Category Archives: Republic of Letters

Establishment hates Tucker Carlson, loves Max Boot

The outrage is always fake, always selectively applied, and always intended to destroy. It is never sincere. Apologizing only makes it worse, which is why it was heartening to hear Carlson insist he would never “express the usual ritual contrition” (an excellent choice of words).
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I’m not a Carlson fan. Indeed, I think he comes across as an ass, but Tom is dead right about the sudden outrage.

Our love affair with ebooks is over

There are a few reasons why ebook sales have been declining over the past four years. They doubled in price, when publishers gained control over pricing, instead of Amazon or Kobo charging their own. You cannot loan an ebook to a friend and cannot resell an ebook, once you have finished it. Lots of people have embraced Overdrive, and are borrowing ebooks from the public library. In 2018 65 different library systems each loaned out more than one million ebooks in the space of a year; one system, Harris County Public Library in Texas, loaned out more than two million ebooks.
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Why True Conservatism Means Anarchy | The American Conservative

First, let’s reflect on the nature of conservatism. Its master theoretician remains Russell Kirk, the founder of post-war American conservatism. I am fond of this Kirk quote: “The attitude we call conservatism is sustained by a body of sentiments, rather than by a system of ideological dogmata. It is almost true that a conservative may be defined as a person who thinks himself such. The conservative movement or body of opinion can accommodate a considerable diversity of views on a good many subjects, there being no Test Act or Thirty-Nine Articles of the conservative creed.”

Thus conservatism is really a habit of mind or orientation of sentiment. It is a way of thinking about man, society, and the relationship between the two. It has much more to say about how we treat these topics than what we say about them. It would be wrong to conclude that any position can be conservative so long as it is theorized in the “right” way. But it nonetheless remains true that conservatism is primarily a modifier, an adjective. This is why the phrase “conservative liberal” need not be a contradiction in terms. In fact, many of the greatest thinkers in the conservative tradition—Acton, Tocqueville, even Burke himself—are best classified under this label.
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Conflicted But Redeemed: James Como’s Life of C.S Lewis ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Lewis was, as Dr. Como so correctly notes, always his own man, and his own forceful actions toward colleagues, friends, family, and students—tended to attract or repulse those around him, with little middle ground for neutrals. Those who loved him, loved him dearly. Those who despised, despised him just as dearly. Dr. Como brilliant explains Lewis’s playful and deep love of myth, his extraordinary charity (quite similar to that of Russell Kirk), his normalization of the genre of science fiction, his rather complex and sometimes downright bizarre relations with women, and his vast reading of every possible book. The latter, especially, matters to Lewis’s own writings, as many of his articles and books are really gothic autobiographical reflections of his readings (again, quite similar to that of Russell Kirk).
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Why Did Obama Import a Somali Congressional District for Ilhan Omar to Represent?

John Zmirak
So the Democrats couldn’t bring themselves to pass a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism. Until, that is, they’d diluted the resolution by including almost every other kind of prejudice, including the made-up, politicized crime of “Islamophobia.” It had just a few exceptions. White people, males, and Christians are not included among the groups that Congress forbids you to hate.

That exclusion is telling. It tells you that the ideology reigning today has no interest in fairness. Or even in fighting hate. It wants to direct that hate toward acceptable targets. Toward “out-groups” that once were “in-groups,” which are now legitimate scapegoats. This is precisely the worldview which philosopher Rene Girard described as Victimism. He also said that it was the ideology of Antichrist.
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A fascinating article.