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 [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

The Totalitarian Temptation in the Groves of Academe

By |2019-11-21T19:44:16-06:00November 13th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Communism, David Deavel, Democracy, Liberalism, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Ryszard Legutko gained fame this spring when he was informed by Middlebury College’s president that his lecture was canceled. Though 40 brave students gathered to hear Prof. Legutko speak in a classroom, the irony was that the episode confirmed his very point that liberal democratic societies have become in many ways just as barbarous and [...]

Seeing the West as a Millstone: Sketches of Solzhenitsyn in Exile

By |2019-11-21T19:44:18-06:00October 16th, 2019|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Conservatism, Democracy, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Political Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

“Sketches of Exile” is a real gift for those who admire Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, enabling us to see his first years of exile, in Switzerland and the United States, through his eyes. We should be grateful for these sketches and the insight they offer, as well as for their glimpses of the lovable man behind the [...]

China is Fighting for Its Life—and Its Soul

By |2020-06-03T21:10:47-05:00September 28th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Communism, Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Politics|

Today, China has entered a period of general crisis. It was brought about not merely by slow economic growth and its attendant problems, but by a total upheaval touching every aspect of life in the Middle Kingdom: economic and political, intellectual and religious. Mark this date on your calendar: November 19, 2023. This date would [...]

Why American Democracy Is Worth Defending

By |2019-11-21T19:44:19-06:00August 18th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Democracy, Government, Liberty, Politics|

What is American democracy, and why is it worth defending? The current political climate, in which democracy is increasingly (and troublingly) equated with populism, compels us to reflect on this question. Democracy is an ancient form of government, but historically, democracies that rise above mere mob rule and reflect genuine self-governance, while respecting basic [...]

The Horrors of Modern Public Opinion

By |2019-08-16T23:25:25-05:00August 16th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Democracy, Fascism, Government, Politics, Senior Contributors, War, World War II|

Christopher Dawson believed that the free peoples of the Allied Powers in World War II had become too accustomed to employing scientifically-formed propaganda to create public opinion: “Public opinion can itself be the greatest enemy of freedom, as well as of peace, as soon as it becomes dominated by the negative destructive forces of [...]

Critiquing Robert Kagan’s Enlightenment Liberalism

By |2019-10-30T12:06:44-05:00May 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 [...]

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