Individualism

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 [...]

Patrick Deneen Explains Why Liberalism Failed

Extreme freedom can’t be expected to lead to anything but a change to extreme slavery, whether for a private individual or for a city.   ∼ Plato’s Republic, Book VIII line 566 The capacity for self-criticism used to be a signature characteristic of the liberal mind, but clearly liberal introspection isn’t what it used to be. In looking [...]

The Sexual Revolution’s Unhappy Result: Self-Marriage

With everyone marrying anyone, it would seem only a matter of time before someone would end up marrying no one. Leave it to the postmodern imagination to open up absurd frontiers in non-marriage. Marrying no one is now an option. Officially, it is called sologamy. It consists of a person marrying one’s self. It sounds [...]

How “Progress” Led to the Dehumanization of Man

The controversy over a Super Bowl ad for a snack chip that allegedly “humanized,” of all things, a pre-born human being highlights the deliberate rejection of reality of the “abortion rights” objectors. On its face, as others have noted, the controversy exposes the pernicious obfuscation that a fetus is nothing more than a “meaningless blob [...]

Corporate America: A Friend of the Family?

One of the interesting features of the recent public debate over same-sex "marriage" (SSM) has been the high profile support for it by large American corporations. Such support has included sharp attacks against assorted “religious freedom” state laws ostensibly designed to protect those with faith-based scruples. Indeed, Fortune magazine recently described what it termed “an [...]

The Medical Profession’s War on Christian Ethics

Over a quarter century ago, Richard John Neuhaus coined the phrase “the naked public square” to describe efforts to drive religiously influenced values and their adherents out of public life and policy making. Neuhaus foresaw the intolerance of the “tolerant” hanging out a “practicing Christians/Jews please check your values here” sign. He also rightly pointed [...]

Why “Progressives” Favor the State Over Society

The New York Times was abuzz March 5. The board of trustees of South Carolina’s Erskine College—a small, liberal arts college historically associated with the Presbyterian church—had issued a statement declaring that the school considered "all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage [as] sinful and therefore ultimately destructive of the parties involved.” Not only did [...]

A Response to the Leadership Crisis

We live in an age of bad leadership. To judge by appearances, politicians today are mostly driven by partisanship and personal advantage. Business leaders are rapacious and indifferent to the welfare of their employees and customers, and to the value of their products. Artists, intellectuals, scholars, and journalists are more concerned with career and ideology [...]

What if the 1960s took a Christian Course?

The 1960s were intended as a rebellion against the materialism, mindless conformity, soullessness, and general inhumanity and immorality of commercial and bureaucratic (“corporate and militaristic”) America. The answer, it was thought, could be found in freeing ourselves from a society gone wrong by rejection of social forms, pursuit of intense experience, and “doing your own [...]

De Sales vs. Luther on Freedom and Religious Devotion

One of the major tenets of the Wittenberg Reforms implemented by Martin Luther in the early 1520s was his insistence on the equality of all men before God. A recognition of the “priesthood of all believers” was essential, according to Luther, to ensure proper respect for the rights of each individual person in regards to [...]

The Moral Divide Between Progressives and Traditionalists

A recent account of moral sentiments, proposed by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), has attracted attention for its explanation of the difference between progressives and traditionalists. According to the account, moral judgments typically have to do with six dimensions [...]

The Conservative’s Right Mind: A Reply to David Brooks

Writing about the Republican National Convention in August, New York Times columnist David Brooks fretted that the Republican Party has been captured by a “hyperindividualistic mentality,” and he commended Condoleezza Rice’s celebration of “larger national goals—the long national struggle to extend benefits and to mobilize all human potential.” Last month Brooks reinforced this claim by [...]

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 [...]

MENU