As things go, tradition should always be honored, respected, and at the very least, considered, before it’s wantonly thrown into a trashcan. Traditionalists do not have a desire to turn back the clock, as so many of their critics seem to assume; rather, traditionalism seeks only to maintain and remind the hollow men of Modernity that things weren’t always as empty and nihilistic as they are today. The nihilist would probably agree, but only inasmuch as the crude masses of the past were simply deluded by opiates like religion or, as is still the case today, work. The philistine, however, would wonder what on Earth you’re talking about. Medicine and technology are better than at any time in recorded history—the Romans, great as they were, couldn’t even watch cat videos on their phones. They didn’t even have phones! Continue reading “Reassemble Your Traditions”
Due to the length of chapter eight, summary and discourse on its contents has been given its own chapter in this guide. It concerns the federal constitution and the general composition of the American federal system.
Chapter 8 – Of the Federal Constitution
Finally, at about page 186, Tocqueville gets to what we modern Americans probably thought the book was going to be about on page one: the democratic order of the American federal government. He reiterates that, until this chapter, he has been concerned with explaining and detailing the structure of the social and governmental apparatuses that keep the government and people stable. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy In America (Part 3 of 13)”
Chapters five, six, and seven are concerned more with the details of the law and organization of the American political structure than with general theories as to its governance. Chapter five concerns the ground-up formulation of the American government, emphasizing the regional autonomy of townships and counties, but stopping short of analyzing the federal government. Chapter six looks at the judicial system as it is practiced in both general principle and specific case. Chapter seven is a look at the American political jurisdiction and how it compares to France. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America: Part 2 of 13”
Return to Table of Contents.
The first part of this guide covers roughly the first hundred pages of Democracy in America, beginning with the author’s introduction and ending with the fourth chapter.
Tocqueville begins his book with a thirty-some page introduction in which he states, and then later restates, that Democracy in America is not a travelogue. Nor, does he add, is it merely a catalogue of various American institutions. Instead, it is a work of political science that attempts to capture the growth of a liberal-democratic revolution that Tocqueville believes is sweeping the West. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America: Part 1 of 13”
Writing is tough. I’ve been doing it for years, and from experience, I can tell you that only the most superficial elements of it get any easier. Like any skill or craft, the more you do it, the easier certain technical aspects become; the real art of it, though—the purpose behind each piece—remains just as difficult to develop after fifteen years as it did at first. Anyone who makes claims to the contrary is either pulling your leg, trying to sell you something, or is a uniquely terrible writer. Continue reading “On Writing and How to Write, in Brief”
In the coming months, I will be uploading a series of pieces on the landmark 1835 & 1840 works of Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. This project is a bit of a lengthy one that I’ve been ruminating on for quite some time. These works will be something of an unprofessional guidebook to help synthesize Tocqueville’s ideas and truncate his study using chapter summaries. His body of work remains fascinating both in thought and in writing style, so I highly encourage everyone to go out and read his magnum opus at some point. But for those of you who have actual lives and can’t commit to a sixteen hundred-some page long tome, there will be instead QNUW. Continue reading “A Quick Update on Upcoming Projects, QNUW’s Status, and a Few Thoughts on Academia”
Part one of our book guide covered some basic, entry-level, easily read books on the contradictions, lunacy, and general evil that modern liberalism and Leftism embodies. Part two introduced conservative and Christian texts in brief, looking at the connection between Christianity and Western Civilization. Part three begins where part two left off: here, the Christian worldview is on full display, distinctions between so-called liberalism (“classical liberalism”) and conservatism are better defined, and the nature of Modernity is revealed in its full excessive, brutal detail. Continue reading “A Brief Book Guide (Part III)”
Self-help guides are typically feel-good “you’re not really a loser after all” trash. Don’t feel bad about being so pathetic, so much of our culture presently exclaims, in the meantime, here’s ways not to feel pathetic! Well, I’m not going to tell you to feel good about being miserable. I think you can improve your lot in life, and it’s certainly worth trying. Feeling depressed? Angry at women? Disgusted with everything you read online? Considering taking over a military base and committing seppuku? Well, hang on a second. Give the stuff here whirl, first. Continue reading “How to Get Your Life In Order”
Part one of our book guide covered some entry-level works largely written in the last couple of years. With part two, we’ll get into some older works dating mostly to the mid-20th Century, a few defenses of Christianity, and general assertions of a traditionalist world view. Continue reading “A Brief Book Guide (Part II)”