Category Archives: Politics

SEEKING CHRISTENDOM Now Available

I’m very proud to announce our third publication for SPIRIT OF CECILIA books, SEEKING CHRISTENDOM: AN AUGUSTINIAN DEFENSE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION.

This was a book–roughly 82,000 words–I wrote over Christmas break, 2002-2003, and then revised four times between 2003 and 2008. I wrote it in between writing the biographies of J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Dawson as a way to understand Christian Humanism. I wanted to know its scope as well as its limits, hoping to find something to move well beyond the simple and deceptive left-right spectrum.

Here’s the opening to the original version:

The nineteenth century witnessed the flourishing of progressivist thought in social relations, politics, religion, and biology.  Everything was evolving, or so it seemed, toward the better.  Smiles were more frequent, and lives just kept getting happier, as the citizens of the world were becoming one, homogenized, contented mass.  The blessings of modernity entangled everything, East to West, claiming that no more perfect offerings needed to be made.  Once properly educated and the childhood superstitions of the race outgrown, the prophets of modernity assured us, the masses collectively would speak as a god.  In a word, according to intellectuals such as Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, it would soon be “utopian.” 

It was a lie.  

Modernity was a trap, and we were its greatest victims.  We failed to resist, and it greedily fed on us.  In democratic regimes, the brightly colored and candy-coated machines of bureaucracy and large corporations mechanized us, making us far less than human.  In non-democratic regimes, the damage proved much worse, nearly irreparable.  Beginning with the assassination of a relatively minor figure by an equally obscure terrorist group in 1914, the twentieth century drowned in its vast killing fields, gulags, holocaust camps, trench warfare, and weapons of mass destruction.  Whether in the camps of the European or Asian ideologues, some humans, convinced of the righteousness of their cause, viewed all other human persons as nothing more than a collection of parts, ready to be dismembered and reassembled in a Picasso-esque fashion, or perhaps simply quartered and then quartered again.  Armed with the ideological doctrines of fascism, National Socialism, and Communism, the twentieth-century became a century of the inverted vision of Ezekiel: wheels within wheels, endlessly spinning, the abyss ever expanding, ever within reach.  All that was sacred became irrelevant.  All who remained relevant were shot.  And, the State and its faithful companion, War, demanded the sacrifice of much blood to the restored gods.  Demos, Mars, and Leviathan became ascendant, taking possession of the field, and claiming victory, their appetites insatiable.

And, the Logos wept.

If you’re interested, here’s the link to the amazon Kindle version ($4.99). If you’re interested in a copy to review for a print or online publication, please let us know through the contact button.

Thanks! And, enjoy.

Ronald Reagan’s Creative Society

The Creative Society, in other words, is simply a return to the people of the privilege of self-government, as well as a pledge for more efficient representative government–citizens of proven ability in their fields, serving where their experience qualifies them, proposing common sense answers for California’s problems, reviewing governmental structure itself and bringing it into line with the most advanced, modern business practices. Those who talk of complex problems, requiring more government planning and more control, in reality are taking us back in time to the acceptance of rule of the many by the few. Time to look to the future. We’ve had enough talk–disruptive talk–in America of left and right, dividing us down the center. There is really no such choice facing us. The only choice we have is up or down–up, to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down, to the deadly dullness of totalitarianism.

–Ronald Reagan, The Creative Society (1968)

When In Gotham . . . | Front Porch Republic

So far as the politics of our debased republic go, the mid-twentieth century quarrel of the leftist C. Wright Mills with his liberal critics comes to mind.  Said Mills by way of response to their demand for what he acidly termed “A Balanced View”: “I feel no need for, and perhaps am incapable of arranging for you, a lyric upsurge, a cheerful little pat on the moral back.”2  In our pitiable circumstance, we all, whether we’re making policy or casting votes, face nothing more immediately hopeful than prudential choices for compromised parties, positions, and politicians—which is not to say that all such options are equal.  We have real choices to make.  To my mind, the most urgent political action today centers on our systemic needs: protecting and promoting (negatively) the separation of powers and (positively) citizen rule.  Such a stance at least will keep us, whatever our take on globalism, from succumbing to nationalist fantasies of repristinated bliss.
— Read on www.frontporchrepublic.com/2018/12/when-in-gotham/

Presidential Libraries: Treason to a Republic ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Presidential libraries symbolize so much that is wrong about our present-day republic: abuse, corruption, and decadence. For my money, a presidential library is treason, bribery, and a high crime and misdemeanor. A real republican leads because he is needed. When he is done, he does not ask for a monument. (essay by Bradley Birzer)
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2015/01/presidential-libraries-treason-republic.html

[Full confession–I have a honorific from the Reagan Presidential Library, so I’m being a bit hypocritical]

The Bigotry Inherent in American Progressivism | The American Conservative

Tellingly, it is impossible to separate Progressivism from racial and religious bigotry, especially in the United States. Eugenics and social engineering come directly from America’s progressives, who firmly believed in a lily white, Protestant America. One of progressivism’s most famous scholars—a man who supported and received the support of Teddy Roosevelt as well as Woodrow Wilson—was Edward Alsworth Ross, author of the wretched The Old World in the New (1914). “In this sense it is fair to say that the blood now being injected into the veins of our people is ‘sub–common,’” Ross asserted. “To one accustomed to the aspect of the normal American population, the Caliban type shows up with a frequency that is startling.”
— Read on www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-bigotry-inherent-in-american-progressivism/

Supreme Court & Affirmative Action: Call It Racial Discrimination | National Review

Harvard’s racial and ethnic balancing is the poisonous fruit of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on race and affirmative action. And higher education isn’t the only place where racism rears its ugly head. Take the drawing of districts for congressional elections, especially the practice of gerrymandering, whereby legislatures create electoral maps to maximize their party’s advantages. The Supreme Court has injected itself into this most political of activities, one that the Constitution explicitly assigns to state legislatures and whose politically partisan use is as old as the Constitution itself (the word “gerrymander” itself comes from Elbridge Gerry’s drawing of a Massachusetts state-senate district that resembled a salamander; Gerry was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and a contributor to the first Judiciary Act and the Bill of Rights). Historically, Southern state legislatures used gerrymandering to reduce the voting strength of racial minorities, particularly African Americans. But now the Supreme Court has allowed the federal government and states to consider race in drawing voting districts designed to maximize the voting strengths of racial groups.
— Read on www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/supreme-court-racial-preferences-affirmative-action/

Map: Visualizing Every Ship at Sea in Real-Time

The ocean is a big place, which makes it a pretty difficult thing to wrap our brains around.

It covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface, is home to millions of species of life, and it makes up 97% of all water on the planet. But, with this massive size and ubiquity also comes a significant challenge for humans interested in trade: it must be constantly traversed in order for us to move goods around.

As a result, millions of people hit the high seas each day to get cargo from one place to another. The vessels used range from tiny sailboats to massive oil tankers, some of which can get up to four football fields in length.
— Read on www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-every-ship-real-time/