liberalism

Kids in Defense of the Culture

The shock troops against Conservatism, Inc. have arrived. Witness the rise of the groypers. These cowboys sent people ducking beneath barstools the moment they set a spurred boot in the Culture War saloon. It has been amusing, to say the least, but not everyone is laughing. Some have even warned that the pale rider of [...]

Lead Us, Please, Into Temptation

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), famous in his time but hardly ever read and nearly forgotten today, wrote two brilliant satirical novels (Main Street and Babbitt) and one gentle, bittersweet, and genuinely moving one (Dodsworth, about an uncultured Midwestern automobile executive who takes his socially and culturally ambitious wife to Europe, where she betrays him with another [...]

Acton Tends to Corrupt

Lord Acton’s dictum, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” has been getting a good airing in the media lately. “Donald Trump, Absolutely Corrupted” ran an October 11 Washington Post headline, but they’re not the only ones quoting Acton as a satisfactory explanation of the President of the United States’ disturbing tendency to run [...]

Liberalism and Idolatry Go Hand in Hand

“Considered in itself, idolatry is the greatest of mortal sins.” So begins the old Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on the topic. I was surprised to read that this is the greatest of all mortal sins. Was it worse than murder? Worse even than the sexual abuse of minors? “For it is, by definition,” the entry continues, [...]

The Wars of Religion Are Only Beginning

The postmodern world is fond of congratulating itself that, owing to the withering away of ancient superstitions and the final triumph of science, religious warfare of the 16th and 17th centuries can never be renewed in Western societies. What can we possibly be thinking? Religious warfare has not only reestablished itself: it’s doing so in [...]

The Uncivil Civility of David French

Debates are about making points, yes, but they’re also about comportment. The exchange between Sohrab Ahmari and David French, which took place at the Catholic University of America last Thursday, centered on just this point. It was a debate about debates—namely, “How do we best engage with our opponents on the Left?” As it happens, [...]

We Are All Ahmarists Now, Part II

[This is part two of Michael Warren Davis's two-part reflection on the Ahmari-French debate on the future of Christian conservatism. Read the first part here.] The second major point of contention between Sohrab Ahmari and David French is on the question of civility. To again quote from Mr. Ahmari’s first shot across the Frenchists’ bow: [...]

We Are All Ahmarists Now, Part I

There’s something precarious in writing an article about a debate. One runs the risk of demonstrating why one wasn’t invited to take the stage. Still, Thursday’s exchange between Sohrab Ahmari of The New York Post and National Review’s David French ought to be weighed carefully by every Catholic journalist, statesman, lawyer, activist, and voter. These [...]

Christopher Dawson on 19th-Century Critics of Liberalism

As Christopher Dawson attempted to discover the sources of the ideological disruptions of the twentieth century as well as solutions to the death and terror they caused, he often produced some of his most impassioned work. Indeed, he often comes across, for lack of a better way of putting it, as inspired, a prophet, ready [...]

Political Implications of Religion as a Moral Virtue

A good deal of what the Catholic Church teaches about the state and her relationship to it belongs to the province of philosophy. It belongs to those truths of the faith that are naturally knowable and don’t require revelation. This distinction should be familiar. There are some truths that the Church teaches which we can’t [...]

Ryszard Legutko’s Critique of Western Liberalism

For quite some time now, American intellectuals have taken a particular interest in Poland. During the Cold War, the Polish people's resistance to communism was held up as an example of fidelity, and Pope John Paul II's leadership of the Church was taken to be a quintessential example of the Polish spirit. The honeymoon is [...]

Ontario’s Liberal Government Suffers Massive Electoral Defeat

Ontario is the most populous of Canada’s ten provinces, with about 13.5 million souls, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the population of the country, most of whom live within a one or two hour drive from the border with the United States. The province has the nation’s capital, Ottawa, as well as its largest [...]

Modern Liberty a Cruel Parody of Christian Freedom

As Easter comes ever closer the importance of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ should be magnified for every Christian. Christians should not forget the underlying message of the Easter story—the freedom won in Christ’s death and resurrection. For this is one of two major competing stories in modernity, and one that modernity would [...]

A Jesuit Philosopher Who Championed Catholic Orthodoxy

Fun Is Not Enough (2017) is the collection of all 125 columns written by the late Father Francis Canavan, S.J., for the monthly catholic eye from April 1983 until November 2008, a couple of months before his death. The book was edited by Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein, Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Apostles College [...]

When Will the Shooting Stop?

The gun control debate has reignited with the recent Florida shooting. Despite the passionate commentaries on all sides, no one seems to be able to answer the question of when the shootings will stop. As much as liberal media want to blame guns, police or government, this is a moral problem. It involves the acts [...]

The History of a Tomorrow Without God

The bestselling book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, is dangerous for Catholics of little faith. Rarely do you see a book that is so cunningly written to shake certainties and present as inevitable a stark and Godless future now being planned. The value of the book is not found in reading it. In [...]

What the Failure of Russian Liberalism Means for Us

A century on, the Russian Revolution still looms like a shadow from the past. Rather surprisingly, in a way, since the Cold War has been over for nearly three decades. Yet there is something enduringly fascinating and even romantic about the Russian Revolution: the collapse of tsarism, the mass uprising of the Russian people against [...]

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 [...]

Sexual Liberation and the Emergence of Transhumanism

Sexual liberation and transhumanism share an anthropology. Both view the human person as an emergent phenomenon, and as something malleable. Both view the self as sovereign, the will as ultimately answerable to nothing other than its own prerogatives. Exploring the intersection between these two movements requires me to give an account of technology. In speaking [...]

Liberal Myths Have Consequences

“Contemporary liberalism is less a political philosophy than a façade for undermining extant social and legal mores.”   ∼ John Safranek, The Myth of Liberalism, 2015. When I first looked into this insightful book of John Safranek titled The Myth of Liberalism, I was struck by the introductory sentence that he cited from Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. [...]

What Happened to American Liberalism?

In an obscure article entitled “Catholics and Liberals: Decline of Détente,” in America magazine in 1974, the eminent Catholic scholar and historian James Hitchcock discussed a profound change that had occurred in American liberalism and argued that its new thinking put it increasingly at odds with Catholicism. Hitchcock was one of a number of writers [...]

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