Bear Baiting

It was a popular sport in days of old—to pit savage bulldogs against a chained ursus, for the amusement of spectators, curious to see how many canines the latter could tear apart, before itself succumbing to the effects of innumerable wounds. While no analogy is perfect, it is difficult to shake the impression that somethingContinue reading “Bear Baiting”

Public Opinion & Propaganda

In this seminal essay, Robert Nisbet explains how our contemporary obsession with popular opinion constitutes a deadly distortion of the logic of genuine republican government. Though good government rests on the consent of the governed, and public policy ought to be based on a refinement of public views, this does not mean that rulers oughtContinue reading “Public Opinion & Propaganda”

Pushing the Pendulum

Many Americans have been puzzled in recent months, as solemn-faced newsmen and women minimize and even defend the burning and ransacking of homes and businesses, and other malicious assaults against law abiding citizens. Meanwhile, a handful of weaponless rubes taking selfies in their crimson hats are said to constitute an insurrection, providing an honest-to-goodness justificationContinue reading “Pushing the Pendulum”

Helping the Republic Keep its Head

If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you . . . Thus begin Rudyard Kipling’s familiar verses on becoming a man. We might also apply them to the increasingly difficult challenge of keeping our republic in times such as these. If this blog does not regularlyContinue reading “Helping the Republic Keep its Head”

Probable Cause

Claes G. Ryn is professor of politics at The Catholic University of America. He describes himself as “largely alienated from both of the American parties,” and in any case not a partisan of Donald J. Trump. Over at The American Conservative—a journal that has largely pooh-poohed allegations of widespread fraud in our recent presidential election—RynContinue reading “Probable Cause”

Escaping Mental Bondage

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) lived through one of the most brutal of modern tyrannies: the murderous reign of the Nazi party. Before and after Nazi domination, Germany has been regarded as one of the most advanced liberal democracies. Decades after the liberation of Europe from totalitarianism, Pieper reflected on how the sophistications of modern culture, ratherContinue reading “Escaping Mental Bondage”