Social Institutions

Timothy Carney’s “Alienated America” & the Future of the American Dream

By |2019-05-16T13:11:57-05:00May 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Social Institutions|

Timothy Carney’s book "Alienated America" tackles a crucial question that too few policymakers and news commentators even bother asking anymore: What is at the root of America’s contemporary cultural and social malaise? The short answer, according to Mr. Carney, is the deterioration of civil society. Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Other Places Collapse, [...]

Idle Hands, Women’s Wages, and Unmarried Men

By |2019-05-09T19:21:52-05:00May 9th, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Marriage, Modernity, Progressivism, Social Institutions|

Recently, several statistical studies have shown that a decline in marriage rates may be associated with declining male success and male wages, relative to female wages. Do our men need to learn to deal with this, or will this shift in power between the sexes have significant and serious consequences? In January of 2019, [...]

Why Did Ex-Churchgoers Flock to Donald Trump?

By |2019-01-29T14:11:15-05:00January 29th, 2019|Categories: Christendom, Christianity, Donald Trump, Politics, Religion, Social Institutions|

When Donald Trump caught so many political commentators off guard, we looked for an explanation amid the closing factories, but we should have been looking for the closing churches… If you’ve ever been to a Donald Trump rally, you’ll notice it doesn’t match the impression left by the media coverage of the president’s base. [...]

The State vs. the Normal Good of Normal People

By |2019-07-11T10:46:37-05:00December 22nd, 2018|Categories: Abortion, Books, Civil Society, Culture War, Ethics, Family, Fr. James Schall, Homosexual Unions, Marriage, Modernity, Morality, Social Institutions|

What happens when our nation’s fundamental principles or standards are rejected? Jennifer Roback Morse’s new book, The Sexual State, is a lively and forceful examination of where we came from, where we are now, and where we ought to be on matters of human life… Genesis tells us that man was created “male and female.” [...]

Can We Restore Civility to America?

By |2019-05-09T11:36:25-05:00November 8th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Community, Social Institutions|

This summer and fall, we’ve talked a lot about the decline of civility in our politics—because of growing political polarization, bickering on social media, and rudeness in public spaces. “Every day rudeness, disrespect and hostility sideline collaboration and compromise,” the National Institute for Civil Discourse writes on their website. “Sound bites replace sound journalism. Extremes [...]

Should We Love or Hate the Suburbs?

By |2019-07-23T12:38:51-05:00October 10th, 2018|Categories: Community, Culture, Social Institutions|

Love for the suburbs is in relatively short supply. The great American migration out of center cities coincided with a number of social trends, not least the dramatic disengagement from civil society spotlighted by Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone. Automobiles replaced streetcars, backyards replaced city parks, television replaced the front patio, and the shared amenities [...]

Our Unknown Neighbors & the Fate of Community

By |2019-07-23T12:51:09-05:00September 27th, 2018|Categories: Community, Friendship, Happiness, Social Institutions|

The last Saturday morning in August, my wife noticed that some of our neighbors had a moving truck outside their home. After watching with the kids for a minute or two, she acknowledged that she had never seen the people before. I recognized the man, though I had never spoken to him—he seemed to purposefully [...]

Why We Need “Too Many” Firefighters

By |2019-03-19T15:58:39-05:00August 29th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Community, Culture, Economics, Social Institutions|

Firefighters’ role in the perpetuation of the common good in American communities is significant, even in surprising and unexpected ways. At a time when America is suffering a decline in community service and volunteerism, we should be grateful for firefighters serving our communities in other ways… As wildfires rage across California, the state has once [...]

The Lasting South? A Reconsideration

By |2019-04-25T13:09:39-05:00April 25th, 2018|Categories: Books, Mark Malvasi, Richard Weaver, Social Institutions, South|Tags: |

Ambiguities and contradictions aside, the Southern conservative tradition, by a heroic act of mind, may yet be summoned against the distortions of modernity, and, in particular, against the alluring gnostic supposition, now so prevalent, that men can alter the nature of existence and transmute the substance of being… From the perspective of the twenty-first [...]

The World They Made Together

By |2018-01-12T22:35:09-05:00January 10th, 2018|Categories: Books, Community, History, Slavery, Social Institutions, South, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson knew black people’s daily lives, aptitude and fortitude, their beliefs and courage and human warmth. He was at home with black people whether they were new to Virginia or had been born after several generations in Virginia and were integral within his conjoined families…   The World They Made Together, Black and [...]

The Urban Crisis Revisited

By |2017-03-07T15:41:34-05:00February 8th, 2017|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Featured, Robert Nisbet, Social Institutions, The Imaginative Conservative|

Given the nature of our politically-driven, morality-obsessed middle class society, and its passion for direct action, it follows that the more persons there are who are dedicated to solving problems, the more problems there have to be… The Unheavenly City by Edward C. Banfield (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1970) Once in a great while [...]

What Can the Puritans Teach Us About Philanthropy?

By |2019-04-18T11:18:13-05:00January 10th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Peter A. Lawler, Social Institutions|

Our Puritans were the most serious of philanthropists. They became pilgrims not in the service of some get-rich-quick scheme, but to make an idea real. They developed unprecedented political institutions grounded in heartfelt democratic civic duty, and they provided for the education of everyone as creatures not only born to work, but to share [...]

Global Citizenship: When Words Turn into Semantic Quicksand

By |2016-05-25T23:40:28-05:00May 25th, 2016|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, Civil Society, Community, Freedom, Modernity, Social Institutions, Ted McAllister, Western Civilization|

We are told to be careful with our words, to be aware of how our words might make other people feel, or of how we might be misunderstood. However important is this advice (and it is both important and grossly overused), these are not the primary reasons we should be thoughtful about our language. [...]

The West’s War on Children

By |2019-08-15T11:49:05-05:00March 13th, 2016|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Culture, Family, Featured, Social Institutions|

The world has now seen several decades of something quite new: explicitly anti-child policies. By this one might think I am referring to the “one-child” policy in China. And to a certain extent I am. Fines and the withholding of education and other services, not to mention forced abortions, rather comfortably fit within any [...]