Critiquing Robert Kagan’s Enlightenment Liberalism

By |2019-05-07T10:20:32-05:00May 6th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Democracy, Donald Trump, Liberalism, Natural Rights Tradition, Politics, Tyranny|

While Robert Kagan basically dismisses church and community in the development of liberalism, can there be any sadder but more important concession than his own admission that “liberalism has no particular answer” for what can legitimize its rights? An essay is meant to be very, very important when it consumes four giant pages in [...]

A Backwards Civilization: Unthinking Leaders, Frenzied Citizens

By |2019-05-30T12:10:43-05:00November 27th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Civilization, Democracy, Featured, Meno, Modernity, Plato, Political Philosophy, Politics, Socrates|

In America today, we are living in a toxic political climate that is the product of a very dangerous combination: Our rulers lack the learning necessary to ask the kinds of deep and fundamental questions that leaders and lawgivers ought to make a habit of pondering, while our people rebelliously scrutinize all orthodoxies and [...]

The Rise of Viktor Orbán, Right-Wing Populist

By |2018-11-23T11:24:21-05:00November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Democracy, Europe, History, Politics, Populism, Viktor Orbán|

Viktor Orbán discovered his roots in a tradition devoted to family, country and Christian values. Though he submits to democratic elections and legal restraints on his power, in order for his right-wing populism to survive he must exercise greater authority than is his by law... On June 16, 1989, 200,000 Hungarians filled Heroes’ Square in [...]

The Other Founders: The Legacy of Anti-Federalism

By |2019-05-09T11:36:13-05:00November 1st, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitution, Democracy, Featured, Federalism, John Taylor of Caroline|

To a very great extent, it was the Anti-Federalists, through their rhetoric and writings, who kept alive the spirit of localism and salvaged the great ideal of limited government inherited from the Revolution... The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828 by Saul Cornell (University of North Carolina Press, 1999) The Anti-Federalists who [...]

Truth as a Democratic Project

By |2019-04-25T13:09:50-05:00September 18th, 2018|Categories: Democracy, Fr. James Schall, Freedom, Government, Liberty, Philosophy, Reason, Relativism, Truth|

To save democracy from subjectivism, truth must become a democratic project. The greatest of crimes can be enacted in the name of sincerity, authenticity, and “being at peace with oneself.” Each of these criteria looks to one’s own estimate of oneself… During the Presidential Campaign of 1996, in California, President Bill Clinton said that [...]

Is America Devolving into Soft Totalitarianism?

By |2018-09-09T22:15:48-05:00September 9th, 2018|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, Bruce Frohnen, Democracy, Democracy in America, Free Speech, Politics, Timeless Essays|

Soft totalitarianism aims to destroy communities and undermine the character of the people. The next stage in human degradation is mere savagery... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Bruce Frohnen as he explores whether or not present-day America has fallen into soft totalitarianism. —W. Winston Elliott III, [...]

The Tragedy of Democracy Without Authority: Maritain & Thucydides

By |2018-08-23T14:58:58-05:00August 19th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Conservatism, Democracy, History, Philosophy, Politics, Thucydides, Timeless Essays|

Democracies were acutely problematic when they did not collectively comprehend the necessity of legitimate authority permeating the polis. Lacking this understanding, power was elevated in authority’s absence… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join José Maria J. Yulo as he uses Jacques Maritain and Thucydides to explore [...]

Democracy, Aristocracy, and the Fate of America

By |2019-02-28T12:10:19-05:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Aristocracy, Aristotle, Civil Society, Culture, Dante, Democracy, Great Books, History, Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna, Politics|

Only where Democracy and Aristocracy are harmonized and unified culturally can a nation really be healthy and advanced; its history becomes the awe of the world… “Be it known to you that a son is born to me; but I thank the gods not much that they have given me him as that they [...]

What U.S. Foreign Service Officers Should Know

By |2018-10-08T13:12:01-05:00February 14th, 2018|Categories: Democracy, Featured, Foreign Affairs, Politics|

The Foreign Service Officer should be ever aware that the identity of the persons to whom he is representing America depends on their culture, and on the features of that culture to which the regime that reigns over these persons gives priority… Foreign service officers represent the United States of America. The substance of what [...]

Is the United States a Banana Republic?

By |2018-12-26T15:05:18-05:00January 21st, 2018|Categories: Capitalism, Culture, Democracy, Economics, Featured, History, Politics, St. John's College|

In the modern world of American politics, special-interest money is displacing voters. Wealth is highly concentrated in a few hands, with corporations wielding enormous power. More and more families patch together two or more paychecks to meet the widening income, healthcare, and pension gaps that are threatening the middle class… After a disastrous defeat [...]

Not One of Us: Immigration, Equality, & the Common Good

By |2019-04-16T16:28:18-05:00January 16th, 2018|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Founding, Christianity, Conservatism, Democracy, Equality, Freedom of Religion, History, St. John's College|

God unequally bestows gifts to us that are to be used for the common good. The wise can guide others; the well-organized can administer businesses that provide employment; the strong can protect the weak. With such an understanding, equality and a hierarchical social structure are not incompatible, but complement each other… My three children [...]

Democracy and Liberal Learning

By |2017-08-07T21:56:08-05:00August 7th, 2017|Categories: Classical Education, Democracy, Government, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning|

We are the heirs to Great Ideas, Great Books, and a Great Conversation committed to understanding the story of humanity. The challenge for those living in the largely democratic West is to maintain the idea that a society committed to freedom is a society committed to the value of the liberal arts… It may [...]