dozen [...]

The Treason of the Clerks

By |2019-11-14T12:58:13-06:00April 15th, 2018|Categories: Books, Edmund Burke, History, Ideology, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

The sorriest aspect of the twentieth century has been the rallying of the intellectuals to the arrogant banner of nationalism, which rejects universal and eternal truth for the sake of national and passing advantage… Thirty years ago, a book was published about which a great many people talk, but which few have really read: [...]

On Straussian Teachings

By |2017-10-04T13:02:37-06:00October 6th, 2017|Categories: Economics, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leo Strauss, Neoconservatism, Paul Gottfried, Political Economy|

The nexus between the Straussians and neoconservatives has been overstated for partisan ends, but it is still nonetheless there. Sociologically and culturally, the two movements are largely indistinguishable… The Truth About Leo Strauss by Catherine and Michael Zuckert (University of Chicago Press, 2006). In The Truth About Leo Strauss, Catherine and Michael Zuckert, both professors [...]

Political Philosophy and the Unwritten Constitution

By |2017-02-09T11:54:07-06:00December 20th, 2016|Categories: Claes Ryn, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau|Tags: |

To revive American constitutionalism would require not more people who talk about “justice,” “the common good,” and “the best regime,” but people who are able to shoulder concrete responsibilities, so that the reconstruction of society could begin where it matters most, in the personal lives of the citizens… Discriminating observers recognize that political practice [...]

Dark Satanic Mills of Mis-Education: Some Proposals for Reform

By |2018-12-12T18:00:15-06:00October 31st, 2016|Categories: Education, Featured, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Liberal Learning, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Robert C. Koons, as he explores the ways in which we may reform the higher education system. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher The “higher education system” in the United States has metastasized to the point that the body politic will soon be [...]

Irving Babbitt & Cultural Renewal

By |2017-09-19T12:51:22-06:00September 18th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Modernity, Poetry, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join James Seaton as he discusses the importance of Irving Babbitt’s imaginative conservatism. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher It is tempting to think of Irving Babbitt as a voice crying in the wilderness, a lonely prophet attempting the impossible task of reversing [...]