History

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Donald Trump and the Canary in the LGBT Coal Mine

As Donald Trump begins to staff his administration, his appointees should understand how deeply the ideologically-driven LGBTs have burrowed into permanent jobs in the permanent bureaucracy and how dangerous they are. The new political appointees should also understand how this group and their allies have driven those who may disagree with their agenda either underground [...]

Advent: In My End Is My Beginning

There was a time, and perhaps there still is in some settings, which the English call, as compliment and not as a pejorative, “homely, ” when families would gather around a piano to sing. Therapists and family counselors would be less in demand if that were more a part of our domestic vernacular. Enough of [...]

The Past is a Place

“True nostalgia is a desire less for a time than a place”   ∼ John Lukacs “The oldest things ought to be taught to the youngest people.”   ∼ G.K. Chesterton Professor Jeffrey Hart, who retired in 1993 following three distinguished decades teaching English Literature to the best and the brightest at Dartmouth College, was always a [...]

How Progressives Stole Christian History

The Greeks invented philosophy. They gave us Herodotus, the father of history, too. Their philosophy of history was cyclical, meaning they believed history had highs and lows, but lacked purpose. The Christian intellectual tradition first proposed that history moves in a linear fashion, corresponds with progress, and culminates with a utopian end point. Modern day [...]

Owen Chadwick Remembered

When the church historian Owen Chadwick died last July at the age of 99, still writing almost to the end, still with ideas to share, still pondering the historical and moral lessons of a lifetime, he seemed a figure from an earlier, more heroic age of Christian scholarship. His life had been laden with honors—at various [...]

The Soul of a Gibbon

In the center of Rome stands the Capitoline Hill: the heart of the ancient city, where the temples of Jupiter, Juno, and Virtus once dominated the skyline. It was the site of the treachery of Tarpeia, and the settlement of the Sabines. It was the one part of the city that did not fall to [...]

The Coming Christian Renaissance

The linear conception of history is so seductive, even antagonistic groups like Enlightenment philosophers and Marxists adopt it.  It pervades their attitude toward religion. Both believe society matures as it sheds its religious heritage. Infantile societies practice religion, but progressive societies are secular, they maintain. Voltaire viciously expressed Enlightenment hostility toward organized religion when he [...]

The Key to the Bastille: Learning from the Past with Benedict XVI

“Show me what a man remembers of his past,” the late Fritz Wilhelmsen once said, “and I will tell you what kind of man he is.”  Like Friedrich Nietzsche, Wilhelmsen was inclined to bold affirmation and even bolder denial, and was wont to frame his statements in the irrefragable terminology of metaphysics. The gallant Thomist [...]

In Aeternum: The England that Never Changes

Recent posts about the United States and England, and especially those concerned with the decline, decay and ultimate disintegration of England have prompted my musings on the mutability of nations and cultures. Is everything subject to change? If so, is there any permanent value attached to these mutable things? Why bother about the USA or [...]

The Return of History

The gruesome gorgon of Marxist historiography has been finally and thoroughly discredited by the very historical process in which it reposed ultimate faith for its own “scientific” vindication, yet this is a fact that a still largely Marxist, or Marxist-tainted, tenured historical profession is most unwilling to acknowledge. An Italian journalist recently and prominently interviewed [...]

Pictures in a Cave

To one who has seldom given a thought to cavemen as a popular category, let alone to their proper scientific classification, last week’s news that they were painting pictures on cave walls more than 40,000 years ago required some intensive research on Wikipedia as well as an effort of the imagination. What does it mean [...]

Progressive Inhumanity, Part Three: Hatred of the Past

 I have long thought that the term “progressive” was a dodge, because no one could tell me exactly where we were supposed to be headed and why.  It seemed to me that the term was teleological but without a telos, as if someone were to practice archery without a target, or shoot a basketball without [...]

Russell Kirk on the Moral Imagination

In the franchise bookshops of the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, the shelves are crowded with the prickly pears and the Dead Sea fruit of literary decadence. Yet no civilization rests forever content with literary boredom and literary violence. Once again, a conscience may speak to a conscience in the pages [...]

Christopher Dawson: Christ in History

The following essay first appeared in the April 1996 edition of Crisis Magazine. It is part of today's symposium on "the bourgeois spirit" as diagnosed by Dawson. See also Dawson's essay, Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind, and Jeffrey Tucker's reply, In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization.   Dawson wrote with two different audiences in mind. He [...]

Hail, Sol Invictus!

Let’s imagine for a moment that Christmas had never happened and that the Roman Emperor Aurelian had succeeded in establishing the feast of Sol Invictus on December 25 back in the year 274 AD. Instead of Christmas, we would have had the Feast of the Unconquered Sun. At this time of year, just after the [...]

Lessons of History?

  It used to be common for people to urge us to learn "the lessons of history." But history gets much less attention these days and, if there are any lessons that we are offered, they are more likely to be the lessons from current polls or the lessons of political correctness. Even among those [...]

Not Disruptive Enough

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution Francis Fukuyama; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 272 pages; $25   Francis Fukuyama thinks big and always on the cutting edge. But he’s no windbag intellectual. He actually knows things; he works hard to master the political, economic, and scientific information required to support his breathtaking theoretical claims. [...]

1943: The Diplomats’ Battle

As Foreign Minister, and Viceroy of India before that, Lord Edward Halifax was the preferred choice of the Conservative Party and the King to succeed Chamberlain as Prime Minister, but he knew he was no match for Churchill and did not press his case. In this he showed an altruism which was commonly admired, notwithstanding [...]

A War Prevented: Pope John XXIII and the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Holy See is the oldest continuing international organization in the world. Its Secretary of State office was established in 1486, and that is also when its first permanent representatives were established in Venice, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and France. Today, the Holy See maintains diplomatic relations with 176 states. It is also the [...]

An American Tailgunner in “Hell”

“Just existing became what was important,” says 87-year-old Frank Kravetz of Pittsburgh, captive of the “hell-hole” that was Nuremberg Prison Camp. “Yet even as I struggled with the day-to-day sadness and despair, I never once had any regrets that I signed up to serve.” An extended tour of Nazi camps as a wounded POW scratching [...]

What’s So Great About Catholicism?

With its divine foundation, sanction, and mission, nothing could be more glorious than the Catholic Church. But, of course, many people — even many baptized Catholics — don't see it that way. Yet when the sins of men — secular material progress, or our own self-centeredness — blind us to this, they blind us to everything. The Renaissance, a [...]

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