Democracy

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Should Catholics Favor Democracy?

What is the best form of government? The question seems pointless. Life is complicated, and a system that worked well then and there may work badly here and now. That is one reason the Catechism tells us that “The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities [...]

Catholics and the Revolutionary State

To what extent should Catholics support an essentially evil government? The question is unaccustomed. The Church views government as natural and necessary, and normally favors obedience even to tyrannical governments as long as the specific command is not at odds with divine or natural law. That’s why Paul told Christians to honor and obey Nero’s [...]

Why the Totalitarian Temptation Lives On After the Berlin Wall

“Happy the man that understands the causes of things,” wrote Virgil. Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko, who is also a Member of the European Parliament, is one of those deep thinkers who likes to get to the root of matters. He is not content with superficial observations or political platitudes. In his new book, The Demon in [...]

Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Primary

It’s now almost certain that the major party candidates for 2016 are going to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s not too hard to understand how Hillary got there, but how can we account for a billionaire businessman and television celebrity who has been back and forth between political parties about to snare the [...]

Democracy is Dead

Democracy is dead. I say so not because I have ceased to believe in it. I retain a half guilty affection for that worst of all forms of government, except for most of the rest. I say so because everyone else has ceased to believe in it.
     Yesterday I asked my students what [...]

A “Better Life Index” that Ignores What Makes for a Better Life

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization made up mostly of industrialized countries “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” It emphasizes its commitment to a market economy, democratic rule, economic growth, and environmental well-being. In 2011, it launched its “Better [...]

The Good and Bad of Democracy

I’ve been rereading Alexis de Tocqueville’s masterful Democracy in America.  This book, written in the first half of the nineteenth century by a French aristocrat for his countrymen, remains standard reading for American college students and even some of their professors.  In a way it is too bad that we tend to read it as [...]

What Commencement Addresses Reveal

The beginning of May is always an essential moment for our American culture, since we get a rather unique and picturesque glimpse into the status of our polity and its current health, or lack thereof. Moreover, this particular occasion in the month of May allows us, on a deeper level, to analyze and assess that [...]

Democracy Ushers in the Reign of Civic Ignorance

The many analyses of the 2012 election results are not saying much about what may have been the central and fundamental problem: democracy. Notice that I do not say a democratic republic—that was the nature of the American political order as fashioned by our Founding Fathers—but a democracy. A generation ago, Martin Diamond, Winston Mills [...]

Democracy’s Private Places

For centuries the public square and the street have been the spatial media of public culture. But just how important is traditional public space—urban space—to a genuinely public culture? In an age of increasingly sophisticated electronic communications, does civil society require the physical and spatial arrangements of the traditional city? I don’t know the answers [...]

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