Ideas Matter

Ideas Matter

According to Aristotle all human beings by nature desire to know or understand. Given the ignorance and vacuity of the many, it would be understandable to accuse Aristotle of naiveté. But those who have read Aristotle know that he was well aware of the failings and limitation of human being. The key phrase in Aristotle’s thesis are the words “by nature.” Human being, by its very inner constitution and essence is intellectual being, that is,

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Thinking Wisely About American Politics

Thinking Wisely About American Politics

In previous posts I have outlined as briefly as possible the development of the ideas that animate our current political condition. With this background, we are in a position to evaluate the contending factions and suggest the wisest path forward. American politics is shaped by the conflict between radical progressivism and the liberal-conservative alliance. The primary flashpoints of this conflict are well known: immigration, freedom of speech, religious liberty, domestic economic inequality, unemployment, the right

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The Genealogy of Contemporary American Politics

The Genealogy of Contemporary American Politics

Genealogy suggests origins, lines of descent, and an unfolding sequence. Genealogy is helpful because it helps us to understand the present by identifying its real causes. In my previous blog posts I have sought to develop a genealogy of contemporary American political ideas, that is, I have developed a very brief history of the ideas that continue to impact American politics today. I believe that this is valuable because it helps us to understand what

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Neo-Marxism is Alive and Well

Neo-Marxism is Alive and Well

Although doctrinaire Marxism has lost much of its cache it continues to inspire various elites who cherish the ideal of a world managed by technocrats. However, this is not the most important contemporary ramification of Marxism; that dubious honor belongs to the offshoot of Marxism variously labeled as neo-Marxism, cultural Marxism, or Western Marxism. This branch of Marxism grew out of the research and writing of the Frankfurt School, a German research institute active in

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Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Marxism

Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Marxism

In previous posts, I have examined progressivism and conservatism as critical reactions to the emergence of classical liberalism in the enlightenment. These movements sought to correct various aspects of liberal polity, but neither movement advocated a wholesale abandonment of the politics of John Locke. Not so with socialism, which showed no such restraint; rather socialists advocated a radical revolt against the triumph of liberalism. Quite simply, socialism is a system for determining the distribution of

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Ancient Wisdom and Modern Politics: Conservatism

Ancient Wisdom and Modern Politics: Conservatism

As I explained in a previous post, progressivism emerged from within classical liberalism as a corrective offshoot. The same thing is true of conservativism; originally conservatism was a reaction against classical liberalism. Conservatism is reactive but not reactionary in the technical sense, that is, conservatives did not advocate for a wholesale return to premodern tradition; rather they wished to correct some of its more misguided ideals by conserving certain elements of tradition. Community and Custom Against

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