Modernity’s Historical Illiteracy — Ecclesia et Synagoga

We all watched the flames consume the historic spire of Notre-Dame on Monday, burning it down to its skeleton before it went crashing into the roof of the thirteenth-century cathedral. We waited for news about the relics and artwork inside and wondered about the state of the glass in the windows that had managed to survive two world wars, Napoleon, the Revolution, and the Reformation. And when the flames were finally extinguished, we watched with baited breaths as emergency officials picked through the sanctuary to determine the building’s soundness. Continue reading “Modernity’s Historical Illiteracy — Ecclesia et Synagoga”

The American Republic is Unrecognizable

This is getting to be a commonly heard phrase.  “The republic cannot stand with behavior like this in its highest offices,” the conservative commentators barked under the Clinton dadministration.  “The republic is doomed with all these warmongers and invasions,” came the outcry from liberal elite after 9-11.  “The republic will be bankrupt in a few short years,” the lounge-chair conservative economists cried as Obamacare passed.  And now, from the Left, as we’ve come to expect: “the republic is a fascist state run by a giant orange!”  At least they’ve found a taste for subtlety. Continue reading “The American Republic is Unrecognizable”

The Devil’s Pleasure Palace (Michael Walsh – 2015, Encounter Books)

If there is allowed only one word to describe the Left, the wanton adherence to hypocrisy, self-destruction, entropic egalitarianism, aimless rebellion against all forms of establishment, anti-life, anti-love, and its anti-order ethos, that word is “Satanic.”  Acclaimed writer Michael Walsh is unafraid to denounce the Left for what it is in his recent book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West, a largely literary investigation into the death of the West’s unified culture and artistic sensibilities. Continue reading “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace (Michael Walsh – 2015, Encounter Books)”

The Demon in Democracy (Ryszard Legutko – 2016, Encounter Books)

Escaping from Soviet rule in Poland during the 1970s, Ryszard Legutko landed in the liberalized sphere of NATO-defended Europe only to have a startling and somewhat horrifying discovery: many proponents of the political system he had just been received by—liberal democracy—were sympathetic, if not outright favorable, to the cripplingly despotic communist system best characterized by the Soviet regime.  It was not, he admits in his introduction to The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, something that necessarily occurred to him immediately.  But even within the first few years of his freedom, he had recognized tendencies among his Western colleagues to defend aspects of the system that he had risked his livelihood escaping from. Continue reading “The Demon in Democracy (Ryszard Legutko – 2016, Encounter Books)”

Natural Law and the Moral Underpinnings of the Culture War

As the general tendency of state growth throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries seems to be reaching its apex in the twenty-first, we have witnessed the growing interest on a grassroots level of the study of natural law.  The study stems from both a growing revival of right wing philosophies and a general reaction to leftist nihilism that has saturated the mainstream popular culture.  And it’s good, because it means that more people are waking up from the coma induced by the 60s revolutions and the tranquilizers that the Left has administrated ever since. Continue reading “Natural Law and the Moral Underpinnings of the Culture War”

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea (Yukio Mishima – 1963, 1994 Vintage International)

The Japanese writer Yukio Mishima was already a famous and popular figure in his native country before he attempted to overthrow his regional government and killed himself in 1970.  In fact, over the course of his career, he was considered several times for the Nobel Prize in literature, and at the time of his death, he was recognized internationally for his novels, short stories, essays, and stage plays.  Today, his work stands alongside Shusaku Endo, Junichiro Tanizaki, and Yasunari Kawabata as some of the best and most renowned Japanese writers of the post-war period.

In The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea, Mishima explores the relationships and conflicts between men and women, children and parents, and individuals and groups, in addition to extrapolating these conflicts into the context of the Japan’s climate of post-war defeat following the second world war.  Mishima’s textured prose, coupled with his nuanced appreciation for tradition, reveal a level of insight into the transmittance of values that remains especially relevant today. Continue reading “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea (Yukio Mishima – 1963, 1994 Vintage International)”

What Do Leftists Hate About the United States’ Bill of Rights? – Part III

Amendments IX – X: In Which the Founders Explain the Conclusions of Government

So, the last two segments have been about the scope of government and the relationship it has to the people.  Neither really addressed the broader, in some senses deeper notions of what government should be.  While the Founders in general avoided discourses and indulgences in metaphysics, preferring by and large to live in a world of results rather than that of academics and theory, the final two amendments in the Bill of Rights reveal the core of their philosophy regarding the self-governance of popular sovereignty. Continue reading “What Do Leftists Hate About the United States’ Bill of Rights? – Part III”

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