The Dangers of a Woke Military

By |2021-04-05T16:39:21-05:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: American military, Democracy, Equality|

It is utterly shocking that the Department of Defense would target a private citizen for voicing an opinion, and then celebrate its attack using words that would ordinarily be reserved for enemies of the country. When it attempts to “smite” citizens for the mere act of questioning a matter of public policy, the military moves [...]

Why National Greatness Matters

By |2021-02-03T16:38:55-06:00February 3rd, 2021|Categories: Democracy, Western Civilization|

Pericles' funeral oration shows that individual self-interest and the spirit of retribution for past wrongs can be redirected toward the public good precisely because the citizens of Athens are tied together by a common history that extends across the generations, by shared narratives, and by a common quest for civic greatness. In America as in [...]

The Social and Political Significance of “You”

By |2020-12-15T13:53:24-06:00December 21st, 2020|Categories: Democracy, Language, Politics, Social Order|

Unlike most European languages, in which there is a formal and an informal mode of addressing someone else, the English word “you” lacks this distinction and the tremendous psychological barrier that accompanies it, and was thus crucial to promoting political democracy and social democracy. There are many, many things that strongly affect a person or [...]

Tocqueville on America’s Colonial Experience & the Seeds of Democracy

By |2020-11-04T16:18:48-06:00November 4th, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Democracy in America, History, Senior Contributors|

As Alexis de Tocqueville’s writings demonstrate, despite its flaws and failings, America remains the best case study for the greatest successes of democracy. This success comes from the ability to integrate—to the point of inseparability—the love of religion and the love of liberty. Just as the continent of Europe was entering upon its phase of [...]

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 [...]

The Administrative Revolution & the End of Democracy

By |2020-10-07T07:14:07-05:00October 7th, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Civil Society, Constitution, Democracy, Democracy in America, Government, Great Books|

If Alexis de Tocqueville were alive today and observing the situation of America, he would probably not be surprised that the democratic ethos of civil society, the township, and the autonomous local county have been crushed by the royal prerogatives of the executive and the administrative bureaucracy built around it. Most Americans are somewhat familiar [...]

Tocqueville and a New Science of Politics

By |2020-09-14T11:33:29-05:00September 15th, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Democracy in America, Politics, Senior Contributors|

According to Tocqueville, a new political science must account for both the immediate and the universal, the moment and the eternal. When we fail to understand the choice that God has given us with democracy—that is, a science to guide, attenuate, and hone democracy—the baser instincts will rise to the fore. Tocqueville breaks his own [...]

Reflections on Tocqueville: The Pervasiveness of Equality

By |2020-08-31T14:44:00-05:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Democracy in America, Equality, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

To this day, though America has changed in size, shape, demographics, and technology, “Democracy in America” remains the single finest description of the American experiment. Introducing his work to the world, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that nothing struck him more than the pervasiveness of the idea of equality in the United States. Alexis de Tocqueville [...]

“The People”: Sheep and Feathers

By |2020-07-15T12:29:01-05:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Democracy, Freedom, Government, Great Books, Monarchy, Politics, William Shakespeare|

Abstract law or the worship of a document is not sufficient for guidance of a people, nor are the paltry checks of public shame and dread enough to deter criminality. We stand a far greater chance of learning wisdom from William Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” than we do from listening to the countless talking heads and [...]

American Foreign Policy and the Failure of Reason

By |2020-05-27T01:47:41-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Government, Politics|

The recent failures of American foreign policy are not simply errors in prudential judgment. There is something deeper bubbling underneath American culture that led our elites to launch misguided military crusades to promote democracy in the Middle East and to engage in other imperial adventures. Writing recently in Spectator USA, the estimable Dan McCarthy pointed [...]

American Leadership in Crisis

By |2020-03-08T20:49:59-05:00March 8th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Democracy, Donald Trump, Government, Leadership, Politics, Presidency|

History teaches that chosen leaders can unite and divide nations. Unfortunately, discussions on what true leadership must mean for America have been lacking. There is no dearth of leaders in America. Countless platoons representing special interests that range from wealth preservation to sexual orientation favor their own version of a leader. Much of the country [...]

Making the World Safe for Democracy?

By |2020-02-22T18:59:10-06:00February 23rd, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Democracy, Government, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, World War I, World War II|

The belief that wars can be fought to defend democracy or to make the world safe from tyranny retains its potency and still has political mileage. It is indeed a large part of the rationale for the neoconservative worldview. Nonetheless, it is worthy of serious consideration. The tragedy of war is that it is self-perpetuating, [...]

Christian Democracy and the Future of Europe

By |2020-01-11T18:21:34-06:00January 11th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Conservatism, Democracy, Europe, Joseph Pearce, Politics, Senior Contributors|

In mid-December, I had the pleasure and honour of taking part in a public debate in Hungary on Christian Democracy and its role in contemporary European politics. I was one of a panel of five “experts,” which included a German, a Pole, a Hungarian, and, last but not least, a fellow Englishman, Theodore Dalrymple, who [...]

The Spontaneous Disorder of Kansas-Nebraska

By |2019-11-22T11:38:12-06:00November 19th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Democracy, History|

Stephen Douglas’s faith that democratic self-government on the American frontier would create a spontaneous order of lawful and virtuous communities, especially in the face of divisive issues like slavery, was disastrously misplaced and played a significant role in starting the Civil War. The Kansas-Nebraska Act passed 165 years ago this past spring, and as cannons [...]

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