Libertarians in Heaven

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Libertarians in Heaven

Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855), a truly great and greatly neglected philosopher of liberty, was not only a theist, a Catholic, a priest, indeed, the founder of religious orders for men and women”€”and, since November 18, a Blessed of the Church, though one whose principal writings were on the Index Liborum Prohibitorum as long as there was one.

Right Face!

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Right Face!

Facebook hosts fan clubs for such traditional thinkers as Ludwig von Mises, Robert A. Taft, Russell Kirk, Michael Oakeshott, Murray Rothbard, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, Joe Sobran, and Sam Francis. (None for Richard Weaver or Erik, Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. Not yet; give me time.) Other groups promote the work of ISI, ISIL, YAF, the Federalist Society, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Foundation for Economic Education, and the Cato Institute.

The Pope’s Kitchen Cabinet

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The Pope’s Kitchen Cabinet

It is pointless to be obsessed with foreign policy or domestic politics when it is the whole culture that is sick, sick unto death, our own death and the death of the world, and when our sickness is a sickness of the spirit that is not of today or of yesterday, but a progression measured in decades, nay in centuries.

Ralph Waldo and the Word

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Ralph Waldo and the Word

One hundred thirty five years ago, on Christmas Day, an aged and ailing Ralph Waldo Emerson disembarked at Alexandria, the cradle of Hellenistic Christendom, whence the Holy Family had fled Herod long centuries before. Emerson was one of the first Americans to be conscious of living in what seemed to be a post-Christian age…

Patriots, Not Haters

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Patriots, Not Haters

The “patriotism” of the left is suspiciously like that of the neocons, despising the grubby reality of these all too real United States and their grotesquely imperfect population in favor of the dream of some vague ideal to be achieved after the hoped for revolution. To strive for a dream country, just as the neocons strive for a dream world. To the nationalist, patriotism is all about not having to earn your self-esteem yourself but getting it secondhand from mere membership in a group you believe superior, and the desire to crush or at least humiliate all groups that seem to threaten.

Theosis in White Harlem

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Theosis in White Harlem

We grow to resemble what we worship. Beware the man or woman who does not honor a Creator or Redeemer, but bows down before the Accuser, whose Hebrew name is Satan. Satan in the White House is not just a late night horror movie, but a nightmare that has haunted at least one Pope of Rome. The last stretch of the road to Abu Ghraib runs from the streets of iconoclastic Geneva through the pleasant meadows of Princeton, where Kuyper preached the corrosive gospel of neo-Calvinism, whence Wilson set out to make the world safe for neoconnery.

Sex, Politics, and Gnosticism

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Sex, Politics, and Gnosticism

Not very long ago I walked into my bedroom and found The Art and Science of Love at the foot of the bed. I dwell in a typical Manhattan apartment, where any book may turn up anywhere without notice. It happens. I didn”€™t actually recall buying this particular old paperback, but that happens too. Maybe it was a message. If so it had more to do with parapsychology than erotosophy, for a few hours later I was cruising around my neighborhood of cyberspace and found an obituary of bestselling sexologist and self-help guru Dr. Albert Ellis, author of Art and Science among many, many others.

Sept. 11, 2001: Adrift Among the Dead

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Sept. 11, 2001: Adrift Among the Dead

America had made history but until now not experienced history, at least not since the War Between the States, and most of us are from families who immigrated since then. The day of the attacks it was said that this would be America’s second bloodiest day, second to that of Antietam, when twenty three thousand died in a couple of hours. But — thank God — the casualties are much less than was first expected, and even at the worst there could have been no comparison with Hamburg or Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Warsaw or Nanking.

Pakistani Christians Bombed”€”In NYC

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Pakistani Christians Bombed”€”In NYC

Hate crime against traditional (liturgical) Christians is growing, and we need to take action now. First of all, we need to keep using the internet to break through the mainstream media blackout, as my Orthodox friend did in the present instance, and we must learn to use the new media even better. We must counter the blood libels of the Foxmans and Goldhagens which incite and justify violence. We must refute the constant propaganda barrage of more respectable figures from the pseudo-scientist Dawkins to the stage magicians Penn and Teller who claim that we are mental defectives who should not be allowed to procreate, much less to raise children or be entrusted with educational or cultural work. We need to carry on incessant and creative guerilla warfare on the cultural front, liberating a kaleidoscopic array of temporary autonomous zones where our values are permitted, however briefly, to show themselves.

The Pragmatism of Russell Kirk

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The Pragmatism of Russell Kirk

In so far as it is an ideology, conservatism belongs to the modern age, as well as to Modern Age. But, as Gerald Russello’s recent insightful study shows, Russell Kirk’s moral imagination is distinctly postmodern. To see what this means, we need to go back to Charles Peirce’s attempt to identify and remedy the characteristic errors of modern philosophy, which render it unfit company for modern science. Kirk’s work was, after all, contemporary with that of such figures as Herbert Marshall McLuhan, Father Walter Ong, Theodore Roszak, E. F. Schumacher, and Gregory Bateson, who represent the first stirrings of an explicitly postmodern consciousness.

Cosmopolitan Si, Multicultural, No!

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Cosmopolitan Si, Multicultural, No!

Yes, we are members of communities of faith. But there is common humanity, and, in various places and at various times, common civilizations have flourished, each articulating that common humanity in its own unique way. Our own civilization has been fairly unique in offering hospitality to those who come to us from other civilizations and their outskirts, trusting to our common humanity and to a set of institutions and traditions designed to allow members of different communities to collaborate as neighbors, clients, and colleagues. And this has worked remarkably well, at least in America. When I think of 9/11 I recall how my glass fortress diagonally opposite the World Trade Center complex was locked down by security…

A Martyr for Peace

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A Martyr for Peace

A week before George W. Bush arrived in Rome for their first meeting, Benedict XVI put his signature to a document proclaiming the Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter a Christian martyr for refusing to serve in an unjust war, such as Benedict and John Paul the Great insisted the Bush war against Iraq has been from the beginning. The beatification will take place on October 26 — just about the time that some observers expect a departing, lame-duck President Bush to launch a Pearl Harbor style pre-emptive attack (perhaps a nuclear one) against Iran.

Remembering Kent State: The President as Street Thug

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Remembering Kent State: The President as Street Thug

The Ohio war protesters are shot and killed on Monday; Friday is set aside as a day of mourning. On Wall Street organized gangs of men dressed as construction workers converge on peaceful demonstrators, beating them with tools and stomping them with work boots. They attack a line of New York City police at Federal Hall, where Washington was sworn in in 1789, and proceed to storm City Hall, where the flag has been at half mast, in order to raise it, and to denounce the Mayor as a Communist. On May 20, a grateful President receives a delegation from the leaders of New York’s construction unions, accepting from them the “€œhard hat”€ of Commander in Chief. He tries it on, grinning for a photograph in the National Archives, though not for the press. One of union leaders, James Brennan, becomes Secretary of Labor after the 1972 election. These people are shameless: they glory in their very shamelessness; they expect Americans to abase themselves before it. Burke saw it in France long ago…


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